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

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

r12a
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



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

Florian Rivoal-4

> On May 26, 2016, at 00:58, [hidden email] 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



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

Tab Atkins Jr.
In reply to this post by r12a
On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 8:58 AM,  <[hidden email]> 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:

Yes we do - [hidden email], or just subscribing to the GH
repo's notifications.

~TJ

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

Gérard Talbot-2
In reply to this post by r12a
Le 2016-05-25 11:58, [hidden email] a écrit :


> == [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:
>

Richard,

I am not an expert in Mongolian language, alphabet and Mongolian writing
systems... but it is my understanding that there are several writing
systems (Traditional Mongolian, Cyrillic Mongolian and other writing
systems): several pages at wikipedia are overwhelmingly convincing on
this

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_writing_systems

therefore I would assume that some fonts (N) are better for some script
(1).

I know there are cursive fonts in Mongolian too.

Gérard

> ![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

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

Gérard Talbot-2
In reply to this post by Florian Rivoal-4
Le 2016-05-25 14:01, Florian Rivoal a écrit :

>> On May 26, 2016, at 00:58, [hidden email] 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

Florian,

Can you explain why you believe that 'font-size-adjust' can not be used
to adjust (compensate) fallback fonts. I am not sure I understand what
you are saying.

3.6 Relative sizing: the font-size-adjust property
https://www.w3.org/TR/css-fonts-3/#font-size-adjust-prop

In my mind, 'font-size-adjust' has been created specifically so that a
fallback font (not available on a system) used size will be adjusted to
match the first font of a list or to constrain all possible match of a
font list to a certain size.

The glyphs will likely/possibly/probably not look the same but their
relative size (aspect value) will be the same, must be the same:

http://test.csswg.org/suites/css-fonts-3_dev/nightly-unstable/html/font-size-adjust-003.htm

Gérard

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

Tab Atkins Jr.
Gérard, Florian, please copy these discussions over to GitHub
<https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts/issues/126> and continue it
there.

~TJ

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

r12a
In reply to this post by Tab Atkins Jr.
On 25/05/2016 19:21, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 8:58 AM,  <[hidden email]> 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:
>
> Yes we do - [hidden email], or just subscribing to the GH
> repo's notifications.


for me that's too much of a firehose.  I need a less blunt instrument
that takes into account the opt-in features of github issues.

unless someone objects, i propose to create a new mailing list called
public-css-notification to which one notification will be sent when an
issue is created and one when it is closed. That's likely to generate an
acceptable level of email in my inbox, but prevents me missing new
issues of interest.

ri

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

Tab Atkins Jr.
On Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 2:39 AM,  <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 25/05/2016 19:21, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>>
>> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 8:58 AM,  <[hidden email]> 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:
>>
>>
>> Yes we do - [hidden email], or just subscribing to the GH
>> repo's notifications.
>
>
>
> for me that's too much of a firehose.  I need a less blunt instrument that
> takes into account the opt-in features of github issues.
>
> unless someone objects, i propose to create a new mailing list called
> public-css-notification to which one notification will be sent when an issue
> is created and one when it is closed. That's likely to generate an
> acceptable level of email in my inbox, but prevents me missing new issues of
> interest.

You can just filter the messages out of your inbox by default, and
just look in whatever folder it ends up in to look for new threads?

~TJ

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

r12a
On 22/06/2016 19:50, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 2:39 AM,  <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 25/05/2016 19:21, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>>>
>>> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 8:58 AM,  <[hidden email]> 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:
>>>
>>>
>>> Yes we do - [hidden email], or just subscribing to the GH
>>> repo's notifications.
>>
>>
>>
>> for me that's too much of a firehose.  I need a less blunt instrument that
>> takes into account the opt-in features of github issues.
>>
>> unless someone objects, i propose to create a new mailing list called
>> public-css-notification to which one notification will be sent when an issue
>> is created and one when it is closed. That's likely to generate an
>> acceptable level of email in my inbox, but prevents me missing new issues of
>> interest.
>
> You can just filter the messages out of your inbox by default, and
> just look in whatever folder it ends up in to look for new threads?

that's what i've been doing for some years, and i'm well tired of it -
bear in mind that i'm interested in far fewer of the messages than you
are.  Sometimes i forget to look in the folder for a few days and miss
things i wished i'd seen earlier. Also, given the volume of stuff
discussed by CSS folks, it's a pain to clear out junk that i don't need
to see, so it tends to build up, slow down my mail retrieval, lengthen
time machine updates etc.

If i get one email per new issue i can receive it in my inbox, so i'll
see it right away. If i decide it's interesting i'll subscribe to the
issue, if not i delete it straight away and don't have to worry about a
deluge of follow-on mail that needs to be ignored and deleted at some
point.  If i decide to keep copies of the mail i'm interested in, i
don't have to search for it in a huge pile of other stuff. And so on.

ri