W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 2015

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

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:53:10 -0700
Cc: Dean Jackson <dino@apple.com>, Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>, www-style <www-style@w3.org>
Message-id: <7A9A8401-9278-42FA-9FCF-91C2E045D87E@apple.com>
To: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>

> On Jul 14, 2015, at 3:47 PM, Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 10:24 AM, Dean Jackson <dino@apple.com <mailto:dino@apple.com>> wrote:
> > On 15 Jul 2015, at 7:42 AM, Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net <mailto:mrmazda@earthlink.net>> wrote:
> >
> > Wouldn't your "system" be equivalent to or duplicative of one or more of the
> > 6 existing "system" fonts on http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-fonts/#font-prop <http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-fonts/#font-prop> ,
> > e.g. menu?
> This whole thing is weird. It makes specifying fallback font-families strange - you now move them to the font shorthand.
> Even though you can then override size/weight/etc after the shorthand, it seems yucky that you have to use a shorthand just to get what is effectively a font-family.
> Per David's email, don't you also need a way to set font size/weight etc to values that match system usage? And isn't the 'font' property the best way to do this?

There are cases where that's useful, but we've also had requests to just match the system font in general, rather than a purpose-specific size/weight of the system font.

Note that the unspecified font can't compatibly be the system font because it is traditionally a serif font, most typically Times. What "-apple-system" and our proposed "system" would get you on OS X can't be specified with any existing CSS family name.

That said, we do have a set of "font" values (as opposed to font-family) which correspond to purpose-specific font/weight/size combos on iOS. However, the purposes are pretty specific to iOS UI, and we were unsure if it would make sense to standardize these particular names. For reference, they are:

font: -apple-system-body
font: -apple-system-headline
font: -apple-system-subheadline
font: -apple-system-caption1
font: -apple-system-caption2
font: -apple-system-footnote
font: -apple-system-short-body
font: -apple-system-short-headline
font: -apple-system-short-subheadline
font: -apple-system-short-caption1
font: -apple-system-short-footnote
font: -apple-system-tall-body

These concepts aren't necessarily applicable even on OS X, let alone other platforms. So it may be harder to standardize more specific purposes of the system font.


Received on Monday, 20 July 2015 22:53:40 UTC

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