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User selectable font size and IE6

P: n/a
Hi all,
I'm building some style sheets and trying to play the old game of
balancing designer pixel perfection and still allowing users to adjust
their font sizes. The compromise I've made with the designer is that
he'll accept allowing users to change font sizes it it "looks right"
with the default setting.
I'm using em to set the font size. So, anyway, here's the problem. At
0.96em we get the perfect font size. But, if the font is changed with
'view->text size->larger' it becomes gigantic, 'view->text
size->smaller' makes it microscopic. Of course Firefox does nice
gradual changes with ctl+ and ctl-

Any thoughts on how to make this work better?

Oct 4 '06 #1
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40 Replies


P: n/a
Paul Davis wrote:
Hi all,
I'm building some style sheets and trying to play the old game of
balancing designer pixel perfection and still allowing users to
adjust their font sizes. The compromise I've made with the designer
is that he'll accept allowing users to change font sizes it it "looks
right" with the default setting.
It sounds as if your designer doesn't care to allow visitors with less
than perfect eyesight to use your site.
I'm using em to set the font size. So, anyway, here's the problem. At
0.96em we get the perfect font size. But, if the font is changed with
'view->text size->larger' it becomes gigantic, 'view->text
size->smaller' makes it microscopic. Of course Firefox does nice
gradual changes with ctl+ and ctl-

Any thoughts on how to make this work better?
It has been written that IE has a problem/bug when font-sizing is done
using em units. Try: font-size: 96%; instead.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Oct 4 '06 #2

P: n/a
Scripsit Paul Davis:
I'm using em to set the font size.
Why? It sounds you are trying to set the _overall_ font size. Setting it in
em units (or as a percentage) can only have two effects:
1) none (user-selected font size is used)
2) font size is set to a value that systematically differs from what the
user has chosen, i.e. no matter what the user has done, the dee-ziner has
decided it's wrong.
So, anyway, here's the problem.
Yes. So stop creating it.
At 0.96em we get the perfect font size.
For some very odd value for "perfect". It is very unlikely that there is
_any_ effect, unless, of course, there's something you haven't told us.
Typical user choices like 12pt or 14pt will be used, since reducing the
declared size by 4% has no effect on the actual size - there's most probably
no font that is just a very little smaller than 12pt or 14pt.
But, if the font is changed with
'view->text size->larger' it becomes gigantic, 'view->text
size->smaller' makes it microscopic.
For some odd values for "gigantic" or "microscopic". Granted, the IE font
control is primitive and coarse, but why, oh why, do so many authors want to
deprive users of even that primitive tool or to make it work in
unpredictable ways?
Any thoughts on how to make this work better?
Remove all font-size declarations (except for headings).

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Oct 4 '06 #3

P: n/a

Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
Paul Davis wrote:
Hi all,
I'm building some style sheets and trying to play the old game of
balancing designer pixel perfection and still allowing users to
adjust their font sizes. The compromise I've made with the designer
is that he'll accept allowing users to change font sizes it it "looks
right" with the default setting.

It sounds as if your designer doesn't care to allow visitors with less
than perfect eyesight to use your site.
the trouble is its true. I haven't many who do.
You know its a sad day when the developer is fighting the designer to
make a site *more usable*
>
I'm using em to set the font size. So, anyway, here's the problem. At
0.96em we get the perfect font size. But, if the font is changed with
'view->text size->larger' it becomes gigantic, 'view->text
size->smaller' makes it microscopic. Of course Firefox does nice
gradual changes with ctl+ and ctl-

Any thoughts on how to make this work better?

It has been written that IE has a problem/bug when font-sizing is done
using em units. Try: font-size: 96%; instead.
That seems to work.
I Think I found a piece of the problem too.
The font size was being defined in the rule
* {
font-size: 0.96em;
font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
}
so, apparently the variation in font size gets magnified for each level
of tag nesting.
Doh !!!
Font size is now in the body definition, all is well.
>
--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Oct 4 '06 #4

P: n/a
Paul Davis wrote:
Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
>It sounds as if your designer doesn't care to allow visitors with
less than perfect eyesight to use your site.

the trouble is its true. I haven't many who do. You know its a sad day
when the developer is fighting the designer to make a site *more
usable*
There are many sad days. Most "deeziners" don't have a clue about
accessibility and usability. Every deziner I know has perfect eyesight.
>It has been written that IE has a problem/bug when font-sizing is done
using em units. Try: font-size: 96%; instead.

