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Re: Dots vs. dashes

From: Brad Kemper <brkemper@comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 07:56:48 -0800
Message-Id: <F97D440C-9AD1-457D-8436-081C617E8320@comcast.net>
Cc: "www-style@w3.org Style" <www-style@w3.org>
To: "Ambrose Li" <ambrose.li@gmail.com>

On Jan 27, 2008, at 9:53 PM, Ambrose Li wrote:

>> Brad Kemper wrote:
>>> 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".
>
> FWIW, though, I would say that there is typographical (as well as
> mathematical, though that would be OT) precedent for non-round
> dots, and iirc the draft for emphasis marks in CSS also specifies
> non-round dots. So the Oxford Dictionary is, unfortunately, wrong
> on this one.

Sure, some fonts have square periods, or dots over the i's and  
whatnot, as a stylistic choice of the font designer. But I wasn't  
really talking about typography. I was talking about borders, and  
what designers would expect when they specified a dotted border,  
especially on thicker borders where the dot shape is noticeable.

Ideally, the designer could specify the shape and width of the dot  
and the length of the gap in between (with an @-rule, perhaps). But  
suggesting such a thing would no doubt cause certain people to say I  
should use PDF instead of CSS, and anyway that goes beyond this  
simple request: for the default to have round dots and to have clean  
corners that continue the dotted style.

> (Depending on which Oxford is being talked about, this may or
> may not be surprising.)

I was referring to the Oxford English Dictionary that is bundled with  
Mac OS X, along with Safari and its square dots.  ;)
Received on Monday, 28 January 2008 15:58:21 GMT

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