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Re: [css-fonts] "system" generic font name

From: Dean Jackson <dino@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2015 08:17:30 +1000
Cc: "Myles C. Maxfield" <mmaxfield@apple.com>, www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <907AFF11-3F94-4E08-98CF-A63C5B286B88@apple.com>
To: Gérard Talbot <www-style@gtalbot.org>

> On 15 Jul 2015, at 7:40 AM, Gérard Talbot <www-style@gtalbot.org> wrote:
> 
> Le 2015-07-14 17:14, Myles C. Maxfield a écrit :
>> TL;DR: Apple proposes adding a new generic font-family named "system".
>> Hello,
>> It's valuable for web authors to be able to make sites that fit in
>> with native platforms without having to write lots of complicated,
>> redundant CSS. One case where this is hard right now is matching
>> platforms’ system UI fonts.
>> CSS describes a collection of “generic” font families. We propose
>> adding a new generic font family, “system,” which will be backed by
>> whichever font is the native UI font of the platform running the
>> browser. Specifically, we are proposing that this new generic font
>> family be platform-specific, and not browser-specific, so the same
>> browser running on different operating systems will implement this
>> generic font family differently.
>> WebKit currently implements a similar notion with the “-apple-system”
>> font family, but we feel that a more general approach is valuable to
>> web authors. In particular, web authors shouldn’t have to list
>> anything specific to each platform they are targeting in their font
>> fallback list. Instead, a single generic font family should just do
>> the right thing. This is why we are proposing a prefixless value.
>> What are your thoughts?
>> Myles C. Maxfield
> 
> Myles,
> 
> isn't that already the case? By not defining any font-family in a webpage, the browser has to use the browser default font-family.... and the browser default font-family is by default the platform's default font face.

The browser default font-family is not necessarily the platform's default font face. Note that Myles mentioned UI font. i.e. the font used for the system controls. On most platforms that is a sans serif font. Meanwhile, in most browsers the default font is a serif.

Dean

> 
> Eg.
> 
> Under Linux Ubuntu, the default is DejaVu Sans font face. And so, unless the user resets its browser default font family, the browser (eg Firefox) default font family will also be DejaVu Sans.
> 
>> web authors to be able to make sites that fit in
>> with native platforms without having to write lots of complicated,
>> redundant CSS.
> 
> One easy, simple and efficient way to make sites that fit in with native platform is to not try to set a font family.
> 
> Gérard
> 
Received on Tuesday, 14 July 2015 22:18:03 UTC

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