That seems to work.
I Think I found a piece of the problem too.
The font size was being defined in the rule
* {
font-size: 0.96em;
font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
}
so, apparently the variation in font size gets magnified for each level
of tag nesting.
Doh !!!
Font size is now in the body definition, all is well.
Ah yes. Glad you found the problem.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Oct 4 '06 #5

P: n/a

Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Scripsit Paul Davis:
I'm using em to set the font size.

Why? It sounds you are trying to set the _overall_ font size. Setting it in
em units (or as a percentage) can only have two effects:
1) none (user-selected font size is used)
2) font size is set to a value that systematically differs from what the
user has chosen, i.e. no matter what the user has done, the dee-ziner has
decided it's wrong.
Re-read the post, the goal is to ensure users can change it.
It doesn't matter if the designer is wrong. The business owners decided
to go with the design, they decided to pay me to implement.
>
So, anyway, here's the problem.

Yes. So stop creating it.
At 0.96em we get the perfect font size.

For some very odd value for "perfect". It is very unlikely that there is
_any_ effect, unless, of course, there's something you haven't told us.
Typical user choices like 12pt or 14pt will be used, since reducing the
declared size by 4% has no effect on the actual size - there's most probably
no font that is just a very little smaller than 12pt or 14pt.
But, if the font is changed with
'view->text size->larger' it becomes gigantic, 'view->text
size->smaller' makes it microscopic.

For some odd values for "gigantic" or "microscopic". Granted, the IE font
control is primitive and coarse, but why, oh why, do so many authors want to
deprive users of even that primitive tool or to make it work in
unpredictable ways?
Any thoughts on how to make this work better?

Remove all font-size declarations (except for headings).
Great idea, with a small problem.
Not being independently wealthy, I need to earn a paycheck to feed my
family. My job as a developer is to take a designer's idea and turn it
into reality. If I don't do that, management will hire someone who
will.
I am not a designer, I don't claim to be and I'm not artistic enough to
do it even if I wanted to. I write code.
While your suggestions are nice from a purity standpoint (although it
suggests that we should all use gopher browsers) It doesn't help from
an employment standpoint.
>
--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Oct 4 '06 #6

P: n/a
Paul Davis wrote:
Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
[snip]
>It has been written that IE has a problem/bug when font-sizing is done
using em units. Try: font-size: 96%; instead.
[snip]
The font size was being defined in the rule
* {
font-size: 0.96em;
font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
}
so, apparently the variation in font size gets magnified for each level
of tag nesting.
The effect of that rule is that the computed font size for each element
does gradually get smaller the deeper the element is within the document
tree, but that isn't why MSIE fouls up text resizing so badly.

When em length font sizes are applied to an element and a descendant
without a non-em length font-size declaration applied to an ancestor,
MSIE grossly miscalculates the computed font size for the descendant.

I demonstrated this to someone else earlier this year (the text was from
another example):

<http://mwinter.webhop.info/dd/john-scheuer/font-size.html>

If a non-em length font-size declaration was included in the rule for
the body element or the html element, or if the 1em value in the
#em-length rule was changed to 100%, the problem would disappear.

Mike
Oct 4 '06 #7

P: n/a
Scripsit Paul Davis:
Re-read the post, the goal is to ensure users can change it.
You cannot ensure it and you cannot prevent it. You can just make it more
difficult, and that seems to be what you have originally decided to do.

Regarding reading, you seem to have quoted almost my entire message, for no
good reason since you don't comment all of it, and you haven't apparently
read it comprehensively.
It doesn't matter if the designer is wrong.
It matters to me, and to the user, and ultimately to the site owner too.
The business owners
decided to go with the design, they decided to pay me to implement.
Fine. Are you suggesting that you made an agreement on doing something that
shouldn't be done _and_ you don't have an idea of how to do that? Do you
expect us to help you with that for free? Anyway, it's pointless since we
don't even know what you really agreed to do, so we can't decide whether
it's even possible or not.
My job as a developer is to take a designer's idea and turn it
into reality.
Even if you haven't even understood the idea and don't know how to implement
it? If someone pays you for that, shouldn't you get a subcontractor now?
(Please don't contact me for that. You would most probably have to pay me
much more than you get.)

