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Crikey! A Verdana's got my baby!

P: n/a
Anyone who has read c.i.w.a.* for more than a few weeks knows that one
of the pet hates of the CIWAHians is Verdana (it's a typeface, BTW).
Future archeologists stumbling across these messages out of context
could be forgiven for thinking "Verdana" must be some kind of
dangerous animal. We must get rid of it, before it gets us!

Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,
other than some vague assertion that it looks different. Surely that's
the point. What would be the purpose of all these font files that
infest my computer if all the typefaces looked the same? I can't
understand the apparent level of fear and loathing, just because
something looks a bit different. "A fair go for Verdana," that's all
I'm saying.

If you really find Verdana that distracting, all you need do is remove
the font from your *personal computer* - a simple, painless operation
that will take only a few seconds. Repeatedly asserting to other
people that they should not use something just because the cult
members have chosen to dislike it makes no sense whatsoever.

Is there anyone out there who has actually removed Verdana from their
computer? Perhaps they could explain what the often alluded to, but
rarely explained, "problem" really is?

--
Karl Smith.
Jul 20 '05 #1
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75 Replies


P: n/a
Els
Karl Smith wrote:
Anyone who has read c.i.w.a.* for more than a few weeks knows that one
of the pet hates of the CIWAHians is Verdana (it's a typeface, BTW).
Future archeologists stumbling across these messages out of context
could be forgiven for thinking "Verdana" must be some kind of
dangerous animal. We must get rid of it, before it gets us!

Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,
other than some vague assertion that it looks different.
You didn't read all those threads closely enough.
It's not that it looks different. It's that it is bigger
than other fonts. Webdesigners think it looks nice at 85% of
the original size.
Problem arises when someone doesn't have Verdana, or uses
their own preferred font. 85% of most other fonts ends up
too small too read.
That's all. If I read all those threads properly that is. ;-)
Is there anyone out there who has actually removed Verdana from their
computer?
I haven't.
Perhaps they could explain what the often alluded to, but
rarely explained, "problem" really is?


As described above.
--
Els

Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
in post: <news:40**********************@dreader2.news.tisca li.nl>
Els <el*********@tiscali.nl> said:
Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,
other than some vague assertion that it looks different.
You didn't read all those threads closely enough.
It's not that it looks different. It's that it is bigger
than other fonts. Webdesigners think it looks nice at 85% of
the original size.
Problem arises when someone doesn't have Verdana, or uses
their own preferred font. 85% of most other fonts ends up
too small too read.
That's all. If I read all those threads properly that is. ;-)


i do-not th-ink you have used e-no-ugh li-tt-le words and
hy-ph-en-a-tion so karl can un-der-st-and it
--
b r u c i e
Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
In article <3d************************@posting.google.com>,
go************@kjsmith.com (Karl Smith) writes:
Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,
other than some vague assertion that it looks different. Surely that's
Where have you been these last couple of years? If you look different,
you're a terrorist. I don't want these alien verdanas bombing me,
so we have to bomb them first.
If you really find Verdana that distracting, all you need do is remove
the font from your *personal computer* - a simple, painless operation


I've never had a verdana on my computer.

Let's deal with them now while there's still time. We need a final
solution to the Verdana problem!

--
Nick Kew

Nick's manifesto: http://www.htmlhelp.com/~nick/
Jul 20 '05 #4

P: n/a
Els
brucie wrote:
in post: <news:40**********************@dreader2.news.tisca li.nl>
Els <el*********@tiscali.nl> said:
Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,
other than some vague assertion that it looks different.

[snip difficult words of previous post]
i do-not th-ink you have used e-no-ugh li-tt-le words and
hy-ph-en-a-tion so karl can un-der-st-and it


Thanks for bringing that to my attention, brucie!
Here goes for Karl:

You did not read all tho-se thre-ads clo-se-ly en-ough.
It is not that it looks dif-fer-ent. It is that it is
big-ger than oth-er fonts. Web-de-sign-ers think it looks
ni-ce at 85% of the o-ri-gin-al si-ze.
Pro-blem a-ri-ses when so-me-o-ne does not ha-ve Ver-da-na,
or us-es the-ir own pre-fer-red font. 85% of most oth-er
fonts ends up too small to re-ad.
That is all. If I re-ad all tho-se thre-ads pro-per-ly that is.

(OT: by hyphenating the word webdesigner I realised that
design is written de-sign. "de" means something like "taking
stuff off", right? A web-de-signer takes signs off of the
web. Makes me wonder what signs exactly.)

--
Els

Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Jul 20 '05 #5

P: n/a
go************@kjsmith.com (Karl Smith) wrote:
Anyone who has read c.i.w.a.* for more than a few weeks knows that one
of the pet hates of the CIWAHians is Verdana (it's a typeface, BTW).
Future archeologists stumbling across these messages out of context
could be forgiven for thinking "Verdana" must be some kind of
dangerous animal. We must get rid of it, before it gets us!

Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,


You mean, other than the detailed, logical screed, the URL to which
has been posted many times?
--
Harlan Messinger
Remove the first dot from my e-mail address.
Veuillez ter le premier point de mon adresse de courriel.
Jul 20 '05 #6

P: n/a
On 1 Apr 2004 01:15:28 -0800, Karl Smith <go************@kjsmith.com>
wrote:
Anyone who has read c.i.w.a.* for more than a few weeks knows that one
of the pet hates of the CIWAHians is Verdana (it's a typeface, BTW).
Future archeologists stumbling across these messages out of context
could be forgiven for thinking "Verdana" must be some kind of
dangerous animal. We must get rid of it, before it gets us!


The problem with Verdana is simple. If it's included at a size which is
appropriate for the purpose the font was designed to serve, replacement of
this font will inevitably lead to text that's too small.

If you use Verdana at 100% or more, replacement legibility is not an
issue. But then Verdana is pretty big. Remember, it was designed for
application in small-text situations for better readability. At normal
sizes it appears huge. That's why many web authors use it at smaller
sizes, and that's when replacement fonts become illegible.

That said, if you aesthetically like Verdana at 100% or more, it's fine.
For example, I have used Verdana for <h*> elements. If Verdana is replaced
by some other font in that context, the legibility will still be good.

The problem, therefore, isn't specifically with Verdana - it's with
applying it as it was designed to be implemented.
Jul 20 '05 #7

P: n/a
Karl Smith wrote:
Anyone who has read c.i.w.a.* for more than a few weeks knows that one
of the pet hates of the CIWAHians is Verdana (it's a typeface, BTW).
Future archeologists stumbling across these messages out of context
could be forgiven for thinking "Verdana" must be some kind of
dangerous animal. We must get rid of it, before it gets us!

Is there anyone out there who has actually removed Verdana from their
computer? Perhaps they could explain what the often alluded to, but
rarely explained, "problem" really is?


I'm too afraid to do that. I heard once I try to remove it it will
return even stronger than before.

Seriously, I find Verdana and Trebuchet MS to be easy to read
on-screen, though some think especially Verdana is too big in default
size. Then again the Web's problem is not too-big fonts, but too-small
ones.

