W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2003

Re: font sizes

From: todd fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 10:27:08 -0800
Cc: www-style@w3.org
To: Felix Miata <mrmazda@ij.net>
Message-Id: <6B144678-475C-11D7-B624-003065B71C46@pobox.com>

On Saturday, Feb 22, 2003, at 16:46 US/Pacific, Felix Miata wrote:

> todd fahrner wrote on Fri, 21 Feb 2003 12:37:10 -0500 (EST):
>> Note that current versions of Explorer correctly map "medium" to the
>> default/user size when in "strict" rendering mode (DOCTYPE-sniffed at
>> the moment).
> You didn't actually write what you meant to write above, did you?

It's not a misstatement, but evidently I need to clarify. I suspect 
that you may be confusing the CSS keywords with the similar but 
unrelated descriptors that WinIE uses in its user interface for "Font 
size". When I say that "medium" matches the default/user size, I mean 
that the font size of elements in a document explicitly set to the CSS 
keyword value of "medium" will be the same as that for elements for 
which no size is given. In WinIE6, this obtains only when one of the 
strict-triggering DOCTYPEs is used (without XML declaration):

<p style="font-size:medium">This text should be the same size as that 
of the text in the following paragraph.</p>
<p>This text should be the same size as that of the preceding 
paragraph, whether the user has chosen "medium", "smaller", 24px, 1pc, 
13.5pt, or some other value for font size in his/her UA.</p>

The "medium" in WinIE's UI != CSS's "medium", even when they happen to 
agree. This is of course confusing. All other UAs (that I have seen) 
ask the user to specify a length unit (e.g., 12pt, or 16px, or some 
other) for the value of "medium". This is much better. If I were your 
construction agent, and I asked you how deep I should dig the middle 
shelf of your swimming pool, between the kiddy pool and the deep end, 
and you answered "deep", "deeper", or "deepest" instead of giving me a 
number and unit, I would suspect that WinIE had gotten to you.

> I
> can't find any evidence of the above in comparing 4.01 transitional to
> 4.01 strict in IE6. Is IE for Mac different? Depending on which DPI is
> set in windoze, medium in IE6 is always a fixed pixel value, 
> independent
> of doctype, or screen resolution for that matter. This value is one of
> the following (for non-custom DPI settings): 72DPI=13; 96DPI=16;
> 120DPI=20; 144DPI=24; & 192DPI=32.

Stated more simply, the "medium" value in WinIE's font size menu is a 
nominal 12pt, the pixel value of which varies with logical resolution. 
They copied Netscape's default of 12pt, canonizing it as "medium", when 
in fact there's no real normative value in 12pt.

todd fahrner
Received on Sunday, 23 February 2003 13:27:12 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 2 May 2016 14:27:06 UTC