I have a hard time trying to understand font-style during investigation of transient bugs in a SVG→PNG converter) and comparing it against rendering in browsers. Common italic fonts don’t slant such symbols as “=” and “|”, and this has a solid reason because these are signs of (mathematical etc.) operations, not letters.

After learning more about “oblique vs italic” (esp. on https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1680624/font-style-italic-vs-oblique-in-css) and playing with https://www.w3schools.com/cssref/pr_font_font-style.asp (note: the sample served doesn’t contain any of +, =, * , |, ×, but you can inject all of ’em with the DOM inspector) I want to ask:
We know that italic requires a distinct glyph for many characters, whereas oblique does not. But we also see many symbols, such as “|” and “↑”, which have the same glyph in all three font-styles. Assuming the user agent or renderer has an appropriate Roman font, what exactly should font-style:oblique do to each character? Or, shifting from applications to fonts proper, what is a correct oblique font with respect to a given Roman font? Which namely characters (and why) are homographical in all three styles? If a general answer is too difficult, then, at least, how should the shape of vertical ellipsis (⋮) differ between Roman/italic/oblique?

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    I feel like this should be migrated to StackOverflow no? – Ovaryraptor Dec 27 '17 at 18:16
  • @Ovaryraptor: if you insist, the question can be splitted and the part about server-side software can go to StackOverflow. But, please, retain the Q2 part about interpretation of font-styles. – Incnis Mrsi Dec 27 '17 at 18:43
  • @IncnisMrsi I still feel like both should be migrated. The Q2 portion can be answered simply: It relies on glyphs. Those are special characters and they do not always have counterparts in other font styles. The converter might not be reading them properly or they might be getting lost somehow. I'm not sure. I could be 100% wrong but I still think this isn't a question for us. – Ovaryraptor Dec 27 '17 at 20:11
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    @Ovaryraptor: thanks, but why so many people stuck to the “special characters” cliché?It doesn’t have a specific referent. In the ASCII age “special characters” referred to anything beyond the 95 graphic characters; later, generally, to anything that isn’t a graphic ISO-8859-1 character (ASCII, accented letters, few symbols). In the Unicode age it usually refers to things not painted on the user’s keyboard, while keyboards differ, so the pseudo-term doesn’t refer to anything at all. But people talk about it because it sounds familiar. – Incnis Mrsi Dec 27 '17 at 20:31

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