--
Google Blogoscoped
http://blog.outer-court.com
Jul 20 '05 #8

P: n/a
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004, Neal wrote:
The problem, therefore, isn't specifically with Verdana
True enough; but the only available solution at the moment as far as
stylesheet authors are concerned is not to propose it in their
stylesheets.
- it's with applying it as it was designed to be implemented.


It's with the lack of a workable font-size-adjust facility. To which
one should add that the facility as originally proposed for CSS isn't
quite what's needed, since it was based on objective em/ex factors,
and that's not the whole story as far as perceived font size is
concerned.
Jul 20 '05 #9

P: n/a
In message <3d************************@posting.google.com>, Karl Smith
<go************@kjsmith.com> writes
Anyone who has read c.i.w.a.* for more than a few weeks knows that one
of the pet hates of the CIWAHians is Verdana (it's a typeface, BTW).
Future archeologists stumbling across these messages out of context
could be forgiven for thinking "Verdana" must be some kind of
dangerous animal. We must get rid of it, before it gets us!

Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,
other than some vague assertion that it looks different. Surely that's
the point. What would be the purpose of all these font files that
infest my computer if all the typefaces looked the same? I can't
understand the apparent level of fear and loathing, just because
something looks a bit different. "A fair go for Verdana," that's all
I'm saying.

If you really find Verdana that distracting, all you need do is remove
the font from your *personal computer* - a simple, painless operation
that will take only a few seconds. Repeatedly asserting to other
people that they should not use something just because the cult
members have chosen to dislike it makes no sense whatsoever.

Is there anyone out there who has actually removed Verdana from their
computer? Perhaps they could explain what the often alluded to, but
rarely explained, "problem" really is?

I actually like Verdana -- yes, honest.

The problem seems to stem from designers who like the appearance of
Verdana, but don't like its size. So, they set their stylesheets to show
it at less than 100%.

If the viewer doesn't have Verdana installed, then they're going to see
the 2nd, 3rd, etc. choice, or their default -- but at less than 100%.

Personally, I don't have a problem with most defaults down to 85%, but
other people do.

Take a look and decide:
http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/verdana.htm

regards.

--
Jake
Jul 20 '05 #10

P: n/a
"jake" wrote
I actually like Verdana -- yes, honest.

The problem seems to stem from designers who like the appearance of
Verdana, but don't like its size. So, they set their stylesheets to show
it at less than 100%.

If the viewer doesn't have Verdana installed, then they're going to see
the 2nd, 3rd, etc. choice, or their default -- but at less than 100%.

Personally, I don't have a problem with most defaults down to 85%, but
other people do.

Take a look and decide:
http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/verdana.htm


Another good example (also of the inappropriate use of sans serif fonts in
general):
http://steve.pugh.net/test/test42.html
HTH
Ivo
Jul 20 '05 #11

P: n/a
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004, jake wrote:
I actually like Verdana -- yes, honest.
Whether we like it or not is irrelevant to the issue being debated,
though. I've nothing against it in the right places (it's designed
for enhanced legibility at small pixel sizes, and it achieves that
rather well). It's still a problem.
The problem seems to stem from designers who like the appearance of
Verdana, but don't like its size. So, they set their stylesheets to show
it at less than 100%.
That's not the whole story, though. Read previous discussions.
Take a look and decide:
http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/verdana.htm


That's useless for making the kind of decision that's under discussion
here. They would have to take a look on *everyone else's* browser
before they could decide. At least Stephen Poley went part of the way
to demonstrate the problem - as best one can on an individual browser.
Jul 20 '05 #12

P: n/a
Els <el*********@tiscali.nl> wrote:
Karl Smith wrote:
Anyone who has read c.i.w.a.* for more than a few weeks knows that one
of the pet hates of the CIWAHians is Verdana (it's a typeface, BTW).
Future archeologists stumbling across these messages out of context
could be forgiven for thinking "Verdana" must be some kind of
dangerous animal. We must get rid of it, before it gets us!

Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,
other than some vague assertion that it looks different.
You didn't read all those threads closely enough.
It's not that it looks different. It's that it is bigger
than other fonts.


No it isn't "bigger" at all. 20px Verdana and 20px Tahoma are both
exactly the same height - 20px. 1em Verdana and 1em Tahoma are both
exactly the same height - however many pixels I have decided 1em
should be. Which is between me and my *personal* computer, and nobody
else's business.

When you write "it is bigger", you probably mean it is wider? So what?
Why does this so distress the cult members? If you don't like the the
look of Verdana, "uninstall" it. Simple. Why would you have fonts you
don't like on your computer?

Webdesigners think it looks nice at 85% of
the original size.
Verdana at 1em and Verdana at 85% are both wide fonts, in fact they
are exactly the same font. That's the point of scalable fonts. Either
you like the look of it or you don't - it's a simple personal
preference. You're insulting our intelligence if you try to claim it
looks nice at 85% but doesn't look nice at 100%.

Problem arises when someone doesn't have Verdana, or uses
their own preferred font. 85% of most other fonts ends up
too small too read.
Set the minimum font size of your browser, that's what it's for. You
can do that at the same time you're uninstalling Verdana. It would be
far easier for the anti-Verdana kooks/cranks to configure their
browsers properly than to try to persuade the entire rest of the world
to adopt their personal preferences in typography.

That's all. If I read all those threads properly that is. ;-)


I don't think you did. Anti-Verdana threads are often also
anti-font-sizing threads, but there's a vocal few who just don't like
the wide look of Verdana and want you to not like it either. Telling
someone, "Don't use Verdana, use Tahoma instead," makes as much sense
as telling someone, "Don't use yellow backgrounds use green instead,"
just because you don't like yellow.

Is there anyone out there who has actually removed Verdana from their
computer?


I haven't.


There you go. It can't be that much of a problem then can it?
Uninstalling an unwanted font is about the simplest maintenance you
can do.

Perhaps they could explain what the often alluded to, but
rarely explained, "problem" really is?


As described above.


What you described above is the problem caused by people tupping about
with other people's font sizes, not a problem with Verdana. People who
mess with font sizes are stupid, that is a scientificly proven fact.
OTOH, such well-respected luminaries as Eric Meyer have defended the
practice of setting unreadably microscopic (with or without Verdana)
font sizes.

--
Karl Smith.
Jul 20 '05 #13

P: n/a
"Duncan M." <no@email.please> wrote:
Another good example (also of the inappropriate use of sans serif fonts in
general):
http://steve.pugh.net/test/test42.html


I really wouldn't use that as a particularly useful example. It's just
a quick and dirty example which doesn't show anything very surprising.

For starters the columns are far too narrow which makes the effect of
Verdana more obvious but is neither good for usability nor realistic.

In addition the CSS doesn't set a line-height and sans-serif fonts
often benefit from increasing the line-height slightly compared with
the browser default.

Interestingly, in my main browser with my particular font settings the
sans-serif column (the middle one) is actually the shortest.

Steve

--
"My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
Jul 20 '05 #14

P: n/a
Ivo
"Steve Pugh" wrote:
"Duncan M." wrote:
Another good example (also of the inappropriate use of sans serif fonts ingeneral):
http://steve.pugh.net/test/test42.html


I really wouldn't use that as a particularly useful example. It's just
a quick and dirty example which doesn't show anything very surprising.

