W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > October 2011

Re: List cases for a cap height unit

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 13:13:32 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDBbZyNJ5Qvb_eOeqQ=t3ERm-KbzGtRJbQ8oF51esNZcww@mail.gmail.com>
To: Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com>
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com> wrote:
> I agree that cap height is really what's wanted for all three of your use
> cases. If "cap height" is too technical a term for the use cases, could we
> use "height of a capital letter?"

That's fine for use-case #1 (in fact, that's *precisely* what you
want).  For use-case #2 and #3, you really want something related to
the vertical rhythm of the script, but the height of a capital letter
is a good proxy for that.


>> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 11:10 AM, Stephen Zilles <szilles@adobe.com> wrote:
>>> In a Middle Eastern context (i.e. unicameral "alphabets" - Arabic, Armenian,
>>> Coptic/Ethiopic, and Hebrew) I would suggest using the figure height -
>>> although there's a risk that figures in many fonts for these systems will
>>> not be well fitted to the design.
>>
>> Can you point to a diagram or something similar showing the
>> differences between figure and cap height for such scripts?  I don't
>> have a good graph on why one is better than the other for these types
>> of scripts.
>
> If it's true that figure height would be better in some scripts for these
> use cases, then that's an argument for exposing a figure height unit in
> addition to cap height. The way I'm looking at a cap height unit is that
> it's just the next step in exposing more typographic units. We've got em, ex
> and ch and are now thinking of adding cap height. Later on we may find use
> cases for other information we can glean from font data.

No argument from me here.  I just don't understand why figure height
would solve the use-cases better than cap height for those types of
scripts, as stated in the feedback that Steve passed on.

~TJ
Received on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 20:14:27 GMT

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