CR Drost (kentox) wrote in suggestions,
CR Drost

Use CSS to make an O tag for overlines

Use CSS to make an O tag for overlines

Short, concise description of the idea
In HTML, the U tag underlines text, the I tag italicizes it, et cetera. I propose that, in the general CSS files for Livejournal, an O tag be defined which does overlines.

Full description of the idea
Overlines are a standard part of CSS, and they see some use in LiveJournal's math communities, where they can be used for pretty square root symbols, to indicate an average quantity instead of an instant quantity; in logic they may be used to denote the operation NOT; they also can be used for complementary sets or even vectors. In particular, when someone wants to talk about a line segment between two points, one usually uses an overline to denote that.

However, there's a severe problem for anybody who wants to do this: whereas the B and I and U tags require 7 characters total apeice to write, and hence are very easy, the overline did not come with standard HTML a long time ago. They need to be embedded in a font tag. The opening tag ends up being:

font style="text-decoration:overline;"

This is tremendously tedious to type -- and can be difficult to get right. Instead of 7 markup characters total, someone will have to write 47 markup characters total to initiate the tag.

By adding a ~30 character line to the CSS headers, the O tag could be used, instead of the I or B tags.

An ordered list of benefits
  • As above, math and physics communities stand to benefit immensely.
  • Private users might enjoy the effect too, though it's not really intended to them.

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Increases the length of the CSS file by ~30 bytes or so.
  • We would need to notify math-related communities that the O tag is available for overlines.
  • It is a relatively global change, and may be upsetting to some people.
  • There probably isn't a style sheet that is simultaneously seen by all Recent views, all Friends views and the LJ comments views. How would we get all of them to change?
  • The tag probably needs to be added to the program that parses the HTML in posts.

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • This can be implemented rather simply. Just add the following line to a general CSS sheet used for comment pages:
  • o : {text-decoration:overline;}
  • However, as above, to be successful it would have to be somehow implemented in *all LJ pages*.
Tags: html cleaner, markup, § rejected
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