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

From: David Perrell <davidp@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 18:50:25 -0800
To: www-style <www-style@w3.org>
Message-id: <011301bf67a8$18e523e0$15a8a8c0@davidp>
Would changing the CSS definition of em to be the width of M in the current
font (provided such a width exists) be an improvement? In what ways would em
= 'width of M' be more useful than the current definition?

Is there any value besides em (current definition) that can specify
font-size-relative margins, indentation, and image size when the font-size
value is not known?

And when, you might ask, would the font-size not be known? Answer: When
specified in ems. Fact is, most users have their browser's base font set to
a legible value. Em allows specifying values relative to the user's
preferred font-size.

I argued the value of em back in July '97 with a page styled entirely with
em values. (Slightly updated for improved em support in IE, it's at:
http://www.hpaa.com/css1/emsizing.html.) Since everything is based on 1em
body size, the page should be legible on any platform with a truly
CSS1-capable browser. Would such relative sizing be possible if em = width
of M?

In hindsight it probably would have been better to have named the font-size
value 'fonsi' instead of 'em', but I suspect it's a bit late to change it
now. Anyway, I'm one of the assumedly-miniscule percentage of authors who
actually use em.

David Perrell
Received on Tuesday, 25 January 2000 21:51:49 UTC

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