I hope I have this in the right section. I notice that this old problem (goes back to Netscape 4.xx) seems to still be around. If I use the old html way of setting font size, <font size="4"> and compare it to using css font-size : medium , why does the css size render smaller? Shouldn't they be the same size? Assumed equivelants Font size= Font-size : 1 xx-small 2 x-small 3 small 4 medium 5 large 6 x-large 7 xx-large Take a look at this page http://www.800line.com/~ichristie/sizetest.html for a complete comparison
No they shouldn't. In HTML, the default font size is 3. http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/present/graphics.html#edef-FONT The BASEFONT element sets the base font size (using the size attribute). Font size changes achieved with FONT are relative to the base font size set by BASEFONT. If BASEFONT is not used, the default base font size is 3. In CSS, the default is medium. So obviously things don't map properly.
Correction, we do display the font sizes properly, I meant to say they don't map as you expect them to. Random article: http://www.alistapart.com/stories/sizematters/
Sorry to have bothered you with it, just seemed to me that even though the CSS basefont is medium, that should be larger than the old base font of 3. Using medium as the same size as font size 3 makes xx-small so small it is virtually un readable. Also Opera (around the 98% compliance) and IE render the xx-small to xx-large the same as 1 to 7 respectivly. It would be nice to not have to maintain multiple style sheets because of different interpretations of the standard. Here's another interpretation, based on what I've read in the replies, basefont of the old Font size method was 3, might be a little small, so make the base font 1 step up, from the css equivelant (small) to medium (4). Makes more sense than making medium equal to size 3, therefore making xx-small equal to the non existing size=0. Besides it would be nice to not to have to force viewers using Mozilla/NS 6 to squint, or maintain two otherwise identical style sheets. I appologize for my rant, I thought originally that this might have been a small bug, I would love to switch permenantly to Mozilla and get away from IE, but when text on pages that display normally in IE (text size of smaller) are almost unreadable in Mozilla/NS 6, it drives me around the bend, especially when I'm trying to make pages viewable by many people and are easy to modify (no html font tags please), I just have to bring it up. Sorry again for the rant
Ian Christie, the link I gave in comment 2 is a perfect article for you to read. It addresses your concerns.
There is no question that 'medium' should be the default, and there is no question that 3 should be the HTML FONT default. There have been a number of interesting discussions on how to do the rest. I suggest you read Todd Fahrner's proposals (I'm not quite sure where to find them now), which are very clearly thought out and which we have roughly followed.