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Re: text-decoration-skip-ink auto should continue past behavior - 30+ years of underline behavior changed by latest CSS draft

From: Gérard Talbot <www-style@gtalbot.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:07:43 -0500
To: "Myles C. Maxfield" <mmaxfield@apple.com>
Cc: OwN-3m-All <own3mall@gmail.com>, www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <d01ab8e3f6e93801a862a06cd31baa1f@gtalbot.org>
Le 2018-02-21 12:27, Myles C. Maxfield a écrit :
>> On Feb 21, 2018, at 9:22 AM, Myles C. Maxfield <mmaxfield@apple.com> 
>> wrote:
>>> On Feb 21, 2018, at 7:33 AM, OwN-3m-All <own3mall@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I initially thought this was a problem with Chrome (since they seem 
>>> to
>>> be one of the early adopters - bug report here:
>>> https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=813256#c2), but
>>> now that I've seen the actual spec, I'm shocked that the auto value
>>> for the text-decoration-skip-ink property is to change the way
>>> underlined text has worked since the beginning of computers!
>> Yep. This change is intentional.
>>> https://drafts.csswg.org/css-text-decor-4/#text-decoration-skip-ink-property
>>> Underlined text should always have the line over all characters.
>> Nope. This is how computers have historically rendered text.

Glyphs with descender parts (eg. pqjgy) must overlap an underline 
decoration according to CSS 2.x:

CSS Test: 'underline' decoration painting order and descender
(you need to download
and install Ahem font
AHEM____.TTF  2017-01-31 20:55   22K
to view that test)

> However, historically, most high-typographic-quality examples which 
> include underlines make the underlines skip over the descenders.
> Or, stated differently, underlines cross descenders in existing
> software because it was convenient for software authors writing code.
> However, we’ve done research in underlines through the ages (way
> before computers were invented) and the best typographical samples
> always use skipping underlines. This is a situation where changing
> behavior on the Web doesn’t break content

If textual links have descenders (or a blank space), then it may look 
like there is 2 links and not 1 link. On 1 hand, it will be easier to 
read  (typographically speaking) the textual link but it may confuse the 
user (or lead him/her to hesitate) in thinking that there are 2 textual 

> and automatically improves
> typography for everyone. (And it has an opt-out mechanism if for some
> reason you don’t like good typography.)
>> This is a progression, and improves typography on the Web.

Received on Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:08:59 UTC

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