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Re: about the use of pixels as a unit for typography

From: Shelby Moore <shelby@coolpage.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 12:39:13 -0400
Message-ID: <74240deb007b4d0c461471b91b49edec.squirrel@sm.webmail.pair.com>
To: "Felix Miata" <mrmazda@earthlink.net>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
> On 2010/10/12 11:18 (GMT-0400) Shelby Moore composed:
>> Disagree because em is not suitable as a general metric for sizing,
>> because it is relative to current font, not to the current
>> psychophysically consistent unit (as I proposed in prior email reply to
>> Peter).
> You, as most web stylists,

I am primarily a programmer since at least 1983, not a graphic artist or
designer (although I have demonstrated some meager skills in that area).

> seem to forget that CSS is a language of
> suggestion, not demand.

I don't think I suggested otherwise.

> The user is supposed to retain ultimate control,


> while the evolution of CSS and web design seem to want to relegate that
> ultimate control to mere lip service.

Nope. You are conflating again I think.

I think you missed my point.

I wrote that em is relative to font size.  That is a fact.

I said we need a psychophysic unit.  By definition of 'psychophysic', that
means the user can ultimately tell the computer what the psychophysic size
is. Heck, the user agent (browser) could even offer to base the
psychophysic unit on the default font setting.

But we should not force two things to be conflated, which have two
different semantics.  Both units are user settings if so be.

> A corollary to above is that a major advantage web has over print is the
> users' putative ability to control size, and thus enjoy legibility and
> comfort in reading that might otherwise be impossible.

Agreed.  My proposal was to further improve that consistency and control
for the user.

> Pt instead of em might do just as well for users, but only if users were
> offered an easy and readily apparent method to determine how big is the pt
> on
> their systems.

It must be, if pt is defined to be psychophysic unit, psychophysically
equivalent in perceived size to 1 pt on book media.

> This may or may not come to pass, but in the meantime em
> does
> work for users, being easy enough to adjust in most cases.

If we don't specify and support a new psychophysic unit, it will never

> Set the browsers you design with to the psychophysic size that suits you,
> and
> then your em-sized styling should work satisfactorily for the vast
> majority
> of users who have their browsers correctly configured for their
> environments.

Unfortunately 99+% of users don't set a darn thing.

I have to program with 80/20 market sense in mind.  I need solutions that
help the 80% (while not harming the 20%).

> The bonus is you show them respect, and give them one less reason to hit
> the
> back button.

Who was proposing to not show respect?

>> Let's not conflate em with the psychophysically consistent unit. Please
>> see my prior reply to Peter.
> I looked there first.
> FWIW, full-quoted top posting is disrespectful. If you're not replying
> point
> by point, what's the point of quoting but to multiply the size of the
> archive?
> --
> "The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
> words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)
>  Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409
> Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/
Received on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 16:39:40 UTC

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