Sent by Ghodmode on 25 January 2012 03:03
Thank you very much Paceaux. Youve made a number of good points. I
think I'll do a follow-up blog entry.
more comments inline ...
On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 4:06 AM, Paceaux [EMAIL-REMOVED]> wrote:
> I think other comments have kind of addressed that for most of us in this
> discussion group, we knew that the em isn't one "M".
For the record, I didn't know before I created that experiment page.
I thought that, for any given font, the lowercase 'm' was exactly 1em
wide, but I wondered how it handled an m with a tail or flourish like
the web font I chose.
> Regarding your article, I have a few thoughts:
> 1. Experiments have results. For the sake of your readers, provide the
> results of the experiment.
> 2. explain the experiment. I can see you've bordered out the width and
> height, but for a reader unfamiliar with em Â calculation, they won't
> understand the relationship that pixels will have to it.
I agree. I may update it to make this more clear. For, me it became
clear when I saw that the 'm' stuck out the right side of the 1em box,
but I realize that might not be clear to everyone.
> 3. I'm struggling to understand your thesis or argument. Is it that the em
> is not the best letter to measure by? Or is it that Â the em isn't always an
> "em"? The statement "I have a really big m" doesn't support either of the
> arguments. That's fine if it doesn't, but you should clearly, in the first
> two sentences, state your argument/thesis.
I don't think I really had an argument. It was just the question "How
big is an 'em'?".
The title was partially supposed to be funny. Maybe I should have put
an ellipsis: "I have a really big... 'm'". Well, humor isn't my
strong suit, but I was also referring to the fact that sometimes a
letter 'm' is bigger than normal because of a flourish or tail in a
scripty font and I wanted to understand if/how that affected the size
of the unit.
I'm not formally educated, so the proper form of a thesis statement or
formal argument eludes me.
I just like to read a lot about web d. stuff. I only understand about
40% of it, though. For the rest I write it down on the wall, then
bang my head against it repeatedly until I understand. When I'm done,
if there's still more ink than blood on the wall, I call it a success.
> A few other things to consider:
> "em" is generally thought as the relative width of the relevant font. The
> CSS2 spec, however, doesn't say that explicitly. It refers to the "em
That's the cause of confusion for me... If it's the relevant width of
the font, what's the height of 1em? My experiment page shows that
it's the same as the width, but I didn't know that before I created
> "ex" is relative height of the relevant font.
> Some UAs may base x-height on a measurement between "o" and the baseline.
> I've read where the em is calculated based on the "default" font size. so
> you may want to rerun the experiment with a default font.
That doesn't help. If an ex is the relative height, what's the width
of an ex?
I like the idea of re-running the experiment. I think I'll try a few
different fonts. I wonder if an 'm' is an 'em' in a monospace font.
> I think if you're making the argument that an em isn't always an "M", why
> not also check to see if an "ex" is an "x"
Not "argument", "discovery". But you're right.
I didn't bother with ex because it's em that everyone is adamant about
I did wonder why no one ever mentions ex. Since
it's relative to the font size, isn't it just as good as em? In fact,
since it's a little narrower than em, wouldn't it be a better unit to
use when we're trying to aim for a target width in terms of the number
> <signature id="paceaux">
> Â Â Frank M Taylor
> Â Â http://frankmtaylor.com
> Â Â @paceaux
> On Jan 23, 2012, at 11:23 PM, Ghodmode wrote:
> I wrote a new blog entry inspired by past discussions on WebDesign-L
> and CSS-D: "I Hava a Really Big 'm'"
> Â Â Â Contemporary wisdom says that we should use the relative unit âemâ
> for most, if not all, element measurements in web design.
> Â Â Â So, how big is an âemâ? I set up a small experiment to tell me just that.
> Â Â Â Continue reading â
> I appreciate any comments, questions, or complaints.
> Thank you.
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