[thelist] Layout Stability

Felix Miata mrmazda at ij.net
Tue Nov 13 11:35:34 CST 2007

On 2007/11/13 07:06 (GMT-0500) DAVOUD TOHIDY apparently typed:

> On Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2007 21:17:16 -0500 Felix Miata wrote:

>> http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Sites/ksc/

> Browsercam has a trial version and it is free. It would be great if i can
> see some of it in browsercam. It does not provide screen capture at
> resolutions of higher than 1280 though.

Unfortunately, Browsercam has the limitations you found, and others.
Browsercam falls short of providing a full range of window size and screen
resolutions. To test beyond these limitations requires the sophisticated web
design professional to use more comprehensive means, such as, but not limited to:

1-more than one computer
2-more than one display
3-more than one operating system
4-more than one window size
5-more than one actual working DPI
6-more than just a few browser text sizes or zoom levels

At my disposal I have more than 20 working computers, most of which have 3 or
more operating systems installed. I also have one LCD display, and many
different CRT displays, all the latter of which are capable of a wide range
of resolutions, enabling me to switch among them to thoroughly test both the
pages I create, and those created by others, such as
http://cssfreelancer.awardspace.com/ created by you.

> I can see there is no layout stability at some resolutions based on your
> different css rules or if there is then there is a scroll bar for example
> when browsing your layout with the dancesrqdpref.css rule at 800 it does
> not have layout stability at all and when browsing it with
> dancesrqdno100.css it does have scrollbar at this resolution.

http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Sites/ksc/ was created as a styling exercise,
and includes both those two stylesheets for the precise purpose of comparing
behavior between two basic styling methods, one of which constrains the
content to viewport with, and the other of which does not. Naturally the one
that does not presents the opportunity for a horizontal scrollbar to appear
when viewing it, which is the very nature of the constraint to produce.

> Remember that your demo shows my portfolio has a scrollbar at 600*400 and
> you have mentioed it in your demo to show it as a defect.

Yours has a scrollbar that is roughly 25% of the window width, while mine at
the same time has none at all.

> But your layout
> has a scroll bar at 800  and or is not a stable layout.

I consider the most stable layout to be one that does the best job of
adapting to the font size, DPI, and window size without degrading the user
experience any more than necessary, preferably with no degrading at all.
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Sites/ksc/ does a good job of that regardless
which stylesheet is selected, and regardless of the above mentioned variables
in the visitor's viewing environment.

> I would rather to have a stable layout without a scroll bar at 800 *600
> and have a stable layout with scroll bar at 600 *400, rather than having a
> scroll bar or unstable layout at 800 and an unstable layout without a
> scroll bar at 600.

A scrollbar is not always a bad thing, particularly when the amount of scroll
is small and no content is missing from either side of the viewport. Arguably
it is not a problem even when substantial, as when an entire vertical nav
list/menu is missing after scrolling sizeways to bring the entirety of
reasonable width paragraphs into view, allowing the content to be easily read.

In the cases where IE7 and Opera are used to view pages, the default zoom
method is classified as "page". The other kind, used by IE6 (technically not
really zoom), Safari and Gecko browsers, is classified as "text only". The
former means scrollbars are commonplace because of the design of the
browser's zoom feature - they cannot be easily avoided through design of the
browser. OTOH, the latter browsers permit much reduced likelihood that
horizontal scrollbars will become necessary.

I tested http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Sites/ksc/ with several browsers. Both
IE7 and Opera produced horizontal scrollbars, but only when the resulting
text size grew to an unreasonably large proportion of the window width.
Firefox remained free of horizontal scrollbars even when text size was
increased well beyond a reasonable proportion of window width.

The consequence of these tests show that
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Sites/ksc/ gives the user a better experience
than http://cssfreelancer.awardspace.com/, regardless how or whether you
consider either as fitting your definition of "layout stability". Good user
experience is more important than meeting your definition of "layout stability".
"   A patriot without religion . . . is as great a
paradox, as an honest man without the fear of God."
	                             John Adams

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/

More information about the thelist mailing list