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

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

From: Michiel Bijl <michiel@agosto.nl>
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2015 08:57:18 +0200
Message-Id: <53C634F4-CE47-4A95-834D-E198F0C698AB@agosto.nl>
Cc: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
To: "Myles C. Maxfield" <mmaxfield@apple.com>
You got my vote!

—Michiel

> On 21 Jul 2015, at 04:02, "Myles C. Maxfield" <mmaxfield@apple.com> wrote:
> 
> There has been a fair amount of discussion here, and I thought some clarification would be valuable.
> 
> The goal is to let authors say -font-family: system, foo, bar, baz; and to have that fit the overall UI aesthetic of the platform they are viewing on. In addition, a goal is to let authors choose their own weights and other styles to apply to this system UI font.
> 
> It sounds like iOS, Android, OS X, and Windows all have a straightforward choice of which font this corresponds to.
> 
> There are keywords which the "font" shorthand accepts, however, these don't play nicely with fallback and they also specify a particular size, weight, style, etc., which isn't the goal of this proposal. (Yes, you can override the additional style with subsequent rules, but a cleaner approach is valuable here.) In addition, web authors commonly use font-face with generic font families, so this approach fits in well with the existing practice.
> 
> Leaving the font unspecified doesn't work because it lets the browser choose a default font for body content, which is very different than a font for UI content.
> 
> Other proposals are perhaps valuable, but this proposal, in particular, is only about font-family.
> 
>> On Jul 20, 2015, at 4:21 PM, Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net> wrote:
>> 
>> Maciej Stachowiak composed on 2015-07-20 15:53 (UTC-0700):
>> 
>>> 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.
>> 
>> [conjecture]
>> It seems like this would have been considered as the font shorthand and/or
>> form control specs were originally developed, which could mean it purposely
>> didn't make it in due to potential for use to dupe naive users into thinking
>> text in the viewport was in fact part of browser UI.
>> [/conjecture]
>> 
>>> Note that the unspecified font can't compatibly be the system font because
>>> it is traditionally a serif font,
>> 
>> The thing about that is the user agents are typically being used on devices
>> intended to be personalized by users. Defaults are supposed to be starting
>> points, not stone monuments of committee decisions. I've run across people
>> who prefer serif to sans. I even know people who know defaults can be
>> changed, and who've changed them, plus people who *needed* them changed. :-)
>> -- 
>> "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 Tuesday, 21 July 2015 06:57:52 UTC

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