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Re: Dots vs. dashes

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 09:12:58 +0000
Message-ID: <479D9C9A.6000600@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: "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.

To a large extent, typography is about an idealized imitation of hand 
produced material.  A hand produced dotted line is unlikely to be 
composed of very small, closed, circular movements of the pen, as used 
to create neat full stops.  That's even more true of the dots in an 
alternating dot-dash line.  I'd suggest that, where one gets round dots 
and square dashes, it an imitation the limitations of using a 
typewriter.  To the extent that that is common, one probably wants a 
property to select between the choices.

Historically, the original intent would have been to do whatever the 
GUI's graphic library did.

PostScript (second edition) does not use different pens for dots and 
dashes in lines, and the example shows square edges, although I think 
that is subject to other parameters.
David Woolley
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Received on Monday, 28 January 2008 09:13:05 UTC

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