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Re: [CSS21] last edition: pity

From: Thomas Phinney <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>
Date: Mon, 18 May 2009 08:47:50 -0700
Message-ID: <f49ae6ac0905180847v5b189106u5b6a4dd1b70cdcfb@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
On Sun, May 10, 2009 at 7:04 PM, John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Hi Thomas,
>> Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't all this font weight stuff kind
>> of meaningless given that the notion of "family" is
>> undefined/platform-specific, and the same set of fonts can and will be
>> one family on Mac and several families on Windows GDI?
>> That is, on Mac (and in Windows Presentation Foundation), you can have
>> a very large number of different weights in one family. As a practical
>> matter, in GDI you can have only two, a "regular" and a "bold." (Yes,
>> technically you could have more, but since about half of all GDI apps
>> would deal badly with the multi-weight family, including Microsoft
>> Office, nobody makes such fonts.)
> You've actually brought this up before back in March and I responded
> with details then:
>  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2009Mar/0041.html
> We also discussed the topic of style linking at the March F2F, the
> discussion is in the section "Grouping fonts into font families":
>  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2009Mar/0070.html
> The simple answer to your question is that the CSS font model is
> font-format agnostic, it is not specific to OpenType/TrueType fonts,

Great. But that just means that this issue needs to be dealt with for
all relevant formats (which probably means OpenType/TrueType plus Type
1 a.k.a. "PostScript").

> it simply defines a set of commonly used font property axes (i.e. weight,
> slant, width, etc.) and a process for selecting a face based on these
> properties. Obviously OpenType/TrueType fonts represent the vast
> majority of fonts that are used in user agents today so it's crucial
> that user agents handle style linking of platform fonts consistently.

I wasn't talking about style linking, but just figuring out which
fonts are part of the same family, and what the name of that family.
The family is the house, the style linking is the paint job. The paint
job is not irrelevant, but can't exist without the house.

> >From the March post:
>  So the question boils down to "how do we get richer font family
>  groupings on Windows?".  I think the answer to that is that user agents
>  on Windows need to move towards grouping font faces by "Preferred
>  Family" if it exists, which means pulling data out of font tables.

>  Current versions of Windows don't ship with extended font families

Yes they do. Arial has three weights (regular, bold, black) and two
widths (narrow, regular).

> so  this really only affects folks who have installed fonts or use Adobe
>  apps that install extended font families.

Certainly these are the biggest additional cases today. But if we are
assuming that @font-face becomes ubiquitous, it will affect everyone.

> Even when only two faces are available, the spec still needs to define
> how bolder/lighter work when nested, as other have pointed out.


> P.S. For more details on font family records across platforms, see...

See also any of my presentations on the subject, such as:


Received on Monday, 18 May 2009 15:48:29 UTC

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