From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Jul 24 2006 - 19:26:48 CDT
From: "Otto Stolz" <Otto.Stolz@uni-konstanz.de>
> Jukka K. Korpela wrote,
>> The description of existing practices shows that some web authors use
>> images of a certain type to mark external links as external. This does not
>> demonstrate existing usage of a _character_,
>> since authors use rather varying designs.
> Yet, there is a lot of evidence of an evolving convergence
> towards a rectangle with an arrow pointing outward from it,
> as outlined by Karl Pentzlin.
I'm note sure that all sites currently converge to use a rectangle; most sites that I have seen using such symbol, display an thick outlined arrow pointing outward from a circle (the circle represents the Earth globe, often linked to the world wide web, and present in the logo of web browsers; the rectangle symbolizes nothing else than a single page). You may eventually see a rectangle when the icon is very small when it appears in texts at very small point sizes and without the zoom.
If only browsers supported resizable icons that fit the text size (including with page zoom)! I desesperately would like to see the support for embedded SVG fonts with a small set of glyphs used in one page. For now, SVG support in browsers is still minimalist, and the relation between SVG glyphs and a virtual font which may be declared and used in a CSS file is missing (except in Flash-based websites, where scalable embedded fonts do work very well, along with scripting and styling, but which are still quite complex to edit and maintain, or are not easy to support with server-side script-generated contents).
But for now, we are still too far for good compliabce with the CSS2 or even CSS1 standard, so scalable embedded virtual fonts with SVG glyphs are still far from being easy to use on web sites, despite it would solve most of the current nightmares experimented by authors due to lack of interoperable font supports.
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