For starters the columns are far too narrow which makes the effect of
Verdana more obvious but is neither good for usability nor realistic.

In addition the CSS doesn't set a line-height and sans-serif fonts
often benefit from increasing the line-height slightly compared with
the browser default.

Interestingly, in my main browser with my particular font settings the
sans-serif column (the middle one) is actually the shortest.


Funny. On my system it is the middle one that is the longest, even longer
than the Verdana column, due to the automatic increase in line-height.
Maybe not a not outstanding example of CSS use, but informative anyways!
Ivo
Jul 20 '05 #15

P: n/a
Ivo
"Karl Smith" wrote:
Els wrote:
Karl Smith wrote:
Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,
other than some vague assertion that it looks different.
You didn't read all those threads closely enough.
It's not that it looks different. It's that it is bigger
than other fonts.


When you write "it is bigger", you probably mean it is wider? So what?
Why does this so distress the cult members? If you don't like the the
look of Verdana, "uninstall" it. Simple. Why would you have fonts you
don't like on your computer?


I think Els meant "it is bigger" when she wrote "it is bigger". It looks
bigger, it appears to be bigger, visually, and it will not fit the same
amount of text as other fonts, often resulting in earlier wrapping and more
lines.

And it 's not about what we like, but what is legible by the majority of
users.

And it 's not about what fonts we have installed on our systems, but what
fonts the users of our webpages have. We do not know whether or not they
have Verdana and therefore cannot garantee a uniform look. We could try
setting a fixed fontsize but at the cost of allowing the users to resize.
Anti-Verdana threads are often also
anti-font-sizing threads, but there's a vocal few who just don't like
the wide look of Verdana and want you to not like it either. Telling
someone, "Don't use Verdana, use Tahoma instead," makes as much sense
as telling someone, "Don't use yellow backgrounds use green instead,"
just because you don't like yellow.


If that were the whole discussion, yes, but usually the advise to use an
alternative font is accompagnied by a dissertation on the aforementioned
problems posed by Verdana. All it takes reading them, which is even simpler
than uninstalling a font!!
Ivo
Jul 20 '05 #16

P: n/a
Els
Karl Smith wrote:
Els <el*********@tiscali.nl> wrote:
Karl Smith wrote:
Anyone who has read c.i.w.a.* for more than a few weeks knows that one
of the pet hates of the CIWAHians is Verdana (it's a typeface, BTW).
Future archeologists stumbling across these messages out of context
could be forgiven for thinking "Verdana" must be some kind of
dangerous animal. We must get rid of it, before it gets us!

Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,
other than some vague assertion that it looks different.
You didn't read all those threads closely enough.
It's not that it looks different. It's that it is bigger
than other fonts.


No it isn't "bigger" at all.


It looks bigger.
20px Verdana and 20px Tahoma are both
exactly the same height - 20px. 1em Verdana and 1em Tahoma are both
exactly the same height - however many pixels I have decided 1em
should be. Which is between me and my *personal* computer, and nobody
else's business.

When you write "it is bigger", you probably mean it is wider? So what?
Why does this so distress the cult members? If you don't like the the
look of Verdana, "uninstall" it. Simple. Why would you have fonts you
don't like on your computer?
You're talking to the wrong person. I love Verdana. Look at
my site - http://locusmeus.com/ - all Verdana.
Webdesigners think it looks nice at 85% of
the original size.
(I'm not officially a webdesigner ;-) )
Verdana at 1em and Verdana at 85% are both wide fonts, in fact they
are exactly the same font. That's the point of scalable fonts.
Of course. But as it is a wide font, anyone without Verdana
installed on their computer, will have to read a narrower font.
Either
you like the look of it or you don't - it's a simple personal
preference. You're insulting our intelligence if you try to claim it
looks nice at 85% but doesn't look nice at 100%.
I think it looks nice at any size.
It's the design that sometimes might look better with a
smaller font.
Wasn't trying to insult anyone's intelligence.
Problem arises when someone doesn't have Verdana, or uses
their own preferred font. 85% of most other fonts ends up
too small too read.


Set the minimum font size of your browser, that's what it's for. You
can do that at the same time you're uninstalling Verdana. It would be
far easier for the anti-Verdana kooks/cranks to configure their
browsers properly than to try to persuade the entire rest of the world
to adopt their personal preferences in typography.


If you know all your and everybody's visitors personally,
please advise them to notice the possibility of a) resizing
the text (I wouldn't want to have to feed all the IE surfers
who don't know that) b) (un)installing a font and c) setting
a minimum size font.
That's all. If I read all those threads properly that is. ;-)


I don't think you did. Anti-Verdana threads are often also
anti-font-sizing threads, but there's a vocal few who just don't like
the wide look of Verdana and want you to not like it either.


That's just plain personal preference, and usenet is a place
where one can express exactly that.
Telling
someone, "Don't use Verdana, use Tahoma instead," makes as much sense
as telling someone, "Don't use yellow backgrounds use green instead,"
just because you don't like yellow.


I think that if someone is saying 'don't use Verdana, use
Tahoma, he/she should mention the size problem at the same
time. My impression is that this usually is explained like that.
As I said, I do like Verdana, and I use it. All the time.
Is there anyone out there who has actually removed Verdana from their
computer?


I haven't.


There you go. It can't be that much of a problem then can it?
Uninstalling an unwanted font is about the simplest maintenance you
can do.


Multiplied by how many visitors?
Perhaps they could explain what the often alluded to, but
rarely explained, "problem" really is?


As described above.


What you described above is the problem caused by people tupping about
with other people's font sizes, not a problem with Verdana. People who
mess with font sizes are stupid, that is a scientificly proven fact.
OTOH, such well-respected luminaries as Eric Meyer have defended the
practice of setting unreadably microscopic (with or without Verdana)
font sizes.


I think the example at
http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/verdana.htm is showing
the 'problem' really well.

Personally, I can easily read all of those fonts at 80%. On
a 19" 1280x1024 screen. If I set my screen to 1600x1200
things are different already.

But not everybody has good eyesight.

And what Ivo said :-)

--
Els

Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Jul 20 '05 #17

P: n/a
Els
Els wrote:
If you don't like the the
look of Verdana, "uninstall" it. Simple. Why would you have fonts you
don't like on your computer?


You're talking to the wrong person. I love Verdana. Look at my site -
http://locusmeus.com/ - all Verdana.


(if you have it installed, that is :-) )

--
Els

Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Jul 20 '05 #18

P: n/a
I just figured out--this is an April Fool gag, no?
Jul 20 '05 #19

P: n/a
Els
Harlan Messinger wrote:
I just figured out--this is an April Fool gag, no?


You know, that thought occurred to me too before I replied.
But I replied anyway :-)

--
Els

Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Jul 20 '05 #20

P: n/a
In message <Pi*******************************@ppepc56.ph.gla. ac.uk>,
Alan J. Flavell <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk> writes
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004, jake wrote:
I actually like Verdana -- yes, honest.
Whether we like it or not is irrelevant to the issue being debated,
though.


