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Re: Proposed Change to CSS3 Module: Fonts, <absolute-size> Subsection

From: Felix Miata <mrmazda@ij.net>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 23:56:30 -0400
Message-ID: <482BB46E.90204@ij.net>
To: www-style@w3.org

On 2005/11/10 00:34 (GMT-0400) Felix Miata apparently typed:

> Just today in private email, Eric Meyer wrote this reiteration of words
> I've seen many times in various web design forums:

> "Use [<absolute-size>], and end up with unpredictable results in terms
> of the final rendering".

> The same places I've seen the complaint of <absolute-size>
> unpredictability I've at least as often seen the complaint that the
> delta between the smaller sizes is too large, making too much of a jump
> between sizes, particularly the smaller ones.
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=111879 is one alternate
> proposal for Gecko to deal with this issue that provides additional
> complaint detail.

> Earlier in the same email from Meyer, he reiterated something else I've
> seen him write elsewhere:

> "Font sizing on the web is one of the few guaranteed no-win situations
> in web design."

> In the interest of reducing these font styling complaints and improving
> the likelihood of a "win" situation, I've drafted a rewrite of portions
> of the <absolute-size> section of "CSS3 module: fonts", taken from the
> working draft at http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-fonts/#font-size-props and
> currently incarnated in expanded discussion form at
> http://members.ij.net/mrmazda/css/W3C/css3-34discuss.html with proposed
> actual language link therein to
> http://members.ij.net/mrmazda/css/W3C/css3-34new.html .

> It seems that the current section in 2.1 and its predecessors was
> derived largely from Todd Fahrner's "Toward a standard font size
> interval system" at
> http://style.cleverchimp.com/font_size_intervals/altintervals.html . To
> this day that page remains labeled as incomplete. I strained to find the
> logic in the small size interval recommendations there, and the only one
> I could come up with was a ratification of the old <font> size intervals
> originally used by Netscape 4's predecessors. It claims to propose
> harmonization, but I could find nothing harmonizing about a
> recommendation to progressively shrink the steps from the smallest sizes
> until reaching medium, and then progressively increase them as sizes
> increased further.

> My proposed changes essentially are three:

> 1-progressively, as much as possible within the limits of font size
> availability to browser rendering engines, increase the delta between
> sizes all the way from smallest to largest;
> 2-compress the deltas at the smaller sizes;
> 3-at the smaller default sizes replace wide deltas between small &
> medium and smaller deltas between x-small and small and 1px or 0 deltas
> between xx-small and x-small with more even deltas between each of those
> sizes.

> I created a Mozilla bug
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=187256 that would implement
> this proposal in Gecko. Prior to submitting patches to that bug I
> compiled Mozilla myself using them and tested the impact. The bug has
> several screenshots of the test results, plus discussion from various
> interested parties.

> I'm not a programmer. I was able to make the patch because making the
> proposed changes involves changing only data tables within the source
> code that implement in Gecko the 2.1 version of this spec section.

> During my last look yesterday at the current behaviors of the major
> browsers, I observed that Opera 8.5 and Konqueror 3.4.0 already deviate
> from the 2.1 spec in a manner somewhat similar to the changes I've
> proposed. My css3-34discuss.html page includes links to live pages that
> show each of the <absolute-size> sizes specified both as px, pt, and
> keywords for each of the major browser engines for the indicated default
> sizes. Evaluation of those links provide most of the basis for the
> detailed browser data in that page.

> Noteworthy is that IE6 fails to floor any size at the screen media
> intelligibility minimum of 9px, and can render xx-small as small as 6px,
> and x-small as small as 8px.

> A very brief capsule summary of the proposal is Note 3 on
> http://members.ij.net/mrmazda/css/W3C/css3-34new.html .

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=321024 shows a possible
implementation side-by-side with current behavior for comparison.
". . . . in everything, do to others what you would
have them do to you . . . ."       Matthew 7:12 NIV

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/
Received on Thursday, 15 May 2008 03:57:05 UTC

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