W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2008

Re: Dots vs. dashes

From: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2008 20:23:42 -0800
Message-ID: <479D58CE.2090908@inkedblade.net>
To: Brad Kemper <brkemper@comcast.net>
CC: "www-style@w3.org Style" <www-style@w3.org>

Brad Kemper wrote:
> The border-style definition [1] gives only the most cursory definition 
> of dotted and dashed border-styles, as being a series of dots or dashes. 
> It doesn't say anything about the shape of the dot, but shows an 
> illustration of the dot being round. It seems reasonable that dots 
> should be round and that dashes rectangular, as the illustration shows.
> Oxfords defines a dot as "a small round mark or spot". So, it would seem
> that "round" is a key aspect of what makes something a dot. Yet in my
> tests, both Safari and Opera had square dots. Can clarification be added
> to the spec, to the effect of "dots should be round, when the width of
> the border is large enough to distinguish round from square (more than
> 3px thick, for instance)"?

Ok, I've clarified the editor's draft by adding "round" in front of "dots"
and "square-ended" in front of "dashes".

-  A series of dots.
+  A series of round dots.

-  A series of dashes.
+  A series of square-ended dashes.


If there aren't any complaints or better suggestions, that'll probably
find its way into the next official WD.

> Also, the spec says that "Implementations are encouraged to choose a 
> spacing that makes the corners symmetrical." To my mind, this means that 
> in terms of how the dots meet up in the corners, the left corners should 
> be mirror images of the right corners, and the top corners should be 
> mirror images of the bottom corners. But while this is true in Safari, 
> it is not true in Opera or FireFox. Opera slices off the line in a 
> diagonal, wherever it happens to be in the dot-space sequence, and 
> FireFox follows some other rule that results in some rather interesting 
> shapes.
> It seems to me that in order to follow the recommendation, that the 
> horizontal borders with dots or dashes should be centered horizontally, 
> and vertical borders with dots or dashes should be centered vertically, 
> as Safari does it. Alternately (and preferably), the browser could 
> adjust the size of the spacing of the dots to insure symmetry (IE7 seems 
> to do this, and it works well).

Yes, that's probably the best way to do this. I think if you talk with
Opera or Firefox devs you'll find they consider this a bug. It just hasn't
been important enough to fix yet. :)

Received on Monday, 28 January 2008 04:23:57 UTC

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