So?
I've nothing against it in the right places (it's designed
for enhanced legibility at small pixel sizes, and it achieves that
rather well). It's still a problem.
So you say.
The problem seems to stem from designers who like the appearance of
Verdana, but don't like its size. So, they set their stylesheets to show
it at less than 100%.
That's not the whole story, though. Read previous discussions.
Take a look and decide:
http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/verdana.htm


That's useless for making the kind of decision that's under discussion
here.


Really? How so?
They would have to take a look on *everyone else's* browser
before they could decide. At least Stephen Poley went part of the way
to demonstrate the problem - as best one can on an individual browser.


Then I guess I'll just have to use the evidence of my own eyes. Sorry.

--
Jake
Jul 20 '05 #21

P: n/a
In message <40**********************@dreader2.news.tiscali.nl >, Els
<el*********@tiscali.nl> writes
[snip]

I think the example at http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/verdana.htm
is showing the 'problem' really well.

Personally, I can easily read all of those fonts at 80%. On a 19"
1280x1024 screen. If I set my screen to 1600x1200 things are different
already.

But not everybody has good eyesight.

And what Ivo said :-)


And on my 17" 1024x768 I don't see a problem reading Verdana, Tahoma, or
Trebuchet down to 85% (with my glasses on) without getting eye-strain.

I'm beginning to get the impression that the problem is more theoretical
than real ;-)
--
Jake
Jul 20 '05 #22

P: n/a
Els
jake wrote:
In message <40**********************@dreader2.news.tiscali.nl >, Els
<el*********@tiscali.nl> writes
[snip]
I think the example at http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/verdana.htm
is showing the 'problem' really well.

Personally, I can easily read all of those fonts at 80%. On a 19"
1280x1024 screen. If I set my screen to 1600x1200 things are different
already.

But not everybody has good eyesight.

And what Ivo said :-)
And on my 17" 1024x768 I don't see a problem reading Verdana, Tahoma, or
Trebuchet down to 85% (with my glasses on) without getting eye-strain.


But what if you wouldn't have those fonts? How's Arial on
your screen at 85%?

And I'm not sure (too lazy to calculate), but isn't 17"
1024x768 bigger than 19" 1280x1024?
Anyway, someone in this thread mentioned 'other systems',
and I've heard about Macs and other OS's having different
versions of the regular fonts.
I'm beginning to get the impression that the problem is more theoretical
than real ;-)


We'd have to investigate that, I suppose. Anyone here with
less than 20/20 vision, and a Mac with a 14" screen set to
1600x1200 resolution? :-)

--
Els

Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Jul 20 '05 #23

P: n/a
>> You're talking to the wrong person. I love Verdana. Look at my site -
http://locusmeus.com/ - all Verdana.
(if you have it installed, that is :-) )


And if the user's browser is set to allow font changes. Odd, all the
pages I browse seem to be using Bistream Vera these days....

--
Charles Allen
Jul 20 '05 #24

P: n/a
In message <40**********************@dreader2.news.tiscali.nl >, Els
<el*********@tiscali.nl> writes
jake wrote:
In message <40**********************@dreader2.news.tiscali.nl >, Els
<el*********@tiscali.nl> writes
[snip]
I think the example at
http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/verdana.htm is showing the
'problem' really well.

Personally, I can easily read all of those fonts at 80%. On a 19"
1280x1024 screen. If I set my screen to 1600x1200 things are
different already.

But not everybody has good eyesight.

And what Ivo said :-) And on my 17" 1024x768 I don't see a problem reading Verdana,
Tahoma, or Trebuchet down to 85% (with my glasses on) without getting
eye-strain.


But what if you wouldn't have those fonts?


I wonder how many people don't have one of those fonts installed? I'd be
surprised if it's less than 90% (the number of IE users).
How's Arial on your screen at 85%?
Smaller then I'd like it, but still readable. In reality, if the font
was too small for comfort I'd simply increase the text size (in
Explorer). If the font had been set to a fixed size, I'd just look at it
in Opera (it's set for a minimum text size).

Arial's not a good choice for small text, anyway -- too narrow for my
liking.

Verdana, Tahoma, Trebuchet and Georgia were designed specifically for
legibility on a screen.

So, if you've suggested Verdana as first choice for the font to be used
to view your page, followed by Tahoma, and then Trebuchet I would think
that at least 9 out of 10 viewers will be happy.
And I'm not sure (too lazy to calculate), but isn't 17" 1024x768 bigger
than 19" 1280x1024?
Uhh ...... I'll wait for you to calculate it ;-)
Anyway, someone in this thread mentioned 'other systems', and I've
heard about Macs and other OS's having different versions of the
regular fonts.
I'm beginning to get the impression that the problem is more
theoretical than real ;-)


We'd have to investigate that, I suppose. Anyone here with less than
20/20 vision, and a Mac with a 14" screen set to 1600x1200 resolution?
:-)

There's bound to be at least one .........
--
Jake
Jul 20 '05 #25

P: n/a
"Karl Smith" <go************@kjsmith.com> wrote in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
Oddly, they can never seem to articulate *why* they dislike Verdana,


What, "the x-height is much greater than on other fonts" too
complicated for you?

You posted on April 1, so perhaps what looks like ignorance or
mendacity is just some sort of "April Fool".

This has been discussed here many times, and there's also a good Web
page at <http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/verdana.html>.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/
2.1 changes: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/changes.html
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Jul 20 '05 #26

P: n/a
"Alan J. Flavell" <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk> wrote:
It's with the lack of a workable font-size-adjust facility. To which
one should add that the facility as originally proposed for CSS isn't
quite what's needed, since it was based on objective em/ex factors,
and that's not the whole story as far as perceived font size is
concerned.


The problem is even more complicated, since for typographic reasons, the
choice of a font should affect both the font size and the line length and
line height. Making all these play together in a manner that respects
user's preferences is no easy job.

For example, if the font is Verdana, line-height should be set to a
fairly large value, considerably larger than typical browser defaults.
But if you do that, you have no way of telling the browser that it should
ignore (e.g.) line-height: 1.35 if it does not actually use Verdana, for
one reason or another.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #27

P: n/a
On Sat, 3 Apr 2004 08:43:24 +0000 (UTC), Jukka K. Korpela
<jk******@cs.tut.fi> wrote:
"Alan J. Flavell" <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk> wrote:
It's with the lack of a workable font-size-adjust facility. To which
one should add that the facility as originally proposed for CSS isn't
quite what's needed, since it was based on objective em/ex factors,
and that's not the whole story as far as perceived font size is
concerned.


The problem is even more complicated, since for typographic reasons, the
choice of a font should affect both the font size and the line length and
line height. Making all these play together in a manner that respects
user's preferences is no easy job.

For example, if the font is Verdana, line-height should be set to a
fairly large value, considerably larger than typical browser defaults.
But if you do that, you have no way of telling the browser that it should
ignore (e.g.) line-height: 1.35 if it does not actually use Verdana, for
one reason or another.

When I originally read Alan's post, I thought, does font-size-adjust vary
from font choice to font choice? If I change the aspect of, say, Verdana,
might it render the replacement font illegible? As far as I can see from
the spec, the answer is no.