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Oct 4 '06 #8

P: n/a

Paul Davis wrote:
I'm building some style sheets and trying to play the old game of
balancing designer pixel perfection and still allowing users to adjust
I suggest balancing the dezyner outside a high window.
I'm using em to set the font size. So, anyway, here's the problem. At
0.96em we get the perfect font size
At 1em your users get their perfect font size.
Any thoughts on how to make this work better?
I used to think breaking the dezyner's fingers was the way to go, but
now I favour poking them in the eyes -- just enough to reduce their
vision until they appreciate the problem.
BODY TEXT GOES AT 1EM

NOTHING GOES LESS THAN 60% / 0.6em

If you want the text to fit the hole, size the hole in ems too

Set your heights in ems. Probably the widths too. Keep your widths in
pixels if you're having to work around lots of fixed size images. The
text in ems will wrap to fit better than the images will fit a box
sized in ems. Avoid mixing units in adjacent boxes though -- stick to
one or the other (or at least test carefully). Mixing units for
horizontal and vertical is OK. Mixing units between parents and
children is OK.

If you absolutely _must_ keep some font sizes fixed (small breadcrumbs
and flyspeck-3 are reasonable) then size the text in pixels, size the
container height in pixels, and hope they don't view it in Firefox.

Oct 4 '06 #9

P: n/a
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Scripsit Paul Davis:
>But, if the font is changed with
'view->text size->larger' it becomes gigantic, 'view->text
size->smaller' makes it microscopic.

For some odd values for "gigantic" or "microscopic".
Not 'odd' at all, at least not the way you usually infer that means.
Windows IE has a well-known bug scaling font sizes set in em units. Any
browser View->Text Size setting other than "Medium" truly does end up
gigantic or microscopic. That bug has been mentioned in this and other
newsgroups many times. I'm surprised you aren't aware of it.

--
Berg
Oct 4 '06 #10

P: n/a

Andy Dingley wrote:
Paul Davis wrote:
I'm building some style sheets and trying to play the old game of
balancing designer pixel perfection and still allowing users to adjust

I suggest balancing the dezyner outside a high window.
If only I could.....
Why is it that designers always build mockups in Photoshop on a Mac
with 25" monitors and want microscopic fonts? They never seem to be
able to understand the poor user with a 15" monitor on a PC.
I'm using em to set the font size. So, anyway, here's the problem. At
0.96em we get the perfect font size

At 1em your users get their perfect font size.
Any thoughts on how to make this work better?

I used to think breaking the dezyner's fingers was the way to go, but
now I favour poking them in the eyes -- just enough to reduce their
vision until they appreciate the problem.
lol, I figured it was a win getting the designer to let me build it
with user adjustable fonts.
>
BODY TEXT GOES AT 1EM

NOTHING GOES LESS THAN 60% / 0.6em

If you want the text to fit the hole, size the hole in ems too

Set your heights in ems. Probably the widths too. Keep your widths in
pixels if you're having to work around lots of fixed size images. The
text in ems will wrap to fit better than the images will fit a box
sized in ems. Avoid mixing units in adjacent boxes though -- stick to
one or the other (or at least test carefully). Mixing units for
horizontal and vertical is OK. Mixing units between parents and
children is OK.

If you absolutely _must_ keep some font sizes fixed (small breadcrumbs
and flyspeck-3 are reasonable) then size the text in pixels, size the
container height in pixels, and hope they don't view it in Firefox.
Thanks, Beauregard got me in the right direction too. I had stupidly
set the font on the * selector so, a couple of nested divs magnified
the size changes.
doh !

Oct 4 '06 #11

P: n/a

Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Scripsit Paul Davis:
Re-read the post, the goal is to ensure users can change it.

You cannot ensure it and you cannot prevent it. You can just make it more
difficult, and that seems to be what you have originally decided to do.
Regarding reading, you seem to have quoted almost my entire message, for no
good reason since you don't comment all of it, and you haven't apparently
read it comprehensively.
I am trying to ENSURE the user CAN change the font sizes, and to ensure
that it doesn't fall apart when they do.
You interpreted this as if I was trying to prevent users from changing
font sizes, which I am not.
It doesn't matter if the designer is wrong.

