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Re: [css2.1][css3-fonts] keywords in unquoted font family names

From: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2012 19:45:22 +0200
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <201205301945.23452.bert@w3.org>
On Monday 28 May 2012 10:05:32 Anton Prowse wrote:
> On 28/05/2012 04:57, John Daggett wrote:
> > Anton Prowse wrote:
> >>> Proposed:
> >>>     Unquoted font family names that happen to be the same as the
> >>>     keyword values 'inherit', 'default' and 'initial' or the
> >>>     generic font keywords ('serif', 'sans-serif', 'monospace',
> >>>     'fantasy', and 'cursive') do not match the '<family-name>'
> >>>     type. These names must be quoted to prevent confusion with
> >>>     the keywords with the same names. Note that 'font-family:
> >>>     Times, inherit' is therefore an invalid declaration, because
> >>>     'inherit' in that position can neither be a valid keyword
> >>>     nor a valid font family name.
> >> 
> >> I like the normative first sentence, but I think the second
> >> sentence should be bundled up with the non-normative note.  This
> >> would alleviate my concern that it's not clear from the tone
> >> whether 'must' is an authoring recommendation or a conformance
> >> requirement; does not quoting result in an invalid value or
> >> merely "confusion"? (In reality, whether or not it's invalid
> >> depends entirely on the value definition and the global
> >> grammar/syntax etc, which is captured succinctly by the normative
> >> first sentence.)

I agree that the second sentence is redundant. But I prefer leaving it 
as is, because it nicely explains both the reason for and the 
implication of that rather dense first sentence.

> >> 
> >> I also think the last sentence (the example) doesn't tie in
> >> correctly with the the first sentence, since it's not the
> >> /position/ of 'inherit' that causes it not the be a valid font
> >> family name; rather, it's the fact that it isn't quoted.

The example isn't about whether "inherit" is a family name or not, but 
about whether the example is valid syntax. A very similar example such 
as 'font-family: inherit' isn't quoted either and is valid nevertheless.

The grammar on its own says "inherit" in this position can only be a 
<family-name>, but the English text says it isn't. So all we know is 
that the example cannot be parsed. "Inherit" here is neither a family 
name nor a keyword, just a syntax error.

> > 
> > I don't really agree with you here, I think both the context of the
> > 'must' is fine and I think the example in the third sentence is
> > simply saying that 'inherit' is valid but 'foo, inherit' is not. 
> > Before 'foo, inherit' could have been interpreted as
> > matching<family-name>, which was part of the ambiguity.
> > 
> >> I suggest:
> >>     | Unquoted font family names that happen to be the same as the
> >>     | keyword values 'inherit', 'default' and 'initial' or the
> >>     | generic font keywords ('serif', 'sans-serif', 'monospace',
> >>     | 'fantasy', and 'cursive') do not match the '<family-name>'
> >>     | type.
> >>     | 
> >>     | Note: These names must be quoted to distinguish them from
> >>     | the keywords with the same names.  For example, the
> >>     | declaration 'font-family: Times, inherit' is invalid
> >>     | because 'inherit' is interpreted as the keyword, resulting
> >>     | in an invalid value.

John's last sentence is better. The word "inherit" isn't interpreted as 
a keyword, it isn't interpreted at all.

> > 
> > However, if you think splitting the proposed text into two
> > paragraphs to distinguish the normative requirement from the
> > authoring note, I'm fine with your tweak of this.
> 
> Whilst I quite strongly prefer my use of "distinguish" to the current
> use of "confusion", I'm happy to leave it to you to choose between
> the two proposals.

I prefer "confusion." The quotes do indeed distinguish two cases, but 
the cases aren't always names and keywords. Sometimes the cases are 
valid and invalid (e.g., '"initial"' vs 'initial').

> 
> In your proposal, I don't think it's necessary to split the note off
> into a separate paragraph. ("Inline" notes are fine when they're only
> one sentence long, I feel.)

In summary, I prefer John's text, but some mix of John's and Anton's 
would be fine, too.



Bert
-- 
  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/people/bos                               W3C/ERCIM
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 (0)4 92 38 76 92            06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 17:45:57 GMT

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