However, this line height thing mixes it up a bit. Once you set line
height, all fonts, intended or substituted, get that line height.
Therefore, it seems line height is not something to be toyed with -
without distinct confidence in what fonts the user will be using.
Jul 20 '05 #28

P: n/a
In article <MP************************@news.odyssey.net>,
Stan Brown <th************@fastmail.fm> writes:
You posted on April 1,


And caught a remarkable number of the "usual suspects" with it: AFAICS
mine is the only followup "in the spirit of" the original!

Perhaps some of them are excused, if there's no such tradition in
their countries.

--
Nick Kew

Desktop productivity software standard on every PC:
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm...r.webthing.com
Jul 20 '05 #29

P: n/a
"Nick Kew" <ni**@hugin.webthing.com> wrote in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
In article <MP************************@news.odyssey.net>,
Stan Brown <th************@fastmail.fm> writes:
You posted on April 1,


And caught a remarkable number of the "usual suspects" with it: AFAICS
mine is the only followup "in the spirit of" the original!

Perhaps some of them are excused, if there's no such tradition in
their countries.


Well, I considered the source.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/
2.1 changes: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/changes.html
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Jul 20 '05 #30

P: n/a
Els <el*********@tiscali.nl> wrote:
You're talking to the wrong person. I love Verdana. Look at
my site - http://locusmeus.com/ - all Verdana.
Now that site is a good example here. I took one glance at it and
immediately noticed the ASCII "chicken scratches" instead of proper
inverted commas. They *are* distracting. If I had to choose between:-

1) viewing www.example.org in the typeface of my preference with ASCII
"quote marks" or:

2) viewing it in the typeface of the de-ziners preference with correct
inverted commas:

- I'd let the designer choose the typeface every time. This is my
problem - those quote marks bug *me* - but I don't try to claim it as
an objective fact that quote marks are "a problem". So why do the font
mafia assert that Verdana "is a problem". Why don't they just write,
"I don't like Verdana" instead of claiming they represent the silent
majority.

If the "majority" of users find Verdana to be so distracting, why is
it one the most widely installed fonts there is (second only to
Arial)?

Of course. But as it is a wide font, anyone without Verdana
installed on their computer, will have to read a narrower font.


Yes. Which is exactly what they would be doing whether you specify
Verdana or not. By specifying Verdana you are not forcing anyone to
use a narrower font than normal if they don't have Verdana.

Problem arises when someone doesn't have Verdana, or uses
their own preferred font. 85% of most other fonts ends up
too small too read.


Set the minimum font size of your browser, that's what it's for. You
can do that at the same time you're uninstalling Verdana. It would be
far easier for the anti-Verdana kooks/cranks to configure their
browsers properly than to try to persuade the entire rest of the world
to adopt their personal preferences in typography.


If you know all your and everybody's visitors personally,
please advise them to notice the possibility of a) resizing
the text (I wouldn't want to have to feed all the IE surfers
who don't know that) b) (un)installing a font and c) setting
a minimum size font.


No you don't need to advise anyone of anything. All authors need to do
is accept that font-size is to be set in percentages for exceptional
elements only - not for the main text of your page. Do that and
everything else will work well. Break that rule and the situation will
always become a competition between users' preferences and author's
preferences.

--
Karl Smith.
Jul 20 '05 #31

P: n/a
go************@kjsmith.com (Karl Smith) wrote:
If I had to choose between:-

1) viewing www.example.org in the typeface of my preference with
ASCII "quote marks" or:

2) viewing it in the typeface of the de-ziners preference with
correct inverted commas:

- I'd let the designer choose the typeface every time.
I'm not sure I see what you really mean here. Using the standardized
names for characters might have helped to express your idea better.

If you wish to use a broken font, that's your privilege, as a user.
A font that presents the Ascii quotation mark or the Ascii apostrophe as
curly or slanted is broken, since those characters _by definition_
have straight (vertical) glyphs (see the Unicode standard). Such
presentation also loses the distinction between those characters and some
common punctuation characters. (Consider what this means when reading a
page that discusses the various characters.)
This is my
problem - those quote marks bug *me* - but I don't try to claim it as
an objective fact that quote marks are "a problem".
Whether you claim it or not, they are objectively a problem. The
_characters_ " and ' are not correct quotation marks or apostrophes in
_any_ human language (if I may generalize a bit - please feel free to
correct me if I'm ignoring some language of New Guinea), yet they are
widely used on the Web as punctuation marks in different human languages,
for certain technical reasons, which you probably mean. This is a
_character_ level problem, _not_ to be messed up with guesswork fixes at
font level.
So why do the
font mafia assert that Verdana "is a problem".


You surely know why it is problem. If your original message was an April
fool's joke, you may now drop the "April" part.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #32

P: n/a
Tim
go************@kjsmith.com (Karl Smith) wrote:
If I had to choose between:-

1) viewing www.example.org in the typeface of my preference with
ASCII "quote marks" or:

2) viewing it in the typeface of the de-ziners preference with
correct inverted commas:

- I'd let the designer choose the typeface every time.

Niggle: Quote marks are not "inverted commas," they're neither upside
down, nor commas.
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fi> posted:
I'm not sure I see what you really mean here. Using the standardized
names for characters might have helped to express your idea better.

If you wish to use a broken font, that's your privilege, as a user.
A font that presents the Ascii quotation mark or the Ascii apostrophe as
curly or slanted is broken, since those characters _by definition_
have straight (vertical) glyphs (see the Unicode standard). Such
presentation also loses the distinction between those characters and some
common punctuation characters. (Consider what this means when reading a
page that discusses the various characters.)


I understand the reason for "straight" quotes, you can put them at either
side of a quote (open and close it), without it looking like it's backwards
(facing the wrong way). But why a straight apostrophe? It only goes in
one place (where abbreviations are), an apostrophe is not a quote mark, at
all (so you can't have a backwards looking one in front of a quote, and an
okay looking one at the end, because it's not the character that belongs
around quoted text).

As far as I'm aware, we only have one way to draw an apostrophe (regardless
of ASCII), and that is how the font should be designed. If someone wants
to be silly enough to use an apostrophe where they should be using quotes,
that's their fault for using the wrong character.

e.g. &lsquo;I really don't like single-quoted text,&rsquo; said Tim.
Should actually draw a real apostrophe in the "don't" word, not that
abomination that most fonts draw. Everyone just seems to copy the shape of
the old 8 by 8 pixel rendering from ancient terminals, rather than draw an
"apostrophe". That, to me, is a serious fault in the fonts, rather than
the use of that character.

--
If you insist on e-mailing me, use the reply-to address (it's real but
temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.
Jul 20 '05 #33

P: n/a
On Sun, 4 Apr 2004, Tim wrote:
If someone wants to be silly enough to use an apostrophe where they
should be using quotes, that's their fault for using the wrong
character.
Silly enough?

According to the Unicode recommendation, they should be using a
(right) single quote as apostrophe.

If you reckon that using an apostrophe as single quote is "silly
enough", then it'll be interesting to hear what you have to say about
the Unicode recommendation.

