W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 1999

Re: font-size and accents, again

From: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 02:55:01 -0800
Message-Id: <v04220803b466b0cee043@[]>
To: David Perrell <davidp@earthlink.net>, www-style@w3.org
At 12:52 PM -0800 11/27/99, David Perrell wrote:
>Todd Fahrner wrote:
>>  Aye - this is the point of font-size-adjust.
>Right. I wasn't thinking of font-size-adjust relative to the
>historical reference I quoted, but now that I am, I'll point
>out that in 17 years producing art for printing I never heard
>the term "aspect value," nor did I ever have easy access to
>the x-heights of specific faces.

Printing has never had to deal with such a high probability of 
"blind" font substitution, so the lexicon of font interchangeability 
isn't rich. I coined the term "aspect value", on the phone, under 
pressure to come up with something more suggestive than the original 
"z" (mnemonic: eczema - ex-Z-em-a). Necessity, invention, motherhood 
and all that. I never had easy access to (or much call for) x-heights 
either. But here CSS-1 had this good-for-nothing Ex slouching around, 
and of course there's overworked Em, and, well, they had a child!

>If I'd considered the font-size-adjust property back when it
>was proposed, I'd have suggested that the adjustment be
>relative to the first-specified font face and not require a
>number that is not readily available.

If the first-specified font is available, then the property is 
pointless. If it is not available, then its aspect must be provided 
by the stylesheet author. I'm probably missing something obvious here 
because it's 2:45am.

>I also question the use of the word "bicameral" in the spec.
>What, I wondered, does the latin word for "chamber" have to do
>with fonts? Why not "dual-case (uppercase and lowercase)", and
>"single-case", which could be easily understood by anyone who
>understands the terms "uppercase" and "lowercase?"

I didn't pick this term, but it is defined (see index). It's opposed 
to "unicameral". You can chide most any latinism in English as 
needlessly remote, and before you know it you'll be speaking German, 
where 'protein' is 'egg white' and 'nipple' is 'breast wart'.
Todd Fahrner

The printed page transcends space and time. The printed page, the
infinitude of books, must be transcended. THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY.

  - El Lissitzky, 1923
Received on Sunday, 28 November 1999 05:55:06 UTC

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