It matters to me, and to the user, and ultimately to the site owner too.
The business owners
decided to go with the design, they decided to pay me to implement.

Fine. Are you suggesting that you made an agreement on doing something that
shouldn't be done _and_ you don't have an idea of how to do that? Do you
expect us to help you with that for free? Anyway, it's pointless since we
don't even know what you really agreed to do, so we can't decide whether
it's even possible or not.
Yes, it is possible, as per my previous post, with the help generous
help of Beauregard the goal has been acheived.
My job as a developer is to take a designer's idea and turn it
into reality.

Even if you haven't even understood the idea and don't know how to implement
it? If someone pays you for that, shouldn't you get a subcontractor now?
(Please don't contact me for that. You would most probably have to pay me
much more than you get.)
no
--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Oct 4 '06 #12

P: n/a

Bergamot wrote:
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Scripsit Paul Davis:
But, if the font is changed with
'view->text size->larger' it becomes gigantic, 'view->text
size->smaller' makes it microscopic.
For some odd values for "gigantic" or "microscopic".

Not 'odd' at all, at least not the way you usually infer that means.
Windows IE has a well-known bug scaling font sizes set in em units. Any
browser View->Text Size setting other than "Medium" truly does end up
gigantic or microscopic. That bug has been mentioned in this and other
newsgroups many times. I'm surprised you aren't aware of it.

--
Berg
Thanks, normally all of my time is writing java. I got coerced into
building some pages. Being a programmer type, I built them using
minimal structured XHTML1.1 and I'm using css to make them comply with
the "design". Being a user of pages, I fought to make sure that users
are able to adjust font sizes. Fixed fonts truly suck on Linux/Firefox.

Oct 4 '06 #13

P: n/a
"Paul Davis" <pa********@gmail.comwrites:
Andy Dingley wrote:
Paul Davis wrote:
I'm building some style sheets and trying to play the old game of
balancing designer pixel perfection and still allowing users to adjust
I suggest balancing the dezyner outside a high window.
If only I could.....
Why is it that designers always build mockups in Photoshop on a Mac
with 25" monitors and want microscopic fonts? They never seem to be
able to understand the poor user with a 15" monitor on a PC.
When faced with a similar (though probably more tractable)
problem, I set up three computers with different monitors,
OSs and browsers and said "this is what happens if you try
to do that". It's probably worthwhile tweaking the user
settings to exacerbate the problem, too.

--
Jón Fairbairn Jo***********@cl.cam.ac.uk
Oct 4 '06 #14

P: n/a

Paul Davis wrote:
Why is it that designers always build mockups in Photoshop on a Mac
with 25" monitors and want microscopic fonts?
Because they're twunts. Shove their 25" monitor up their jacksie.
Sideways.

Oct 4 '06 #15

P: n/a
"Jukka K. Korpela" wrote
>It doesn't matter if the designer is wrong.

It matters to me, and to the user, and ultimately to the site owner too.
I'm with Paul here. It's certainly legitimate for a web developer to make
the case for usability as strongly as he or she chooses, but ultimately it's
the client's call. The web developer is pretty much obligated to go along
with it unless the decision somehow works against the developer's own self
interests, or unless it is a breach of ethics or is morally repugnant.
Fine. Are you suggesting that you made an agreement on doing something
that shouldn't be done _and_ you don't have an idea of how to do that? Do
you expect us to help you with that for free?
Uh.... yeah, that's pretty much the whole idea of these Usenet groups. Free
advice, y'know.
Even if you haven't even understood the idea and don't know how to
implement it? If someone pays you for that, shouldn't you get a
subcontractor now?
I can't remember a single project of any substance during the entirety of my
career that didn't have at least one component that I had never done before,
and thus didn't know how to do. If I wasn't confident I could figure it out
I would either pass or bring in someone who had the knowledge. That's pretty
common business practice.
Oct 5 '06 #16

P: n/a
Scripsit Bill Norton:
ultimately it's the client's call.
That's a lame excuse for doing wrong things. Most clients have no clue of
many things that competent web authors should be well aware of. So they will
ask for things that harm their communication, and therefore their business,
if web authors keep doing such things without telling the client the
implications.
>Fine. Are you suggesting that you made an agreement on doing
something that shouldn't be done _and_ you don't have an idea of how
to do that? Do you expect us to help you with that for free?

