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Subject: Re: Font sizes in mail and web pages
From: "Martin J. Duerst" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:IETF working group on HTML in e-mail <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 10 Jun 1998 15:35:39 +0900
Content-Type:text/enriched
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text/enriched (123 lines)


At 20:18 98/05/24 +0200, Jacob Palme wrote:

>>>>

<excerpt>At 01.36 +0200 98-05-23, Martin J. Duerst wrote:

> Here is something that this group is probably best suited to address.

>

> I recently get mail that shows up extremely small in my MUA (Eudora

> Pro for Win95). The sender seems to have set the default to something

> like <<FONT SIZE=2>. This is a relative setting. I'm very sure the

> author is not seeing it as small as I do, it's really SMALL PRINT.

>

> One problem seems to be that the "usual size" in web pages and in

> MUAs is somewhat different, and that there are different ideas of

> how to account for these differences.

</excerpt><<<<<<<<


Hello Jacob,


Many thanks for your answer. Sorry to be late with mine.


[Examples deleted]


>>>>

<excerpt>I have set my e-mail software (Eudora) to have Monaco 12 pt

as the normal font, all other fonts above are then sized

relative to this setting.


<bold><fontfamily><param>Times</param><bigger>Excerpts from the HTML 3.2
specification:

</bigger></fontfamily></bold>

<bold><bigger><bigger>size

</bigger></bigger></bold><bigger><fontfamily><param>Times</param>This
sets the font size for the contents of the font

element. You can set size to an integer ranging from 1 to 7

for an absolute font size, or specify a relative font size

with a signed integer value, e.g. size="+1" or size="-2".

This is mapped to an absolute font size by adding the

current base font size as set by the BASEFONT element (see

below).

</fontfamily></bigger>

<bold><bigger><bigger>BASEFONT

</bigger></bigger></bold><bigger><fontfamily><param>Times</param>Used to
set the base font size. BASEFONT is an empty

element so the end tag is forbidden. The SIZE attribute is

an integer value ranging from 1 to 7. The base font size

applies to the normal and preformatted text but not to

headings, except where these are modified using the FONT

element with a relative font size.

</fontfamily></bigger></excerpt>

<<<<<<<<

I don't exactly understand what you wanted to say with these

quotations. As a W3C team member and one of the contributors

to HTML 4.0, I'm familiar enough with these specifications.


What I wanted to express in my mail (and probably didn't do

well enough) is that these specifications are not enough, that

most probably some implementor advice is needed, because there

seem to be different practices for the size of the "normal font"

for mailers and browsers, and this leads to interoperability

problems between users that use separate tools for mailing and

browsing and users that use the same tool for these activities.


I think that one potential solution would be to have different

"normal sizes" for mail and browsing even in combined tools.

Using size="-1" or so to achieve this is current practice, but

has problems with interoperability.



Regards,    Martin.

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