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Re: [css-fonts] Specify that the default "medium" font-size should by 16px?

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 14:57:34 -0800
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDCKEFr0YzrJ5QpcU-cnJJg-eXDBXC5P9jmuP28zn9c8OA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 9:01 PM, Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net> wrote:
> On 2014-01-15 15:57 (GMT-0800) Tab Atkins Jr. composed:
>> We should probably specify that the "medium" font size SHOULD default
>> to being equal to 16px, unless the UA has good reason to do otherwise.
> How about that UAs that accept preference size in px, as Gecko does, from 9
> up to 72? I can't imagine many people using 180 DPI displays being pleased
> with a medium that's only in fact 6.4pt physically. Neither can I imagine it
> being workable as long as browsers implement only integer multiples for
> device px to CSS px ratios above 1.

The px unit is independent of the dpi of the device.  16px is always
equal to 12pt.

If a browser accepts preference size in *device pixels*, that's
obviously a completely different story.  Also, user preferences
constitute a "good reason to do otherwise", regardless.

>>   A new browser would likely be forced to implement this,
> Forced how? Why?

Forced by web compat, where there's a significant contingent of sites
that are at least somewhat broken when the default font size isn't
16px.  Anyone who browses the web with their default font size set to
something larger sees this on occasion.

>> so we should specify it.
> I hope not. A 16px default font size hasn't been an appropriate medium for
> me in over 12 years.

It's the default medium on every single browser in existence today, as
far as I know.  User preference has nothing to do with my suggestion;
I'm talking about the base default, which currently has no specified
recommendation at all.

> What browsers should be defaulting to is inheriting an appropriate size from
> the DE, until such time as it is specifically overridden by user
> personalization if not done already. That's what Konq does if using its
> native KHTML engine instead of WebKit. KHTML is the only one left
> facilitating the display of physical units where physical units are
> appropriate and desired, and where web pages can be rendered as though
> intended to be rendered and fit comfortably in the visitor's own
> environment.

Once again, user preference has nothing to do with this.  I'm
discussing the base default in the absence of any other data to the

Received on Thursday, 16 January 2014 22:58:21 UTC

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