font-family: IPA

I think there is a case to be made for adding another keyword to
serif and the others currently allowed.  The proposed keyword
is "IPA". Unicode considers the International Phonetic Alphabet
to be a subset of the Latin script.  Unfortunately, there are
occurrences where different glyphic variants of the same letter
are considered semantically different, but have one variant
represented in the IPA by one of the ordinary letters 'a' to 'z'.
('a' is the most notable example, but this also affects to a lesser
extent several other letters.) Unicode thrashed out the issue of
whether to separate the IPA from Latin fifteen years ago and
decided to not do that.  The UTC has no interest in revisiting
the issue and takes the POV that it is a font issue.  The problem
is, in CSS there is no good way to differentiate whether a font
uses glyphs for the lowercase Latin letters that are suitable for
use by the IPA  One could try to use a list of fonts known to
be acceptable, but it would seem to me that this exactly the
sort of situation that the generic font families exist to solve.

One complication exists in that monospaced, sans serif and
serif fonts exist that do meet the IPA requirements.  This leads
to three possible ways to implement this.

1) A single keyword, IPA, with no way to differentiate between
the serif, sans-serif, and monospaced versions.

.sound {font-family: IPA}

2) A single keyword IPA that could be used in conjunction
with another generic font-family keyword.

.sound {font-family: IPA}
pre.sound {font-family: IPA monospace, IPA}

3) Separate keywords IPA, IPA-serif, IPA-monospace,
IPA-sans-serif to represent the various possibilities.

.sound {font-family: IPA}
pre.sound {font-family:IPA-monospace, IPA}

Received on Sunday, 9 May 2004 14:17:54 UTC