W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2011

Re: [css3-font] Extension of font-stretch property

From: MasaFuji <masa@fuji.email.ne.jp>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 10:25:57 +0900
Message-ID: <0FBE35A5C5764E3889F22E7DC5356F5C@DHKRXC1X>
To: "Thomas Phinney" <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>, "Brad Kemper" <brad.kemper@gmail.com>
Cc: "www-style list" <www-style@w3.org>
I am all of the same mind with you basically. It will be bad behavior to 
expand or condense a font-face without thinking anything.

I expect UA will choose a most appropriate font if there are any available.
Also, in a case of expanding or condensing a font mechanically, the 
transformation should be confined in 20 or 30 percent ideally, I think.

Masahiro Fujishima

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Thomas Phinney
  To: Brad Kemper
  Cc: MasaFuji ; www-style list
  Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 5:33 AM
  Subject: Re: [css3-font] Extension of font-stretch property

  We can disagree about what's desirable (although there would certainly be 
a majority of typographers sharing my view). But I never argued that you 
shouldn't have the option of getting the behavior you want. I'm saying that 
at the very least, what I am calling the typographically "correct" behavior 
should be *also available*, else the whole feature is made dangerous for 
those who share my POV.

  A separate question is which behavior ought to be the default.



  On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 12:15 PM, Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com> 

    "Them" meaning condensed fonts, whether synthesized or separate faces.

    I don't want my design turned into junk either. But that is what would 
happen if I am using condensing to achieve a certain typographic color or 
distinction from another non-condensed block of text, and the UA decides not 
to even try to give it to me, just because the user doesn't have the exact 
right font.

    I have come to expect users to not have the right font. I am more 
concerned about the macro differences in the page than about the micro 
differences of the font that most won't notice.

    Brad Kemper

    On Jan 15, 2011, at 11:15 AM, Thomas Phinney <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu> 

      "I understand that distorted fonts are not ideal, but I think that 
should. Just be an expected caveat of using them."

      What is "them"? We're not starting from a point of using distorted 
fonts, we're starting with talking condensed and extended fonts: these could 
*either* be typographically good (real) or cruddy (distorted). I don't 
accept the argument that user agents should be free to turn my design into 

      At the very least there must be some way to ask the user agent to only 
return real fonts, not distorted ones. One good use case for this is that 
the user does have a condensed face, but because it doesn't exactly match 
the *degree* of condensed-ness being requested, they get a distorted font 



      On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 11:01 AM, Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com> 

        I understand that distorted fonts are not ideal, but I think that 
should. Just be an expected caveat of using them. As a designer, if I ask 
for a condensed font, then I expect it to be narrower than a non-condensed 
version, even if that means synthesizing when condensed versions of the 
typeface are not available (which I also expect to be far more common on the 

        Brad Kemper

        On Jan 14, 2011, at 7:59 PM, Thomas Phinney 
<tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu> wrote:

          Speaking as a typographer here:

          My concern is that distorted fonts are considered typographically 
"bad form" and the distorted shapes look lousy. The default should be to NOT 
do artificially scaled expanding/condensing, with some option to turn that 
behavior on.


          On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 6:30 PM, MasaFuji <masa@fuji.email.ne.jp> 

            I'd like to expand the values of font-stretch property as like 
as font-size property.

            Name:            font-stretch
            Value:           <absolute-stretch> | <relative-stretch> | 
<percentage> | inherit
            Initial:         normal
            Applies to:      all elements
            Inherited:       yes
            Percentages:     refer to normal element's ratio
            Media:           visual
            Computed Value;  as specified

            Basically, this property indicates the desired font-stretch of 
glyphs from the font, in other words, the 'font-stretch' property selects a 
normal, condensed, or expanded face from a font family. It will be happy to 
Latin font families which have a various type of condensed or expanded font. 
When a font does not exist for a given width and is scalable in size, it 
will be useful the font-stretch gives a ratio of scaling in the inline 
progression direction. For scalable fonts, the font-stretch is a scale 
factor applied to the EM unit of the font. Values have the following 

             An <absolute-ratio> keyword refers to an entry in a table of 
font-stretch ratios computed and kept by the UA. Possible values are:

             [ normal | ultra-condensed | extra-condensed | condensed | 
semi-condensed | semi-expanded | expanded | extra-expanded | 
ultra-expanded ]

            Absolute keyword values have the following ordering, from 
narrowest to widest. The following table provides a sample of user agent's 
guideline for the absolute-size scaling factor. Some user agent may use a 
scale which increase geometrically.

            Value   Description     % of normal
            1       Ultra-condensed  50
            2       Extra-condensed  62.5
            3       Condensed        75
            4       Semi-condensed   87.5
            5       Medium (normal)  100
            6       Semi-expanded    112.5
            7       Expanded         125
            8       Extra-expanded   150
            9       Ultra-expanded   200

            <relative- ratio>
             A <relative-ratio> keyword is interpreted relative to the table 
of font-stretch ratios and the font-stretch ratio of the parent element. 
Possible values are:

             [ wider | narrower ]

            For example, if the parent element has a font-stretch ratio of 
'normal' a value of 'wider' will make the font-stretch ratio of the current 
element be 'wider'. If the parent element's ratio is not close to a table 
entry, the user agent is free to interpolate between table entries or round 
off to the closest one. The user agent may have to extrapolate table values 
if the numerical value goes beyond keywords.

             A percentage value specifies a font-stretch ratio to the normal 
font-stretch ratio. Use of percentage values leads to more robust and 
cascadable style sheets.

            Msahiro Fujishima

          “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone,
           somewhere, may be happy.”
           —H.L. Mencken

      “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone,
       somewhere, may be happy.”
       —H.L. Mencken

  “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone,
   somewhere, may be happy.”
   —H.L. Mencken
Received on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 02:56:18 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 25 March 2022 10:07:54 UTC