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Re: font-family: IPA

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 23:10:29 +0200
Message-ID: <437210163.20040510231029@w3.org>
To: "Ernest Cline" <ernestcline@mindspring.com>
Cc: "W3C CSS List" <www-style@w3.org>

On Monday, May 10, 2004, 10:54:37 PM, Ernest wrote:

EC> In addition to, yes, but LATIN SMALL LETTER A to LATIN SMALL
EC> LETTER Z are also part of the IPA and there are glyphs that while
EC> appropriate for general Latin text are not appropriate for use with
EC> the IPA.  LATIN SMALL LETTER A in the IPA represents the
EC> open "front" unrounded vowel, but the glyphs that some fonts use
EC> for LATIN SMALL LETTER A is the one used for the open "back"
EC> unrounded vowel that IPA encodes as LATIN SMALL LETTER ALPHA.
EC> Outside of IPA usage, the distinction doesn't matter, but it does matter
EC> for the IPA and this simply is something that won't be changed because
EC> the view of the IPA (the organization not the alphabet) and the UTC
EC> is that making that distinction clear is to be handled by the appropriate
EC> choice of font.

So it boils down to trying to indicate in the markup that the script,
or the language, is IPA and then, styling allIPA a particular way.

EC> As far as Greek and Bengali are concerned.  I am not aware of any
EC> restrictions they place on what constitutes acceptable Latin glyphs,
EC> so no I would not propose them.

No idea why you added 'Latin' to that sentence; neither language uses
Latin. I can see an exact parallel,for example someone might want
Classical (polytonic) Greek where all the glyphs are drawn from the
same font, just as you want all the IPA to be from the same font.

>> The quotes are not required in any case unless the font family name
>> includes spaces, so the two are exactly equivalent.

EC> So {font-family:serif} and {font-family:"serif"} mean the same thing?

No - I forgot that you were proposing it as a keyword and not a s a
special, magic font family.

EC> Still, the basic points remain.
EC> 1) There should be a simple way to specify you want the display
EC> of Latin characters to be compatible with the IPA.

Okay (but for non IPA cases, the problem is not restricted to Latin;
its a wider problem).

EC> 2) @font-face just isn't up for the job except on paper.

Given the requirement to use a specific set of glyphs for all
characters, CSS isn't up to the job in fact.

EC> 3) Giving a list of fonts for this situation is not appropriate or
EC>   guaranteed to work.
EC> 4) Adding a keyword to 'font-family' has its own problems.

EC> The only other solution I can think of would be to add a property:
EC> 'font-script' that would use the ISO 15924 script codes as values
EC> and lobby to add Latp (IPA) to the list of script codes.

That is an interesting idea, in fact.

EC> This would as a side benefit allow distinctions between the variants
EC> of Syriac, between Old Church Slavonic and Cyrillic, between
EC> normal Latin, Gaelic, and Fraktur, and between traditional and
EC> simplified Chinese versions of the hanzi characters to be made.

Yes,  all good points.

 Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
 Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 Member, W3C Technical Architecture Group
Received on Monday, 10 May 2004 17:10:29 UTC

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