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Re: [css3-fonts] alternative to font-size-adjust:auto [was Re: Agenda conf call 21-aug-2013]

From: Gérard Talbot <www-style@gtalbot.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:24:45 -0400
Message-ID: <cab8fb0b9fb5b39b4461beb10debebd5.squirrel@ed-sh-cp3.entirelydigital.com>
To: "Jonathan Kew" <jfkthame@googlemail.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org, "John Daggett" <jdaggett@mozilla.com>

Le Mer 21 août 2013 12:23, Jonathan Kew a écrit :
> On 21/8/13 06:49, John Daggett wrote:
>> Agenda for this week's call:
>>> 1. Spec transitions
>>> -------------------
>>> Counter Styles to CR?
>>> CSS Fonts CR?
>>> Transforms, Transitions, Animations status?
>> The LC period for Fonts runs through tomorrow.  Right now there's an
>> open issue regarding 'font-size-adjust: auto' that I think needs to be
>> addressed before we can move to CR.  I'm hoping we can wrap this issue
>> up this week which will allow us to resolve to move to CR on next
>> week's call.
> ISTM from the recent thread here that the biggest problem with
> font-size-adjust:auto is that people are misunderstanding what it means.
> Even experienced spec-readers here seem to easily misread
> # Behaves just like <number>, except the number used is the aspect
> # value calculated by user agents for the first font in the list of
> # fonts defined for the initial value of the ‘font-family’ property.
> as though it said
> # Behaves just like <number>, except the number used is the aspect
> # value calculated by user agents for the first font in the list of
> # fonts in the ‘font-family’ property.
> (and then start to wonder what happens if that "first font" isn't
> available, etc.) Not sure how to make that clearer, but I think we've
> seen ample evidence that the current text is not communicating adequately.

Why not use the expression "first installed font" or some other expression
which would be more explicit, which would make things more restrictive.

"first font", "first choice font", "first available font": these 3
expressions all presume, all refer to the first installed font in the list
of fonts.

How about:

# Behaves just like <number>, except the number used is the aspect
# value calculated by user agents for the first installed font in the list
# of specified fonts in the 'font-family' declaration.

> In addition, there's the question of whether "auto" is a good name for
> this behavior.

The thing is that 'auto' always mean something concrete and specific. But,
after a while, after using it with many properties, the mind kind of
resolves it as, assimilates it to something that is not perfectly true or
not exactly correct or not exactly identical to what/how the spec defines
it for its usage.


I have proposals though. Improve, if possible/suitable, the current
example(s). Add 1 or 2 more examples.

in this [lower] half the font-size-adjust property is also set so that the
actual font size is adjusted to preserve the x-height across each row.

Text about figure 19 does not indicate anywhere the actual
font-size-adjust declaration involved, in effect, for that lower half. It
could be
font-size-adjust: 0.545;
or it could be
font-size-adjust: auto; /* assumes Verdana is available and installed */

without the need to specify the aspect ratio explicitly.

Shouldn't that be
without the need to specify the aspect value explicitly.

Otherwise, "aspect ratio" should be a linked+fetchable definition.


> Here's a thought: suppose that instead of "auto", you could say
>    font-size-adjust: <generic-family>;
> to specify that the UA uses its calculated aspect value for the font
> that corresponds to the given CSS generic. So typical usage might be
>    font-family: Gentium, Times, Georgia, Liberation Serif, serif;
>    font-size-adjust: serif;
> would match whichever of the serif fonts is used to the browser's
> default serif face; and
>    font-family: Futura, Gill Sans, Helvetica, sans-serif;
>    font-size-adjust: sans-serif;
> would match to the browser's default sans-serif face. Moreover, you
> could also write
>    font-family: monospace;
>    font-size-adjust: serif;
> to use the browser's monospaced face but adjust it to better match
> x-height with the default serif face, if desired.
> JK

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