Unfortunately, you're making the same kind of mistake as the other
contributors, and assuming that by alluding to "real" characters you
can make it clear to us what you mean. But the Unicode recommendations
say something different. For example that the APOSTROPHE is not
suitable for use as an apostrophe, but only as a compatibility
character - for single quote as well as for apostrophe. And so on.
Consequently, we can't really understand in detail what you're trying
to tell us.
e.g. &lsquo;I really don't like single-quoted text,&rsquo; said Tim.
Should actually draw a real apostrophe in the "don't" word,
Unicode doesn't have a character REAL APOSTROPHE, and its
recommendation says something which seems to be incompatible with what
you say you want.
Everyone just seems to copy the shape of the old 8 by 8 pixel
rendering from ancient terminals, rather than draw an "apostrophe".
At which position in the font?
That, to me, is a serious fault in the fonts, rather than the use of
that character.


*Which* character, ferchrissake? The ASCII character (and Unicode
compatibility character) APOSTROPHE is meant to be upright. If you
don't want an upright apostrophe, then don't use the ASCII character.

If the font is correctly implementing the Unicode recommendation, then
you're shooting at the wrong target when you claim there's a "serious
fault" in the font. So are you saying there's a "serious fault" in
the Unicode recommendation?
Jul 20 '05 #34

P: n/a
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fi> wrote in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
The
_characters_ " and ' are not correct quotation marks or apostrophes in
_any_ human language


You have said this before, and it makes no sense. I can't speak for
Finnish, but they are perfectly correct in English, for instance.
Presumably you would agree that English is a human language?

Hint: consider the _names_ of those characters.

For instance, when I go to
<http://www.alanwood.net/demos/ent4_frame.html> and select
"quotation mark", what do I find? ", that's what.

I'm sure you actually have a valid point to make, but what you are
actually _saying_ doesn't convey it. If you want to be persuasive,
please say what you mean more plainly.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/
2.1 changes: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/changes.html
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Jul 20 '05 #35

P: n/a
Stan Brown <th************@fastmail.fm> wrote:
The
_characters_ " and ' are not correct quotation marks or apostrophes in
_any_ human language
You have said this before, and it makes no sense.


Why not? The statement looks pretty simple to me. I guess you mean you
don't agree with it.
I can't speak for
Finnish, but they are perfectly correct in English, for instance.
No, take any English grammar and you'll see how it described the
quotation marks. They are surely asymmetric and "curly". Finnish and a
few other languages use symmetric quotation marks, but not the Ascii
quotation mark.
Presumably you would agree that English is a human language?
Well, let's avoid that issue. :-)
Hint: consider the _names_ of those characters.


The names of characters are often misleading, and you cannot deduce the
meaning from the name alone, especially when there are explicit
statements to the contrary.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #36

P: n/a
On Sun, 4 Apr 2004 17:33:11 +0000 (UTC), "Jukka K. Korpela"
<jk******@cs.tut.fi> wrote:
Stan Brown <th************@fastmail.fm> wrote:
I can't speak for
Finnish, but they are perfectly correct in English, for instance.


No, take any English grammar and you'll see how it described the
quotation marks.


But English Grammar is descriptive, and not proscriptive, and with the
huge body of material which does use " for quotations, you'd be hard
pushed to say it was definitively wrong.

You could certainly say that many people regard it as so, and that
otehr symbols are more commonly used, but I don't see how you can
claim it to be wrong.

Jim.
--
comp.lang.javascript FAQ - http://jibbering.com/faq/

Jul 20 '05 #37

P: n/a
ji*@jibbering.com (Jim Ley) wrote:
But English Grammar is descriptive, and not proscriptive, and with the
huge body of material which does use " for quotations, you'd be hard
pushed to say it was definitively wrong.


Sorry, but the English language has orthography rules, too, and they have
always used asymmetric quotation marks; the Ascii apostrophe was never
anything but a typerwriter-age and early computer-era surrogate.
There's no point in arguing about this - especially here. (The only CSS-
related point is really that CSS specifications have got quotation rules
in many languages all wrong when they present the 'quotes' property, but
this is of little practical value since that property is currently
useless in WWW authoring.)

I still use " and ' on my pages, mostly, and naturally on Usenet. But
this only means using an incorrect surrogate, for the noble cause of
being more accessible. (I almost decided to switch to correct punctuation
on all new pages, but then I learned that the Google translator
cluelessly fails to recognize the right single quotation mark as an
apostrophe.)

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #38

P: n/a
On Sun, 4 Apr 2004 20:35:35 +0000 (UTC), "Jukka K. Korpela"
<jk******@cs.tut.fi> wrote:
ji*@jibbering.com (Jim Ley) wrote:
But English Grammar is descriptive, and not proscriptive, and with the
huge body of material which does use " for quotations, you'd be hard
pushed to say it was definitively wrong.


Sorry, but the English language has orthography rules, too, and they have
always used asymmetric quotation marks;


I can cite you many millions of instances where they do not, so your
claim that they always have is clearly bogus. There's a good reason
why that change occured - but good reasons are what change a languages
rules. They are not immutable. The Rules of English are free to
change, and whilst you're free to claim they haven't, there's
considerable evidence they have, so please don't be so confident in
your assertions.

Jim.

F-ups set to poster.
--
comp.lang.javascript FAQ - http://jibbering.com/faq/

Jul 20 '05 #39

P: n/a
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fi> wrote in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
No, take any English grammar and you'll see how it described the
quotation marks.


I have three English grammars on my shelf, as it happens, and _none_
of them specifies the shape of a punctuation mark.

Again I ask, what do you mean by saying " and ' are not correct in
any human language?

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/
2.1 changes: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/changes.html
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Jul 20 '05 #40

P: n/a
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fi> wrote in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
Sorry, but the English language has orthography rules, too, and they have
always used asymmetric quotation marks;


Citation, please? "Any English grammar" won't cut it: please cite
the specific passage you are relying on in the specific grammar
book.

I believe I am correct in thinking that English is not your first
language, though you write it quite well. How would you react if I
started making dogmatic statements about Finnish grammar, statements
that you knew to be not only wrong but not even _about_ grammar?

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/
2.1 changes: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/changes.html
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Jul 20 '05 #41

P: n/a
Tim
Tim wrote:
If someone wants to be silly enough to use an apostrophe where they
should be using quotes, that's their fault for using the wrong
character.

"Alan J. Flavell" <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk> posted:
Silly enough?

According to the Unicode recommendation, they should be using a
(right) single quote as apostrophe.

If you reckon that using an apostrophe as single quote is "silly
enough", then it'll be interesting to hear what you have to say about
the Unicode recommendation.
I've already discussed that one with Jucca a few days ago. Along the lines
of demonstrating it with something like: This doesn&rsquo;t make any
sense, at all.
Unfortunately, you're making the same kind of mistake as the other
contributors, and assuming that by alluding to "real" characters you
can make it clear to us what you mean. But the Unicode recommendations
say something different. For example that the APOSTROPHE is not
suitable for use as an apostrophe, but only as a compatibility
character - for single quote as well as for apostrophe. And so on.
Consequently, we can't really understand in detail what you're trying
to tell us.
I'm alluding to the idea that when something is "named" as being an
"apostrophe" that it actually is. Both in looks and correct labelling.