Uh.... yeah, that's pretty much the whole idea of these Usenet
groups. Free advice, y'know.
Someone has said: "Get real. This is a discussion group, not a helpdesk. You
post something, we discuss the implications. If the discussion happens to
answer a question you've asked, that's incidental."

Used for consultation, Usenet is surely not worth the money you pay to it.
>Even if you haven't even understood the idea and don't know how to
implement it? If someone pays you for that, shouldn't you get a
subcontractor now?

I can't remember a single project of any substance during the
entirety of my career that didn't have at least one component that I
had never done before, and thus didn't know how to do. If I wasn't
confident I could figure it out I would either pass or bring in
someone who had the knowledge. That's pretty common business practice.
You didn't answer my second question. Is it your common business practice to
make a contract you get paid for and expect others to help you for free,
even in situations where you clearly have no clue of what you should be
doing? And even without giving them any real specifics of the problem you
are trying to solve, or to create.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Oct 5 '06 #17

P: n/a
On 06/10/04 17:11 (GMT+0300) Jukka K. Korpela apparently typed:
Scripsit Paul Davis:
>At 0.96em we get the perfect font size.
For some very odd value for "perfect". It is very unlikely that there is
_any_ effect, unless, of course, there's something you haven't told us.
Typical user choices like 12pt or 14pt will be used, since reducing the
declared size by 4% has no effect on the actual size - there's most probably
no font that is just a very little smaller than 12pt or 14pt.
Actually a font-size reduction of a mere 1% is enough to make most installed browsers reduce the size from the user's default, most meaning IE, plus Opera, and maybe others. A study of
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Font/font-rounding.html with various browsers should make this evident.
--
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him,
and I am helped." Psalm 28:7 NIV

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

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
Oct 5 '06 #18

P: n/a
On 06/10/05 01:51 (GMT) Bill Norton apparently typed:
The web developer is pretty much obligated to go along
with it unless the decision somehow works against the developer's own self
interests, or unless it is a breach of ethics or is morally repugnant.
Every page that styles font-size in body or main body paragraph or other main content at anything other than 100% of the user default is morally repugnant. It's telling the user his choice of optimal font (preference,
default) is wrong. If your client doesn't understand this, and how to accept it, you haven't finished your job.

What the dee-ziner gives you is a set of relationships. Your job is to match the relationships to the best of your ability, and let the user set the overall sizes. That's how the web was made to and very well can work,
quite unlike anything else.
--
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him,
and I am helped." Psalm 28:7 NIV

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

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
Oct 5 '06 #19

P: n/a
On 06/10/04 09:30 (GMT-0700) Andy Dingley apparently typed:
Set your heights in ems.
Except for line-heights, which can lead to trouble via inheritance when nesting: http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/line-height-inherit.html
--
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him,
and I am helped." Psalm 28:7 NIV

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

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
Oct 5 '06 #20

P: n/a
Scripsit Bergamot:
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
>Scripsit Paul Davis:
>>But, if the font is changed with
'view->text size->larger' it becomes gigantic, 'view->text
size->smaller' makes it microscopic.

For some odd values for "gigantic" or "microscopic".

Not 'odd' at all, at least not the way you usually infer that means.
Windows IE has a well-known bug scaling font sizes set in em units.
I had really forgotten that. I have used and recommended percentages rather
than em units for font size settings (locally, e.g. for headings) that I had
not thought much about the reasons for it.

(I thought, in the absence of a URL, that the OP had made the usual mistake
of setting something like * { font-size: 96% } and then complained about the
consequences.)

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Oct 5 '06 #21

P: n/a
Scripsit Felix Miata:
On 06/10/04 17:11 (GMT+0300) Jukka K. Korpela apparently typed:
>Scripsit Paul Davis:
>>At 0.96em we get the perfect font size.
>For some very odd value for "perfect". It is very unlikely that
there is _any_ effect, unless, of course, there's something you
haven't told us. Typical user choices like 12pt or 14pt will be
used, since reducing the declared size by 4% has no effect on the
actual size - there's most probably no font that is just a very
little smaller than 12pt or 14pt.

