[css3-fonts] @font-feature-values syntax

During discussions about the @font-feature-values rule syntax, there
were several variations that came up. I wanted to bring up one of the
other variations for comparison and hear what other people think about
their relative merits.

The @font-feature-values rule is used to bind a name to a font feature
code in the context of a particular font. If multiple name bindings for
the same feature type are declared, they all take effect, except when
reusing the same name the last declared value wins.

Variation A is the one in the draft. It looks like this:

   @font-feature-values <font-name> {
      @<feature-type> <ident> <value>, <ident> <value, ...;

   Here's an example from the draft:
   @font-feature-values Mars Serif {
     @styleset alt-g 1,
               curly-quotes 3,
               code 4 5;
     @styleset dumb 25;
     @swash    swishy 3 5;

Variation B uses a syntax similar to standard rule sets:

   @font-feature-values <font-name> {
      <feature-type> {
        <ident>: <value>;
        <ident>: <value>;

   Here's the equivalent example in this syntax:

   @font-feature-values Mars Serif {
     styleset { alt-g: 1;
                curly-quotes: 3;
                code: 4 5; }
     styleset { dumb: 25; }
     swash { swishy: 3 5; }

The primary benefit of Variation A is that it's slightly more compact,
since it doesn't use curly braces.

The primary benefit of Variation B is that the cascading behavior of
the name bindings behaves exactly as you would expect from the syntax:
exactly as if the feature type were an element type selector, and the
name declarations were property declarations.


Received on Wednesday, 26 September 2012 03:03:54 UTC