[whatwg] css3-fonts: New values for generic font families

Nicholas Shanks contact at nickshanks.com
Sun Jul 2 02:20:30 PDT 2006

I wish to submit two proposals for changes to the generic font  
families built into CSS. If someone could please forward these to  
whomever is currently working on the css3-fonts module, I would be  
much obliged.

1) That "monospace" and it's new inverse "proportional" be  
independent of the other generic families, and that both a generic  
and monospace/proportional (in either order) be specifiable together.  
This should be followed by a lone CSS2 generic for backwards  
compatibility. If not present, "proportional" should be assumed.


Old:-  font-family: "Courier", "Courier New", monospace;
New:-   font-family: "Courier", "Courier New", serif monospace,  

Old:-  font-family: "Monaco", monospace;
New:-   font-family: "Monaco", sans-serif monospace, monospace;

Old:-  font-family: "Hoefler Text", "Georgia", serif;
New:-   font-family: "Hoefler Text", "Georgia", proportional serif,  

2) The addition of two new generic family classes for the Latin  
script, namely:

blackletter (including fraktur, gotisch, schwabacher, rotunda, old  
english, &c.)
uncial (including insular, irish, &c.)

Blackletter is by far the most important of these, as it is quite  
common (much more so than 'fantasy') yet there are few universal  
blackletter fonts on all systems. Whilst it is often seen that a web  
designer will append "Arial" before the generic family—making the  
generics almost useless in that regard—due to the lack of universal  
fonts for either of these generics a user agent would likely find it  
falls back to them much more often than for 'serif' and 'sans-serif'.

- Nicholas Shanks.
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