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Re: Why doesn't 'font-weight: 100' work yet?

From: Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper@crissov.de>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 00:16:18 +0200
Message-Id: <FDB57B73-5A5D-4B0D-B814-0D50645C7EF5@crissov.de>
To: www-style CSS <www-style@w3.org>

Paul Nelson:
> The 100 - 900 come from the TrueType font specification.

Yeah, I thought so, but what happened to "Don't mention the mechanics!"?
Unlike |font-weight|, |font-stretch| already features keywords,  
although it lacks the same detail of mapping instructions should a  
face not be available.

> That is standard typographic convention for many years.

CSS works on a much higher level than True Type and it covers a much  
broader user base than DTP, i.e. many people who are better served by  
systematic or intuitive use of numbers, or with mnemonic keywords,  
which they are more likely to have encountered before. (I have also  
seen different numbering schemes, e.g. with Univers.)

That doesn't mean CSS should not reuse preexisting terminology, but  
sometimes established practice is not the best approach by far and,  
especially when such conventions are inconsistent with its concepts,  
CSS is a perfect place for a fresh start. That chance is missed  
frequently though (e.g. with colour names), because many CSS spec  
editors and reviewers alike acquired the specialist skills, too, and  
thereby lost the innocent, naive, but sometimes helpful perspective.

OTOH, I actually would like to be able to access, through CSS,  
(certain) "smart font techniques" provided by technologies like OT  
and AAT. I would not like to have to use OT's four-letter  
abbreviations, though. There has to be a more abstract layer,  
probably new properties an values, or a generic |font-feature|.

> The value can be any value between 0 and 1000 now. However, other  
> than Adobe, not too many font foundries make fonts with weights  
> between the 100s values.

Doesn't this both help to prove my point? A truly numeric value type  
(like 0-1 or 0%-100%) would have (had) more flexible, more universal,  
potentially easier mapping rules.
Received on Thursday, 23 August 2007 22:16:15 GMT

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