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

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

From: David Perrell <davidp@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 11:59:22 -0800
To: www-style <www-style@w3.org>
Message-id: <011001bf644a$02bc0fe0$15a8a8c0@davidp>
"Erik van der Poel" wrote:
> No, that is too indirect. One would need to understand the whole
> line/inline/font box model just to understand font-size. That's
> ridiculous. I prefer a *direct* definition of font-size, in terms of em
> square, as suggested previously.

This makes no sense to me at all. The em square is defined by the font-size,
and the font-size is specified by the author. If the font-size is specified
to be 69.57 yds, then em is 69.57 yards and the em square is one acre. Why
is this difficult to understand?

It seems to me that the only difficulty lies in accepting the fact that a
font designer is free to choose whatever glyph size they think appropriate
relative to the font-size. Font-size is, in fact, equal to one line-height.
To know the glyph sizes one must be familiar with the font-family.

'Leading' is additional vertical space between lines 'font-size' high.
"Internal leading" is a misnomer -- there is no such thing. There may be a
large discrepancy between glyph height and font-size, but it has nothing to
do with leading.

Leading is an anachronism because electronic rendering allows negative
values (would negative lead be a form of anti-matter?). Line-space is a more
appropriate term, IMHO.

Line-height is equal to font-size plus line-space. The line-space for any
given line is equal to line-height minus font-size. CSS specifies that
one-half of any line-space should be applied above the text and one-half
should be applied below.

Is any of the above in contention?

David Perrell
Received on Friday, 21 January 2000 15:01:37 UTC

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