W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > May 2016

Re: [css-fonts] Specifying changes to parameters for fallback fonts

From: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 03:01:41 +0900
Cc: W3C Style <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <F989C998-EC0B-4C01-B8D9-1BC794A1F281@rivoal.net>
To: ishida@w3.org

> On May 26, 2016, at 00:58, ishida@w3.org wrote:
> since we don't have an automatic notification system in place yet, and since the discussion is beginning to assume some momentum, i thought i'd send one manually to the list:
> r12a has created an issue for https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts:
> == [css-fonts] Specifying changes to parameters for fallback fonts ==
> After another session of fruitless wrestling with fonts, i thought i
> should make sure (a) i'm not missing something obvious, and (b) if
> not, ask whether we can improve CSS.
> This time i was trying to get a particular look across Mac- and
> Windows-based browsers. On the Mac i like the look of Helvetica Neue
> with font-weight set to 300 at a font size of 16px.  But i can't find
> anything to match that in Windows standard fonts – well, i could get
> reasonably close, but i'd need to be able to change the font weight
> and the font size for a font-family name specified as a fallback.
> I've never understood why, in CSS, i can't say something like
> p { font: 'macfont' 300 16px, 'windowsfont' 500 18px, sans-serif  }
> This is a much bigger problem in non-Latin scripts, where glyph
> dimensions can vary widely from font to font at the same font-size.
> For example, compare the same glyphs set to the exact same font-size
> in Mongolian Baiti and Noto Sans Mongolian:
> ![screen shot 2016-05-18 at 16 45
> 32](https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/4839211/15365391/03a38354-1d18-11e6-82cf-0db2412a3bb0.png)
> It's not just mongolian, this is a constant problem in arabic, and
> many other scripts.
> And by the way, i thought about web fonts, but i can't help thinking
> that you should be able to just use standard platform fonts if you
> want to.  Note that that tweaking the size/weight of such fonts would
> be easier than finding fonts that look good and can be used for free
> to cover the up to 15 languages we have on the i18n site, but also
> we're often dealing with multiple languages on a given page for
> examples etc, which also ramps up the bandwidth when using webfonts.
> What am i missing?
> See https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts/issues/126

I don't know what you're missing, but I am missing it too.

No need to reach for mongolian, the same happens just fine in English. Baskerville as found on OS X vs Libre Baskerville, at the same font size and same weight, are very differently sized.

I've found myself wanting to use the OS X one as a default (it's got more open type features), and the libre one as a fallback, but the size being very different makes it tricky, and font-size-adjust cannot be used to adjust only some of the fallback fonts.

 - Florian
Received on Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:02:09 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Monday, 23 January 2023 02:14:59 UTC