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Re: 'en' unit (Was: '%%' unit (plus 'en' unit))

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sun, 9 May 2004 09:01:49 +0000 (UTC)
To: "Sean M. Hall AKA Dante" <pianoman@reno.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.58.0405090854520.9965@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Sun, 9 May 2004, Sean M. Hall AKA Dante wrote:
> Hey, you know what? Instead of using this '%%' unit we could always go
> back to using tables for layout...

Note that there's nothing wrong with using CSS-based tables for layout
purposes so long as the markup doesn't use tables.

> I propose an 'en' unit. 1en = the width of an 'n' character in that
> element's font type. If CSS has an em unit it should logically also have
> an en unit.

Some fonts don't have "n"s. We did consider a "ch" unit (indeed Mozilla
supports it) to mean "average character advance width" but there were
difficulties in defining the property in the context of proportional
fonts. It also causes issues when mixing different ideographic text (which
is generally fixed width) with latin text (which is not), since the
average advance width of the two script types is quite different, leading
to the average being pretty useless.

Lowercase "x" characters are usually reasonably square, anyway, so you
could just use "ex" units... *runs and hides*

Ian Hickson                                      )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
U+1047E                                         /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
http://index.hixie.ch/                         `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Sunday, 9 May 2004 05:02:10 UTC

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