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Re: [css3-fonts] Variants (Ligatures, Capitalization, Digits)

From: Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper@crissov.de>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 11:27:32 +0100
Message-Id: <E11B1D20-E7A7-413A-9D8C-A31585C9C1B8@crissov.de>
To: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Thomas Phinney:
> On Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 9:02 AM, Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper@crissov.de
>> * Section 6.7 Numerical formatting
>> And I still believe the value names are not well chosen, and neither are they in Open Type:
>> “lining”       (+lnum, -onum)
>> “casing”       (+onum, -lnum)
>> “proportional” (+pnum, -tnum)
>> “monospaced”   (+tnum, -pnum)
>> “oldstyle”     (+onum, +pnum)
>> “tabular”      (+tnum, +lnum)
>>  …
> Where are you getting that mapping of feature combinations to labels?

Nowhere but my own preference. I like clear antonyms better than some arbitrary, traditional names that are not even used consistently in the wild.

> I'm sure I'm missing something here.


> The definition of "oldstyle" seems odd in requiring proportional….

Is it? Judging by the OT feature names, it is, but if you forget that for a moment, does “old style” actually give any hint about digit width, height, both or neither? No, it’s completely arbitrary, whereas “tabular” at least describes the most common use case, while “lining” and “proportional” are derived from inherent properties. I’d like all keywords to be of the latter type, because it lessens the burden to learn some jargon. I am not against using the other terms as aliases for (combinations of) basic features, hence their inclusion above; preferably there were also names for (+onum, +tnum) and (+lnum, +pnum).

Ideally, but perhaps not realistically, there were common terms for the ‘font-variant’ shorthand property that set the sub-properties to sound values, without exposing the details there directly. That means, e.g.

  font-variant: titling;

would result in something like

  font-variant-caps: titling-caps;
  font-variant-numeric: lining-nums proportional-nums;/*=titling-nums*/
  font-variant-ligatures: common-ligs no-historical-ligs;/*=titling-ligs*/
  font-variant-alternates: normal;
  font-variant-east-asian: full-width;


  font-variant: historic;

would set

  font-variant-ligatures:  historical-ligs;
  font-variant-caps:       normal;
  font-variant-numeric:    oldstyle-nums;/*=casing-nums proportional-nums*/
  font-variant-alternates: historical-forms;
  font-variant-east-asian: traditional full-width;

Received on Thursday, 10 March 2011 10:28:09 UTC

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