W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 2009

Re: font features in CSS

From: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 17:28:29 +1300
Message-ID: <11e306600911012028q35973880q2a9e27e569804313@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jonathan Kew <jonathan@jfkew.plus.com>
Cc: Stephen Zilles <szilles@adobe.com>, HÃ¥kon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>, "www-font@w3.org" <www-font@w3.org>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM, Jonathan Kew <jonathan@jfkew.plus.com>wrote:

> It would also be wrong for us to try and divide features into two classes,
> and insist that some can be specified only within the @font-face rule and
> others within the content. It's true that if an author specifies certain
> features in a context where the font is not known with any certainty --
> e.g., system font fallback is happening -- then the results may be somewhat
> arbitrary; but this is no worse than the unpredictability of using system
> font fallback in the first place, when the exact glyphs that will appear are
> not known, and depend on the fonts that happen to be on the user's system.

Interpreting the alternates intended for one face in the context of a
fallback face seems worse than normal fallback, to me. Normal fallback ---
especially the language-based fallback with explicit per-language preferred
fonts --- works because we've got a high chance of finding you a reasonably
generic-looking glyph for your character. But with alternates and fallback,
I think we've got a high chance of ending up with an alternate glyph that is
stylized in a completely different way to what the author intended. So I
suggest that on average, we'd be better off ignoring the alternates, if we
have the "wrong" face.

So another option would be to allow face-dependent options to be specified
in content, but to ignore them wherever fallback occurs, i.e. whenever the
font used for the text is not obtained from the first family in

"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are
healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his
own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." [Isaiah
Received on Monday, 2 November 2009 04:29:10 UTC

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