[thelist] Font Sizing

Mark Gallagher mark at cyberfuddle.com
Thu May 9 08:34:01 CDT 2002

john-paul wrote:
 >>See, the nice thing about a lot of web technologies is that much of
 >>the personalisation benefits which many companies spent a lot of
 >>time and money on can very simply be achieved by using the
 >>capabilities your browser *already has*. These will work fine,
 >>unless you explicitly break them.
 > Ok, you've mentioned this a couple times. I'll admit, I don't have a
 > complete understanding of all the browsers that this applies to. What
 > browsers are not be able to resize px-sized units?

IE3, IE4, IE5.01, IE5.5, IE6 will resize pages specified with ems, and
text specified with ems, percentages, and keywords.  Netscape and
Mozilla will resize text no matter what, but will only resize text.
Opera will resize entire pages (including - gasp! - images) and text, no
matter what.

 > My ideal situation would be able to spec font-sizes, etc that would
 > correctly (to my spec) across browser/platform as a "default". Then,
if the
 > user needs bigger or smaller sizes, they can use their browser to
size them.
 > (By the way, I always make sites that gracefully stretch to accommodate
 > different text sizes.)

Good, good.

 >>And guess which makes the bigger business benefit - having a
 >>site which panders to the ego of a designer ...
 > I suppose this isn't really the place to get into a discussion about the
 > importance of design. However, I will say that Design has value.
History has
 > proven this... why do you think corporations spend tons of dough of slick
 > marketing/branding? Because it's important. The web is no different.

Oh, design has value.  But, having seen rather a lot of busy sites with
8px  text, covered in js and flash, I'm forced to admit that not *all*
design has value :o)

 >>Because they recognise that flexibility in font size is A Good Thing
 >>which benefits others than just themselves and don't want to impose
 >>their egos on users. See the first point above.
 > I believe flexibility is a Good Thing, however, the methods in question
 > cannot be explicitly be The Right Thing To Do (yet) because there are too
 > many downsides.

Personally, I believe there are fewer downsides than the alternatives.
But, everyone has a differing opinion, I guess.

Mark Gallagher

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