FW: Font-family specification

Chris Wilson (cwilso@microsoft.com)
Thu, 25 Jan 1996 09:30:44 -0800

I sent this a couple days ago, but our mail service burped and ate it. :^(
I'll try again.

I stated a while ago that I would like to see the font-family specification
change from a whitespace-separated list, with spaces in font names changed
to dashes, to a comma-separated list, with whitespace allowed in font family
names. I would like to more strongly recommend that this be done, and here
are a number of reasons why:

1) Commas are rarely if ever used in font names; spaces are widely used.
Some of the most popular fonts on the Microsoft Windows platform (remember,
it is the most popular OS out there) have spaces in their names (e.g.,
"Times New Roman") - to force document authors to make this translation is,
I believe, foolish. Although ideally all stylesheets will be authored by
machine, not by hand, this is unrealistic in the short term.

2) Comma-separated, with whitespace allowed, is how the Microsoft <FONT
FACE=""> extension works, so some people with be used to using that

3) There is no easy way to auto-convert between the two, since "Times New
Roman" might be in whitespace-separated format, and equate to
"Times,New,Roman". Bleah.

4) Most importantly, spaces need to be preserved in font names for copyright
reasons. This actually means the names need to be preserved completely, but
I'm assured commas are not a problem. In a quick look at the 58 fonts
installed on my system, none of them use commas, but only 14 of them do
*NOT* use spaces in their names.

I'd like to make this change before CSS Level 1 gets any closer to draft
status, and before too many more people implement it. I feel that the
copyright issue especially demands that this change be made, and the human
factor is also important.