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

From: Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2014 15:14:46 -0500
Message-ID: <52DD83B6.7040504@earthlink.net>
To: www-style@w3.org
On 2014-01-20 00:12 (GMT-0800) John Daggett composed:

> Tab Atkins wrote:

>> It's obvious from inspection that every browser defaults to 16px
>> font size, so it hasn't been a big deal that it's not
>> standardized....

> While this is generally true, it's not true in all cases. Firefox,
> for example, sets the default size based on the locale. For some CJK
> locales, it's set to 15px instead of 16px.  For some locales I could
> definitely imagine defaults other 16px making more sense.  So I
> don't think standardizing on "should" makes sense, although a note
> saying that the font size generally defaults to 16px would be fine.

It might also make sense to note common exceptions. Gecko defaults to 16px 
for proportional western, but 13px for monospace western on Mac and Windows, 
and 12px (which seems to be inherited from antiquity, when *nix fonts were 
mostly pt sized bitmaps that often lacked increments of less than 2 between 
adjacent sizes) for monospace western on Linux.

In IE8 and earlier, when Windows XP's and older Windows versions' "DPI" 
setting is diverted from 96, its 12pt nominal default in px is adjusted as 
necessary to keep the nominal size at 12pt, e.g., @120 DPI 
12pt=medium=default=20px & @144 DPI 12pt=medium=default=24px. I have no 
direct access to find out first hand what later Windows versions and IE9+ do 
WRT the spec's 12/16 pt/px ratio. IOW, I don't think it is accurate to say 
IE, historically if not still the most widely used browser, has always 
defaulted to 16px, if it ever has.

Web designers and web standards writers think in px, but the rest of the 
world mostly thinks only of (physical) pt in text size discussions. That 
includes font settings in Windows and Linux DEs, where numbers don't 
necessarily indicate what is meant except relative to each other.
"The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

  Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/
Received on Monday, 20 January 2014 20:15:16 UTC

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