September 19, 2004

A Better Mousetrap?

I find it ironic that in the commenting and reporting throughout the blogosphere on Dan Rather's fundamental comprehension problems concerning superscripts that most of the popular blog software products do not handle superscripts in html correctly, at least with respect to line spacing. Oh, they make the "th" as a superscript alright, but in doing so they shift the whole line down so as not to have the superscript write over the characters in the line above. Unfortunately, the net effect is to screw up the spacing between the line with the superscript and the line below it.

Here are some examples: Movable Type at Michelle Malkin and Instapundit, and Typepad at Professor and BeldarBlog. Strangely enough, this blog uses Movable Type and while the problem shows up clearly while editing the post, it seems to come out alright when viewing the final post in IE. Immediately following the text is a screenshot of my Movable Type editing page.

abcdefghijklmmnopqrstuvwxyz abcdefghijklmmnopqrstuvwxyz abcdefghijklmmnopqrstuvwxyz
And here is a line with Rathergate in Movable Type to illustrate the problem.
abcdefghijklmmnopqrstuvwxyz abcdefghijklmmnopqrstuvwxyz abcdefghijklmmnopqrstuvwxyz


Posted by Charles Austin at September 19, 2004 11:02 AM

Charles: I think the reason superscripts show up fine in your blog is because the line-height in the stylesheet controlling the look of your blog is set at 200% -- basically it is doubles-spaced. The code in your stylesheet template (it's just Movable Type's "Clean" style sheet for 2.6x) is:

.blogbody {
font-family:palatino, georgia, verdana, arial, sans-serif;
Other blogs -- like mine -- have either smaller line-height percentages or just don't bother formatting the line-height, so it just defaults to the standards single-space look. Thus use of the superscript tag pushes things out of alignment.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 02:16 PM

And I just noticed some weird "hash" code thing on the bottom of the preview comment screen. It looks like there is something I must tend to. Frown.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 02:17 PM