W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 2003

Re: ABBR support (was Re: Promotion of XHTML)

From: Philip TAYLOR [PC336/H-XP] <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 20:55:57 +0000
Message-ID: <3E21D65D.B1678AF0@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: Sander Tekelenburg <tekelenb@euronet.nl>
CC: www-html@w3.org

I think tnis is caused by the use of confusing terminology,
probably as a result of a wish for the avoidance of verbosity.

The font variant referred to in the CSS spec. as "small caps"
is what I would term a "Caps and small caps" font : that it,
it contains /two/ sizes of caps, the larger being used in the
positions associated with majuscules and the smaller being used
in the positions associated with minuscules.  By referring to
such fonts as "small caps" fonts, the CSS specs are suggesting
that the fonts contain only one (small) size of caps, which is
definitely not the case.  Note that Knuth named his "Caps and
small caps" variant of Computer Modern "CMCSCxx" -> "Computer 
Modern Caps [and] Small Caps", not CMSCxx -> "Computer Modern
Small Caps".  Given the research which he had already conducted
into typography at the time he created this font, one should
(I think) be prepared to believe that his naming was in accordance
with standard practice.

Philip Taylor, RHBNC
Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
> At 09:58 -0800 UTC, on 1/7/03, Tantek Çelik wrote:
> > On 1/7/03 8:03 AM, "Sander Tekelenburg" <tekelenb@euronet.nl> wrote:
> [...]
> > What there _is_ in CSS2 is this (sorry I should have given the URL earlier):
> >
> >  http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/sample.html
> >
> > <blockquote>
> >
> >  ABBR, ACRONYM   { font-variant: small-caps; letter-spacing: 0.1em }
> >
> > </blockquote>
> >
> > For capitals to be transformed to small-caps, there would also need to be a
> > declaration of "text-transform:lowercase"
> Initially I didn't see the logic behind this at all. It seemed to me that
> {font-variant: small-caps} automatically implies a text-transform. But
> reading your reponse, and upon rereading the CSS 2 spec's "In a small-caps
> font, the glyphs for lowercase letters look similar to the uppercase ones
> [...]", and allowing my thoughts a couple of days to rearrange thelselves, I
> think I now understand why IE does what it does. Thanks for giving me
> something to think about ;)
> > , which is not present in the above
> > style rule.  You might say that lack of that declaration is a bug in CSS2.
> Hm... Yes, maybe this should be considered a bug. I'm not sure. I think that,
> more importantly, it might be good to add a note to
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/fonts.html#propdef-font-variant>, saying
> something like
>         "Note that font-variant does <EM>not</EM> automatically imply a
>         text-transform. For instance, {font-variant: small caps} only applies to
>         lowercase text. To have it apply to capitals, {text-transform: lowercase}
>         must be added."
> I think that many people would be as confused as I was when asking for
> small-caps doesn't 'work' on capitals.
> > If you believe that to be the case, could you say so in a post to www-style?
> I'll consider posting a suggestion to add the above mentioned note to the CSS
> specs.
> [...]
> >> I ask myself why the authors of the spec would have
> >> bothered to add an ABBR element at all then?
> >
> > Because semantics and presentation are not the same thing. [...]
> Right. Plain silly of me to have overlooked that.
> --
> Sander Tekelenburg, <http://www.euronet.nl/~tekelenb/>
Received on Sunday, 12 January 2003 15:56:07 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Thursday, 30 April 2020 16:20:48 UTC