The ' character is identified as being an "apostrophe" whether that be
ASCII, ISO-8859-1, or any other character encoding that I've looked at. It
ought to look like one.
e.g. &lsquo;I really don't like single-quoted text,&rsquo; said Tim.
Should actually draw a real apostrophe in the "don't" word, Unicode doesn't have a character REAL APOSTROPHE, and its
recommendation says something which seems to be incompatible with what
you say you want.
Yes, something quite daft. But I take issue between having a real and some
other type of apostrophe. As far as I believe, we have a character
identified as apostrophe, why do we need another. Why don't the fonts just
draw it correctly, instead of emulating some ancient and wrong use:
Everyone just seems to copy the shape of the old 8 by 8 pixel
rendering from ancient terminals, rather than draw an "apostrophe". At which position in the font?
The "apostrophe" position, the one I've typed several times throughout the
message. :-\ What do you see when I type this ' attempt at an apostrophe
character?
That, to me, is a serious fault in the fonts, rather than the use of
that character.

*Which* character, ferchrissake? The ASCII character (and Unicode
compatibility character) APOSTROPHE is meant to be upright. If you
don't want an upright apostrophe, then don't use the ASCII character.
In what place is it *normal* to design an apostrophe to look like (the
following crude ASCII art):

***
***
***
***

Instead of:

*****
*******
*******
******
***
***
***

None! (That I'm aware of.) Until I heard people making excuses for the
way most fonts draw the damn thing, I've never heard of such as thing as a
"straight-apostrophe".

There's one way to draw an apostrophe, anything else is just a mark on the
page. If anything is going to draw a stylised weird version of an
apostrophe, that ought to be the exception, rather than the norm.
If the font is correctly implementing the Unicode recommendation, then
you're shooting at the wrong target when you claim there's a "serious
fault" in the font. So are you saying there's a "serious fault" in
the Unicode recommendation?


Yes.

--
If you insist on e-mailing me, use the reply-to address (it's real but
temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.
Jul 20 '05 #42

P: n/a
Stan Brown <th************@fastmail.fm> wrote:
I have three English grammars on my shelf, as it happens, and _none_
of them specifies the shape of a punctuation mark.
Look again. Do the quotation marks look like " and '? Is the opening
quotation mark identical with the closing quotation mark?
Again I ask, what do you mean by saying " and ' are not correct in
any human language?


There is no human language for which " and ' are correct punctuation
marks. (Contrary to popular belief among typographers, they are not even
correct characters for inch and foot.)

ObCSS: You're in good company. The CSS 2.1 draft still uses the poorly
supported 'quotes' property to create wrong characters in a pointlessly
complicated way:
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/generate.html#quotes-specify
(And it uses a complicated way of generating completely wrong quotation
marks for Norwegian text.)
It surely does not require "high quality typesetting" to produce correct
quotation marks for English. It's elementary, and it's dead simple in
HTML, except for the still relevant issue that there is software that
does not render or process the correct characters correctly. But surely
any browser that can handle the 'quotes' property can produce the correct
characters!

You can decide to use “ and ” and other references, or the
characters themselves in a suitable encoding, in HTML. Or you can decide
that the Web is not yet mature enough for them and stick to surrogates
that are known to be orthographically and typographically wrong, yet
widely understood, namely " and '. But messing around with <q> markup and
the 'quotes' property is pointless, and so are attempts to justify the
use of " and ' by claiming them to be correct.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #43

P: n/a
Stan Brown <th************@fastmail.fm> wrote:
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fi> wrote in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
Sorry, but the English language has orthography rules, too, and they
have always used asymmetric quotation marks;
Citation, please?


For what?
"Any English grammar" won't cut it:
It will if you just open a grammar and look at it. It surely contains
rules for presenting quotations.
I believe I am correct in thinking that English is not your first
language,
You are correct, and it's easily checkable from my Web pages.
How would you react if I
started making dogmatic statements about Finnish grammar, statements
that you knew to be not only wrong but not even _about_ grammar?


I would probably ignore them on a forum like this, or send you E-mail to
correct you. If you wrote about quotation marks, then I could easily hit
you on the head (softly, I promise) with a national standard, which I
know quite well. And if you think that punctuation is not part of
grammar, then you just have a little bit narrow view on grammar.
I can understand that - many definitions of "grammar" limit the scope to
things like "classes of words, their inflections, and their functions and
relations in the sentence" - but in reality a grammar for a language that
exists in written form too needs to take a position (either
descriptively or prescriptively) on things like presenting direct
quotations.

(I guess nobody who wants to read on-topic messages only is reading this
thread, so as far as I am concerned, we can keep entertaining ourselves
this way. But this _is_ rather pointless.)

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #44

P: n/a
Tim <ti*@mail.localhost.invalid> wrote:
I've already discussed that one with Jucca a few days ago. Along the
lines of demonstrating it with something like: This doesn&rsquo;t
make any sense, at all.
You seem to draw quite some conclusions from the "mnemonic" entity name.
I'm alluding to the idea that when something is "named" as being an
"apostrophe" that it actually is. Both in looks and correct
labelling.
That idea is simply wrong. The names of characters in Unicode largely
reflect various traditions and often relate to particular (and sometimes
outdated) uses of characters. In the absence of any direct information,
we have resort to drawing conclusions from names alone - but here we have
no such absence. The Unicode standard explicitly says that the right
single quotation mark is the preferred character for an apostrophe.
You may disagree with this principle (I do), but it's there, so it surely
trumps any conclusions you have drawn from a name.
The ' character is identified as being an "apostrophe" whether that
be ASCII, ISO-8859-1, or any other character encoding that I've
looked at. It ought to look like one.
Here, too, your conclusions are void and null on the basis of an explicit
statement in the Unicode standard: the character U+0027 has vertical
glyph.
Unicode doesn't have a character REAL APOSTROPHE, and its
recommendation says something which seems to be incompatible with
what you say you want.


Yes, something quite daft.


To be exact, Unicode has a real apostrophe, U+2019, but not as a
character separate from the right single quotation mark.
As far as I believe, we have a
character identified as apostrophe, why do we need another. Why
don't the fonts just draw it correctly, instead of emulating some
ancient and wrong use:
The correct rendering of U+0027 is vertical. The character itself is
ancient, so to say, and ancient shall it look like. One reason to this is
that it has been used as both a left single quotation mark and as a right
single quotation mark, and it was intentionally designed for such usage,
and rendering it as non-neutral would seriously conflict with this.
There's one way to draw an apostrophe,


Typographers would disagree or agree, depending on how they interpret the
statement. There's "one way" to draw the letter "A", in a sense - it must
not look like a "B" - but there is surely a wide range of allowed
variation in glyphs for it. Even more so for "a". The apostrophe is
closer to "A" in this respect. And many typographers think that the
apostrophe can be a slanted short straight line in certain types of
sans serif fonts - which I find odd, but it's reflected in many typeface
designs.

