W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2000

RE: Units, font sizing, and zoom suggestion for CSS 3

From: Matthew Brealey <thelawnet@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 07:54:03 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <20000120155403.17358.qmail@web904.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-style <www-style@w3.org>
--- Karlsson Kent - keka <keka@im.se> wrote:
> > >         em - width(!) of a capital M in the current font and size;
> > >                 this is the historically correct definition of em,
> > >                 and the definition of em used by TeX; if there is no
> > >                 M in the font, a suitable approximation is 
> > calculated.
> > This is a bad idea - it would ruin all old implementations. 
> > My wem suggestion is backward-compatible
> This is the proper, and traditional, definition of em.  If you for
> compatibility reasons want to call it wem instead, fine. But then
> one should strongly deprecate the old CSS em.

Most definitely not. The em provides fonts and line heights that are in
proportion, and in particular are essential for accessibility reasons. The
em is the BEST unit in CSS, not the worst.

Incidentally, regarding deprecation, absolute lengths are not necessarily
bad, merely not suitable for the www. In certain situations, they are
appropriate. In addition, in HTML, deprecation indicates that the
attribute or element concerned is to be phased out. It seems odd therefore
to introduce units that are then phased out!
> > > 
> > >         (en - half an em. (Not necessarily the width of an N.))
> > Superfluous, just divide your wems by 2.
> Traditional unit, but of lesser value, I agree (hence the
> parenthesis).
I think the primary concern has to be with what is useful rather than what
is traditional - just because it exists, it doesn't make it useful.

From Matthew Brealey (http://members.tripod.co.uk/lawnet (for law)or http://members.tripod.co.uk/lawnet/WEBFRAME.HTM (for CSS))
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Received on Thursday, 20 January 2000 10:54:04 UTC

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