Actually a font-size reduction of a mere 1% is enough to make most
installed browsers reduce the size from the user's default, most
meaning IE, plus Opera, and maybe others. A study of
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Font/font-rounding.html with various
browsers should make this evident.
Thank you for the correction and for your study on font sizes. I'm really
shocked - the study shows that even a difference of 0.01 _pixels_ in
declared sizes causes a visible difference: 15.99px is smaller than 16px.
The explanation is apparently that browsers incorrectly _truncate_ the value
instead of rounding it.

A Devil's advocate, or a browser vendor's advocate, might even claim that
it's not a bug, it's a feature. The CSS 2.0 specification says:
"A computed value is in principle ready to be used, but a user agent may not
be able to make use of the value in a given environment. For example, a user
agent may only be able to render borders with integer pixel widths and may
therefore have to approximate the computed width."
http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/cascade.html#actual-value
Thus, since fonts exist in some sizes only, and ultimately since the
physical presentation consists of pixels, the computed value of font-size
needs to be mapped to a value that can be used, or "approximated" by it.
Someone might claim that truncating 15.99px to 15px is "approximation".

I also made the mistake of assuming that actual font sizes are generally
integral multiples of the point, so that using, say, 96% of 12pt, yielding
arithmetically 11.52pt, would get rounded to 12pt. Instead, browsers seem to
use 11.5pt as the actual size. (The simplest way to check out the actual
size seems to be to copy a piece of text via the clipbord into an MS Word
document and look at Word's info on the size.)

These confusions of mine and these browser bugs and issues do not change the
basic point here. Actually, the bugs and issues strengthen it. They imply
that the effect of, say, font-size: 96% (and even more font-size: 0.96em) on
the rendering is even more unpredictable that it is by the specifications.
For some user-selected font sizes, there is no effect; for some, the font
size is reduced (usually by 0.5pt, sometimes by 1pt).

This implies that if the plan is "successful" (font size is reduced), the
user will have a _different_ set of font sizes selectable from IE's font
size menu than he has when a page does not set font size at all.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Oct 5 '06 #22

P: n/a
On Thu, 5 Oct 2006, Bill Norton wrote:
but ultimately it's
the client's call. The web developer is pretty much obligated to go along
with it unless the decision somehow works against the developer's own self
interests, or unless it is a breach of ethics or is morally repugnant.
"Ich habe nur Befehle ausgefhrt."
>Do you expect us to help you with that for free?

Uh.... yeah, that's pretty much the whole idea of these Usenet groups. Free
advice, y'know.
http://www.google.com/search?q=Usenet.is.a.helpdesk

Oct 5 '06 #23

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Felix Miata schrieb:
>
Every page that styles font-size in body or main body paragraph or other main content at anything other than 100% of the user default is morally repugnant. It's telling the user his choice of optimal font (preference,
default) is wrong.
I would perfectly agree to that in a perfect world. But it is my
experience (I don't know any statistics about it) that most average
users have never opened the settings dialog of their browser. In these
cases your point about the user's choice of optimal font rather refers
to the browser manufacturer's choice of default settings.

For the font size discussion it is IMO important to distinguish between
different intentions that web sites can have. In a classical www site
which serves mainly informational needs it is essential to provide
optimal access to all kinds of information. I totally agree that
changing the default font size does not make any sense here.

In corporate sites (I assume that the OPs job is of that kind) a stylish
look is usually considered as more important than readability (the texts
provided aren't often worth reading anyway...). In that case it is IMO
respectable that the developer even cares about fighting with the
designer for a changeable font size.
If your client doesn't understand this, and how to accept it, you haven't finished your job.
That depends on the setting - some clients appreciate the time and
effort you invest to teach them about the specifics of web authoring,
some don't. None of them will pay you extra for it anyway.

