Re: Notational Misunderstanding (was Re: Oversize / Dropped Caps and Initials)

Bert Bos (
Mon, 17 Jul 1995 18:07:03 +0200 (METDST)

Brother Baker writes:
|On Tue, 11 Jul 1995, Benjamin C. W. Sittler wrote, considering notation:
|> I would say that the ordering is correct... big.font and plain font is
|> the most general, .size the most specific.
|Forgive me. But, I don't understand.
|Can someone help me?
|I would think that if not "font.size.big" then it would AT LEAST be
|"font.big.size". I mean, the most general seems to be plain "font",
|followed either by size or big. Why the other way around?
|I seem to understand you, by using this notation, to mean that if
|"[.]font[.]" were anywhere within the classification, then the current
|class should have its attributes cascaded from "font". I do NOT
|find it intuitive to say that.
|If you say "big.font.size", _I_ would expect the set of "big.img",
|"big.font", "big.whatever" to inherit from "big". (Which I don't
|REALLY think makes a lot of sense.)
|(Or maybe, _I_ don't make sense. Am I just confused?)

First of all, there is no semantics associated with the `.' in
font.size. It is put there so that related property names will end up
near each other in an alphabetically sorted index, but otherwise
font.size is just a single identifier and the name is arbitrary.

Secondly, The hierarchical naming isn't applied consistently, e.g., should really have been, since the font
is something that applies to text. However, that name is too long.

Thirdly, whether the big font is a sub-property of font or a
completely seperate font is debatable. I think they are independent,
so `bigfont' without a dot might be better.

On the whole, however, I don't really mind if it is big.font or
bigfont or font.big. The latter might be easier to find in an
alphabetical list, but it sounds less natural. Also, since the big
font will only be applied to the initial capital of a text (at least I
don't think other uses will be in the initial style language), maybe a
name that refers to that use is more appropriate?


                          Bert Bos                      Alfa-informatica
                 <>           Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
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