From: Jukka K. Korpela (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 01:52:55 CST
On Mon, 25 Apr 2005, Curtis Clark wrote:
> Doug Ewell said the following on 2005-04-25 21:47:
> > Most style sheets end their font-family lists with "serif" or
> > "sans-serif," and I think if it gets to that point, the browser can be
> > considered to have done its job if it picks (respectively) any old serif
> > or sans-serif font its heart desires.
> Actually, it is user-selectable, and at least in the case of Firefox, on
> somewhat of a per-language basis.
On Opera, too. But there are two kinds of settings, unless I've missed
a) mapping serif, sans-serif etc. to specific fonts
b) selecting the font to be used when a page makes no font suggestion
(even using a generic font name) or when the browser has been set
to ignore such suggestions.
The latter is possible on IE, too, and the default font can be set
differently for different writing systems. Presumably, this means that
when processing text with no font suggestions, the browser determines
which writing system each character belongs to and selects a font
accordingly. Things are probably rather confusing and confused when
we get into details. For example, the second kind of settings might
look like being for _language_ dependent settings; and to add to the
confusion, it probably partly _is_ dependent on the declared language.
I've noticed that if I set e.g. lang="ru" for a piece of text containing
Russian as transliterated (in Latin letters), browsers may think (from the
lang attribute) that the text must be in Cyrillic letters, so they use
the font selected for Cyrillic script. This is somewhat understandable,
since browsers cannot really recognize the writing system - they need
to make a guess.
-- Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
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