ObCSS: Using the 'quotes' property would not solve this problem the
least. It just adds to the confusion a bit.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #45

P: n/a
Responding to this classic piece of double-think:
But the Unicode recommendations say something different.
For example that the APOSTROPHE is not suitable for
use as an apostrophe...
[So why call it APOSTROPHE? Why not call it DEPRECATED ANCIENT
TYPEWRITER APOSTROPHE SUBSTITUTE?]

Tim wrote:
I'm alluding to the idea that when something is "named" as being an
"apostrophe" that it actually is. Both in looks and correct labelling.

The ' character is identified as being an "apostrophe" whether that be
ASCII, ISO-8859-1, or any other character encoding that I've looked at. It
ought to look like one.
[snip]
What do you see when I type this ' attempt at an apostrophe character?
I see a chicken scratch. Something which is *not* a minute of angle
sign, nor a foot sign, nor a prime, certainly nothing like an
apostrophe, nor a "right single quote" (whatever the hell that is),
just an ugly scratch mark. It is not any of the things people
routinely claim it to be.

*Which* character, ferchrissake? The ASCII character (and Unicode
compatibility character) APOSTROPHE is meant to be upright. If you
don't want an upright apostrophe, then don't use the ASCII character.


There is no such thing as an "upright apostrophe". In every case
except one where this (') character appears, it is an error. You can
debate all you want whether it is an author error (it is), an error in
Unicode (it is), an error in fonts, an error in editing software or an
error by keyboard manufacturers (it is), but only an illiterate sees
that character on their screen and does not think, "There is an
error."

The only place the chicken scratch, I mean "upright apostrophe",
character can legitimately appear is in samples of computer source
code.

In what place is it *normal* to design an apostrophe to look like (the
following crude ASCII art):

***
***
***
***

Instead of:

*****
*******
*******
******
***
***
***

None! (That I'm aware of.) Until I heard people making excuses for the
way most fonts draw the damn thing, I've never heard of such as thing as a
"straight-apostrophe".

There's one way to draw an apostrophe, anything else is just a mark on the
page. If anything is going to draw a stylised weird version of an
apostrophe, that ought to be the exception, rather than the norm.


Hear! Hear!

--
Karl Smith.
Jul 20 '05 #46

P: n/a
ji*@jibbering.com (Jim Ley) wrote:
On Sun, 4 Apr 2004, "Jukka K. Korpela" wrote:
Stan Brown <th************@fastmail.fm> wrote:
I can't speak for
Finnish, but they are perfectly correct in English, for instance.
No, take any English grammar and you'll see how it described the
quotation marks.


But English Grammar is descriptive, and not proscriptive, and with the
huge body of material which does use " for quotations, you'd be hard
pushed to say it was definitively wrong.


You can drag out the hoary old, "English is a living language,"
rhetoric to apologize for any currently fashionable abuse of the
language that your descendants will cringe at.

ASCII style "quote marks" and "straight apostrophes" should be treated
the same as "the nouning of verbs and the verbing of nouns" ("impact"
anyone?), and misuse of words like "paradigm" and "infrastructure" -
as handy signals that one is reading the the writings of an author who
is only semi-literate.

You could certainly say that many people regard it as so, and that
other symbols are more commonly used, but I don't see how you can
claim it to be wrong.


It may not be wrong by the standards of currently fashionable usage,
but there is a vast gulf between "not wrong" and the dogmatic
description that Stan gave: "Perfectly correct."

It is impossible for anything to be simultaneously in the categories
"abomination" and "perfect".

--
Karl Smith.
Jul 20 '05 #47

P: n/a
On Mon, 5 Apr 2004, Karl Smith wrote:
Responding to this classic piece of double-think:
But the Unicode recommendations say something different.
For example that the APOSTROPHE is not suitable for
use as an apostrophe...
[So why call it APOSTROPHE?
Presumably they felt constrained to the ASCII standard[1], for
compatibility reasons.

[1] In its latest form, that would be ANSI X3.4(1986)
What do you see when I type this ' attempt at an apostrophe character?


In a sense, the answer to that question is irrelevant. What was
actually -posted- was the code of the us-ascii character which the
authoritative specification called "APOSTROPHE". No matter what weird
and wonderful glyph you choose for populating your local font at that
position, the character itself remains authoritatively the us-ascii
character which was sent. The one which the Unicode specification
rules to be only a compatibility character.

(And don't start me on <font face="Dingbats">)
*Which* character, ferchrissake? The ASCII character (and Unicode
compatibility character) APOSTROPHE is meant to be upright. If you
don't want an upright apostrophe, then don't use the ASCII character.


There is no such thing as an "upright apostrophe".


Maybe not on your planet, but down here the folks who took the
decisions chose to be constrained by the legacy of the ASCII
specification, and neither you nor I can unilaterally change that.
only an illiterate sees that character on their screen and does not
think, "There is an error."


Well, thank you. I guess that rules me out of membership of the
literacy stakes, then. Should I hand-in my copy of MEU2?

I don't disagree that the situation is unsatisfactory, but I think I
have a more-practical attitude to the finer details. Ho hum.
Jul 20 '05 #48

P: n/a
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
ji*@jibbering.com (Jim Ley) wrote:

But English Grammar is descriptive, and not proscriptive, and with the
huge body of material which does use " for quotations, you'd be hard
pushed to say it was definitively wrong.

Sorry, but the English language has orthography rules, too, and they have
always used asymmetric quotation marks; the Ascii apostrophe was never
anything but a typerwriter-age and early computer-era surrogate.


Jukka, the British English way to enclose quotes, i.e spoken dialogue in
books, is a single ' The Grafton/Collins editions of books I own use a
single '.

The American way is using ". The DAW and other US editions of books use
". I've seen very few books enclose quotes in “ and ”

When I have seen them used it's mainly in newspapers and magazines where
they've headlined a quote.

The point I'm trying to make is that English is probably the last
language on Earth to tie down with strict orthographic rules, given its
widespread use, regional differences and the like. It is very much a
mutable thing.

--
Peter aka Ulujain - Computing for Fun!
http://www.ulujain.org/
Jul 20 '05 #49

P: n/a
Ulujain <pe***@REMOVEulujain.org> wrote:
Jukka, the British English way to enclose quotes, i.e spoken dialogue
in books, is a single '
I know that British English usually uses single quotation marks (and
double quotation marks for inner quotations), but I also know that it
uses asymmetric (i.e., left and right different) single quotation marks.
The difference in using single and double marks is irrelevant here.
The American way is using ".
No, the American way uses asymmetric double quotation marks.
I've seen very few books enclose quotes in “ and ”


Really? Wait a minute... I check
- The SGML Handbook (which naturally uses Ascii quotation marks in SGML
samples but asymmetric quotation marks in prose)
- Programming Perl (again, Ascii quotes for code samples, but...
- The World' Writing Systems
- The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy
- The Extended Phenotype
- The Dark Light Years
and I think I'll stop now - they all use asymmetric quotation marks
(though in one case, I had to look at them twice, since the glyphs were
somewhat strange).

ObCSS: Not surprisingly, Eric Meyer's "Cascading Style Sheets - The
Definitive Guide" uses correct quotation marks too.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #50

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