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

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

From: Erik van der Poel <erik@netscape.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 12:31:39 -0800
Message-ID: <3888C22B.20479AF3@netscape.com>
To: David Perrell <davidp@earthlink.net>
CC: www-style <www-style@w3.org>
David Perrell wrote:
> "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.

Yes, that's right. Your sentence establishes a relationship between
font-size and em square. The font-size definition in CSS2 does not
establish any relationship between the two:

  This property describes the size of the font when set solid.

I want to get rid of the words "when set solid", and I want to clarify
the font-size definition. I think the words "em square" would have to
appear somewhere in that definition. Who can come up with good wording?

> 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.

I accepted this fact long ago. Others haven't accepted it.

> Font-size is, in fact, equal to one line-height.

No, font-size is equal to one line-height only when line-height is 1.
When line-height is 1.2, font-size is not equal to one line-height.

> "Internal leading" is a misnomer -- there is no such thing.

I agree. It is simply a Windows-ism or a some-fonts-ism. It is not very
relevant in this font-size discussion, though it is important to realize
that it isn't relevant.

> 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.

Hear, hear. I suggested something along those lines a little while ago.
I suggested line spacing, font spacing and vertical spacing. We should
choose one of these terms, and stick to it.

Received on Friday, 21 January 2000 15:34:43 UTC

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