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Re: [csswg-drafts] [css-fonts] Proposal to extend CSS font-optical-sizing (#4430)

From: David Berlow via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 2020 09:54:12 +0000
To: public-css-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-638091277-1591178051-sysbot+gh@w3.org>

There are two things I think have been pointed out since the beginning about optical sizes that I think are relevant to spend time on. First type designers since the beginning of punch cutting have understood that you can’t control the distance of the user. We are not designing type to be printed on peoples eyeballs, and then we make it smaller. We never have. Claiming distance is now a value to be considered for reading on computer screens is a hoax invented for another purpose.

Second, revaluing an existing system of typographic points,  and that’s what’s being discussed, seems to think typographic points are going away, at best, getting confused at least.  I’m not sure everyone thinks that’s a good idea, But perhaps that’s how this is the Next attempt to get type sizes right in css, inventIng imaginary values. But, even if one bolted the head of every user to the next invented value, the intended distance is factored by what?, all software has is the supposed scale factor, not the size it’s starting with in a useful value system, like an actual size.

On Jun 2, 2020, at 3:22 PM, John Hudson <notifications@github.com> wrote:


I'd be quite happy with a unit based on 1/3 of a physical point at a viewing distance approximately 16 inches. It is easily translatable to the mental scale of type with which designers are already familiar, while introducing useful concepts of distance and optics.

Most of this discussion has been around how to address what browsers are already doing with the existing scale, which is tied up with existing platform legacies around treatment of points and pixels. Moving to a different, scale unit for opsz is attractive, but means all those browsers and platforms would need to rethink and recode how they make use of the axis. Personally, I think they probably should, but is there any willingness?

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