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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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Joe Clark <[log in to unmask]>
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Joe Clark <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 12 Jul 2005 17:02:09 -0400
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>From:    Barry Caplan <[log in to unmask]>
>Most modern browsers allow you to scalle the entire page, not just 
>thefonts. That means the layout doesn't get destroyed.
>Of course the one major browser that doesn't have this feature is IE.

Actually, only Opera does what you claim. You're confusing the 
expansion of liquid or elastic layouts with zooming the whole page.

>From:    Todd Warfel <[log in to unmask]>
>On Jun 19, 2005, at 1:02 PM, Scott Nelson wrote:
>>there are compelling reasons for smaller font sizes - they tend to 
>>improve readability for large amounts of text.
>What does improve readability is keeping line lengths to around 
>70-90 characters.

CSS max-width is useful for non-braindead browsers (that is, not 
IE/Win), and there are unpleasant JavaScript workarounds for IE/Win.

>From: Weston Thompson <[log in to unmask]>
>I had replied to the original posting off-list. My comment was that 
>I don't think many people beyond "specialists" know how to change 
>the font size in their web browser.

They need to learn. It takes what, 20 seconds? For Windows users who 
aren't mobility-impaired, all they have to learn is Ctrl-mousewheel.

>I think a better option may be to follow the Wired News or IHT model 
>of using a set of font sizes and providing an element on the web 
>page that lets users select among those size options.

As a usability option, also providing a font-resizer does indeed help.

>From: Kathy Gill <[log in to unmask]>
>>my point was: body content laid out at 18 pt doesn't work. many 
>>would consider 12pt to be small (or at least smaller).
>these two are not equivalent statements.
>points are basicaly meaningless online:
>-- PCs and Macs have different pixel-point ratios -- "point" size is 
>not fixed -- the higher the resolution the smaller the physical size 
>of the point (pixel)
>Life would be easier for designers if points were "fixed" in size 
>like they are in the print world (approximately 1/72 of an inch).

PostScript points are precisely 1/72 inch. Earlier printer's points 
were slightly different.

>Instead, the point is fixed only in the sense that it is a pixel (on 
>a mac, 72 pixels = 72 points) or a pixel+plus-a-little on a PC (96 
>pixels = 72 points).

CSS assumes 96 pixels per inch.


     Joe Clark | [log in to unmask]
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