[thelist] Layout Stability

Stephen Rider evolt_org at striderweb.com
Thu Nov 8 15:36:53 CST 2007

> On Nov 8, 2007, at 1:17 PM, DAVOUD TOHIDY wrote:
>> On Thu, 8 Nov 2007 12:36:49 -0600 Stephen wrote:
>>> Unless I'm putting the font size up to truely
>>> gigantic sizes, a well-done site works just fine like this.
>> It would be nice if you could invite some of your friends who are  
>> visually impaired
>> to join to this discussion please.

LOL.  I'm just nearsighted!  8-)  The point I was making is that even  
I _don't_ put the font size up to "truely [sic] gigantic sizes".  You  
probably know plenty of people who are as "visually impaired" as I am.

If I were truly visually handicapped (so that even with glasses I had  
extremely poor vision) I would probably turn off CSS altogether.   
Black text on a white page is nice and easy to read. :)

On Nov 8, 2007, at 1:12 PM, Felix Miata wrote:

> On 2007/11/08 12:36 (GMT-0600) Stephen Rider apparently typed:
>> On Nov 7, 2007, at 10:09 PM, Felix Miata wrote:
> Don't underestimate the importance of a reasonable relationship  
> between
> character size and window width. In general, if the relationship  
> isn't such
> that a typical paragraph line of approximately ideal length is either
> noticeably less than half the window width or more than the window  
> width,
> then the proportion has gone out of reasonable range.

>> I routinely upsize fonts on web sites.  I also have my defaults  
>> set to 14
>> or 16.  Both of these cause problems on well-meaning sites that
> 14 or 16 what? In some browsers that would be pt, while in others, px.

Heh.  I don't know!  I use Netscape 9 (basically Firefox).  The font  
size settings just have the numbers. Good question!  :)

>> base _everything_ relative to font-size.  I've seen a lot of sites  
>> where
>> sizing the font to a comfortably readable level makes the page so  
>> wide
>> that I have to side scroll.
> I'd like to see particular URL examples of this please. Do either  
> the ksc or
> dlviolin examples I provided upthread produce this problem for you?  
> If so, at
> what window width and default font size and on what size display  
> does this
> occur, and how far away do you sit?

Felix -- Please understand that I agree with MOST of your statement.   
This is about one aspect of it.

I'm not sure where to even look for such a site, though I have  
definitely come across them from time to time in my e-wanderings.   
Basically, I'm referring to sites that are so focused on em or %  
sizes that when you enlarge the font, the entire site scales up.

I remember one site one time that when you upped the font, it looked  
as though you were using the Zoom function in Opera.  This sounds to  
me to be the ideal of which you are trying to convince Davoud, but I  
found that site hard to use, because when I bumped up the font size a  
bit, large swaths of the site went off the right size of the screen!

(Note, my primary Internet computer is a 12" laptop -- 1024x768  
resolution.  My next laptop will also be this small because I take it  
with me a lot.)

>> I thought it a point worth making.  I MUCH prefer sites that pick a
>> reasonable content width and stick to it.  Fonts and such should  
>> still be
>> relative so they can be resized in any browser.  Unless I'm  
>> putting the
>> font size up to truely gigantic sizes, a well-done site works just  
>> fine
>> like this.
> Keywords here are "reasonable width". It's my contention that a px  
> width is
> always meaningless arbitrariness, which can be reasonable as  
> experienced only
> by chance, not by design.

Even on a pretty big screen, a site designed for 1024 width should be  
usable, and that seems to be the default these days.  In five years  
I'm sure it will be bigger.  Nobody designs for 640 width anymore,  
and I doubt that messes up _too_ many people.  The biggest falldown  
here is mobile devices, but you probably need to feed those an  
alternate CSS anyway (except for iPhones, which are remarkably  
capable with full-resolution web sites).

Maybe what we need to do is fixed/flexible style switchers on our  
sites. (?)

Side Note:

Something that is coming to "an operating system near you" is  
Resolution Independence.  We're not there yet, but Apple is working  
on it, and we may even see it in an update to 10.5.  Windows will  
surely follow.  (Do some Unix-y OSes have this yet?)  Then this will  
all be moot, because I'll be able to tell my shiny new 48192x24576  
pixel display to arbitrarily scale _just_ my browser up to whatever  
size I want it to be, and resolution itself will be, to use your  
phrase, "entirely irrelevant".


More information about the thelist mailing list