is a lot shorter than
<span style="font-family: Helvetica">
is a lot shorter than
<span style="font-family: Helvetica">
The font tag is deprecated in HTML5, which means that browsers could remove support for it at any time. For more details, see:
I am on the same page as Jonesey. It is nice that it is short but browsers may stop supporting it at any time, in which case all those beautiful customized signatures will not be beautiful anymore.
I definitely agree that <font> shouldn't be used anymore, but I'm also aware that there are probably still editors that are a) still using it, b) close to the character limit, and c) would run to the dramaboards because the evil WMF banned their personal signature out of spite. If anyone has any sort of data to say how prevalent font tags are in signatures, it would probably help guide this decision.
Alright, I ran the numbers: there are 6705 enwiki editors with a font tag in their signature already. Some of them clearly haven't been changed in a while, since they predate the software-enforced 255 character limit. There are 1916 enwiki editors with a font tag and a signature longer than 200 characters. Nothing would break immediately for these editors if they did not change their signature, but many would be unable to make any edits to their signature without removing the existing formatting (because the span tags are too long).
Do you have a way of knowing how many of those 1,916 editors have made an edit in the last year? That would give us an idea of how many people may actually be affected by font tags being deprecated.
And FWIW, changing a font tag to a span tag if you are setting the font face, as in Headbomb's example above, adds 14 characters, but if you are just setting the color, it adds only 7 characters. The vast majority of editors should be fine, and a few might have to make do with a bit less customization.
It would probably also be a good idea to post suggested fixes to the signatures. For example a bot message like
Blah blah blah, linter error, html 5 blah blah blah, which is bad because of explosions, murder, and possibly jaywalking
- Current signature:
<b>[[User:Example]]</b>, which renders as User:Example
- Suggested signature:
'''[[User:Example]]'''which renders as User:Example
A message from FIX-YO-SIG Bot 00:41, 5 March 2020 (UTC)
I think I would tend toward a "see Project:Signature fix page for a list of common optimizations and feel free to ask on the talk page if you need help changing your signature."; even in your example, there might be context such as <span> elements with styling that could instead be turned into <b> elements with styling.
But, that's implementation details.
That's also a good potential workflow. Possibly with a bot posting basically a similar message and pointing them to that signature fixing page.
Well lint fixing experiences of the past show that you can't even write a bot for some of these things, so either we need a really smart AI, or we just have a page where some humans help out.
363 editors have font tags and have made an edit since 2019-03-04T00:00:00Z.
I do not think 363 is really a sufficient quantity to support font, and eyeballing the majority of the cases pulled up in that query, I don't really think the signature lengths I'm seeing need it either given a number of optimizations I can see being made to most of those signatures. For the others, I don't think they should really be running around with such individuality as I'm seeing.
(But thank you for the tasty data.)
Also this editing interface is garbage. ~~~~
This community prefers that people start in visual mode. The pencil icon in the corner by the "Reply" button will let you switch to wikitext mode (automatic sticky preference, so make it in your next reply, and it'll remember it until you change it).
I'd definitely agree that prohibiting
<font> tags will cause unnecessary complaints. The other requirements seem to be reasonable and enforced by policy and/or angry editors in many places already. The overall decision to deprecate and remove font tags as lint errors is probably outside the scope of this proposal though.
It's not only the familiarity of the font tags themselves, but also the length saving. The difference between font/span example above is a whopping 14 characters.
Everything else seems kosher.
It's really not evident in the least that a pencil icon switches between different editing interface.
It is the standard button for it throughout OOUI.
I'd say it's equally confusing everywhere it's used then. Anyway, that's irrelevant to signatures, so let's stop here. Other fun fact about VE discussions, you can't collapse/archiving side discussions or re-indent them to make them follow one another. Yaaayyyy.
(Technically, this is Flow, which happens to use a version of VisualEditor as one of its editing environments. I'm not sure that there's even a name for Flow's wikitext mode. I think that both desktop and mobile use the same tools in Flow, so you should only have two, rather than four, editing systems here.)
I'd definitely get rid of
<font>...</font> tags. All too often you get something like <font face="Helvetica">''' ... '''</font>, which translates to <b style="font-family:Helvetica"> ... </b>, which is only one character more. It's often possible to use style="font:Helvetica" if the other font property defaults are okay at that point, and that actually saves six characters net. When you get colour changes at the same point, you increase the savings, and because styles can be applied to
<small>...</small>, etc. there are lots of opportunities for applying a style without adding a span. That very often results in a net decrease instead of a net increase in sig length.
Can you provide an example where style="font:Helvetica" actually works?
It has to be
"font:Helvetica". You probably won't see any difference with Helvetica anyway, since there's a good chance that it is or is very similar to your default sans-serif font. If we use
"font-family:serif", like this, there is a clear effect.
In other words, when RexxS said,
this was entirely incorrect.
font is shorthand.
Izno: That shorthand requires a font size. Examples:
<font face="Times">The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.</font>
<span style="font:14px Times">The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.</span>
<span style="font: Times">The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.</span>
Without a font size, the markup doesn't work. In English Wikipedia, rather than 14px, I need 12.7px to make the lines the same, and although English Wikipedia uses a default font size=small, using "small" instead of 12.7 results in a slightly larger-than-default font size, unlike
<span style="font-size:small">, which has no effect on size.
Entirely incorrect - apart from all the documentation on the CSS font property, of course.
Nevertheless, as you say, it doesn't work if you only specify the name(s) of the font-family. Oddly enough, style="font:1em serif" actually works.
This is serif text
So I can only save 2 characters net (unless you also want to change the font size at that point). I have no idea why some combinations of properties work and others don't.