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Re: [csswg-drafts] [css-fonts] Specifying changes to parameters for fallback fonts (#126)

From: jfkthame via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2021 14:36:28 +0000
To: public-css-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-764686347-1611239786-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
> > Personally, I'm not keen on the more complex forms being suggested for properties like font-weight, letter-spacing, etc., with lists of specific per-family values to be applied. It feels to me like it would become quite cumbersome and hard to maintain.
> 
> I agree with that.
> 
> Jonathan, I think @xiaochengh, @chrishtr and I were talking about a similar approach to what you were drafting when talking about the ascent-overrides, etc. - One thing we talked about were potential issues with how specific the from-to mapping is if only using a font family name:
> 
> In your example, would `base-family: Times;` refer to a web font, a system font, or both?

I was thinking it would refer to whatever `font-family: Times` resolves to -- which I was assuming would be a system font, but there's no reason (afaics) this couldn't work with webfonts as well.

> 
> In some cases, common system font families like Times are sometimes not available on a system and then mapped to other fonts, like Tinos, or for Arial, mapped to Deja Vu Sans on Linux for example. So it's a bit tricky to uniquely identify the intended base. One idea I had was to use something like `base: local(<PostScript or full font name>)` in that case, but that would not work for web fonts. Alternatively, some kind of link-id could be used. (Also, only very raw ideas so far).

PostScript or full font name doesn't work here, because that identifies a specific face; in this case, I want to refer to a family.

I think if someone has a font configuration where common font family names are resolved to different fonts (that aren't a good design/metrics match), that's on the user, and they should be used to seeing things that look rather different than designers intended. E.g. if `font-family: Arial` is being substituted with DejaVu Sans, content is going to be rendering larger than authors expected all over the place.

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