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Re: [CSS21] Text-decoration "inheritance"

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2003 20:54:08 +0300 (EEST)
To: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0310012037070.20874@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Wed, 1 Oct 2003, Boris Zbarsky wrote:

> <span style="text-decoration: underline">2<sup>2</sup> = 4</span>
>
> What should be underlined, and how?  Notice the difference between the CSS21
> proposal and just inheriting the text-decoration in this case.

Neither the behavior specified nor the common browser behavior (which
effectively corresponds to inheritance) is generally suitable. While
a continuous underline would be OK in this case, what about
 <span style="text-decoration: underline">a<sub>0</sub></span>
which would have the subscript crossed by the underline? Assuming that the
underline position is roughly the same as used by present-day browsers, of
course.

The text-decoration property as a whole is questionable. It should
probably be preserved for compatibility reasons, but its name is heavily
misleading, and most of its values are misleading. The most common value,
underline, could and probably should be replaced by a bottom border.
So the property should be deprecated, not complicated with new
"enhancements".

For practical authoring, I have recommended the use of bottom border,
rather than text-decoration: underline, for texts that may contain
superscripts, subscripts, or other parts that have a baseline different
from that of the rest. In fact, it could be better for normal text too, by
separating the text better from the horizontal line under it.

And I think the specifications don't need any extra functionality, or any
changes (from CSS 2.0), for the text-decoration property, except
deprecation.

Line-though is questionable in most presentation environments, but if it
is regarded as useful, something essentially new (like a new property) should
be defined. Browsers have already spoiled text-decoration: line-through by
implementing it so that the text becomes very hard to read. And authors
who use it probably want that, or are at least prepared to that. So any
reasonable line-through feature should be named differently. (It should
probably be a _light_ and adequately positioned line, so either its
presentation should be defined to achieve that, or authors should have
tools for setting the line type, color, width, and vertical position.)

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Wednesday, 1 October 2003 13:54:11 GMT

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