--
Markus
Oct 5 '06 #24

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Bill Norton wrote:
It's certainly legitimate for a web developer to make
the case for usability as strongly as he or she chooses, but ultimately it's
the client's call.
Are you a web commerce consultant or just a mere coder? If they're not
paying you to worry about these issues, then let them hang themselves.
If you're trying to defend your own reputation as someone who builds
competent sites, then there comes a point when they either listen to
what you're telling them or you terminate the contract (been there,
done that, refused to set the pixel sized font).

Oct 5 '06 #25

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On Thu, 5 Oct 2006, Markus Ernst wrote:
But it is my experience
What kind of experience? Have you actually asked people?
How many?
(I don't know any statistics about it)
Oh!
that most average
users have never opened the settings dialog of their browser.
Do you think this is true for word processors as well?
Perhaps "most average users" have never changed the typeface
and the font size in their word processing programs.

And their rear view mirrors. Horrible!

Oct 5 '06 #26

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On Thu, 5 Oct 2006, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
since fonts exist in some sizes only,
Do you mean these?
http://www.google.com/images?q=Setzkasten

Oct 5 '06 #27

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On Thu, 5 Oct 2006, Markus Ernst wrote:
I would perfectly agree to that in a perfect world. But it is my
experience (I don't know any statistics about it) that most average
users have never opened the settings dialog of their browser. In
these cases your point about the user's choice of optimal font
rather refers to the browser manufacturer's choice of default
settings.
I don't understand why so many respondents seem to think this is a
problem. Users have every right to choose not to alter the font size,
and that *is* their choice (whether they realise it or not!).

Surely, if the default font size were to cause them real problems,
they would start asking questions what they could do to alleviate the
problems, and then someone would tell them about the menu settings.

But when authors keep setting different sizes of font for the body
text, so that every page comes up with text in a different size (and
all too often, microfonts by my reckoning), it's much harder for a
naive user to intervene and defeat this misbehaviour.
In corporate sites
If you mean sites that are only meant to be accessed by employees of
the corp., then I'd have to advise you that (here in UK and quite a
number of other places) accessibility is taken *even* more seriously
than web pages made for the general public, and deliberate attempts to
defeat accessibility could be a criminal offence.

Oct 5 '06 #28

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Alan J. Flavell wrote:
If you mean sites that are only meant to be accessed by employees of
the corp., then I'd have to advise you that (here in UK and quite a
number of other places) accessibility is taken *even* more seriously
It's not taken more seriously in itself, it's just that our powerless
act to take it equally seriously everywhere might possibly have some
impact in the workplace. We hope. 8-(
deliberate attempts to defeat accessibility could be a criminal offence.
Civil offence at most.

Oct 5 '06 #29

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"Andy Dingley" <di*****@codesmiths.comwrites:
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
deliberate attempts to defeat accessibility could be a criminal offence.

Civil offence at most.
If you were to assure someone that a particular piece of
inaccessibility was legal, and you were in such a position that they
could reasonably be expected to trust your judgement, and you were
wrong and either knew you were wrong or made the statement 'recklessly',
then that would be a criminal offence, however. (UK DDA 1995, 57.3 and
possibly elsewhere)

--
Chris
Oct 5 '06 #30

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"Jukka K. Korpela" wrote
That's a lame excuse for doing wrong things. Most clients have no clue of
many things that competent web authors should be well aware of. So they
will ask for things that harm their communication, and therefore their
business, if web authors keep doing such things without telling the client
the implications.
By the same token, most web authors "have no clue of many things" about the
client's business, goals, and vision. The consultant and the client can go
back and forth forever about the "best" way to do something, but ultimately
it's the client's site and it's the client's call.
Someone has said: "Get real. This is a discussion group, not a helpdesk.
You post something, we discuss the implications. If the discussion happens
to
answer a question you've asked, that's incidental."
That may be the way you envision it, but that's not the way it works. Take a
look at the current threads on this forum and you will see that almost all
of them are asking a specific technical question about how to do something
or why something is behaving in a certain way. Oddly enough the only general
discussion that I can see is one that I started a couple of months ago, "
Does CSS Suck?"
>
Used for consultation, Usenet is surely not worth the money you pay to it.
Are you kidding? Usnet, Compuserve, and any number of forum sites on the web
have been incalculably helpful to me.
You didn't answer my second question. Is it your common business practice
to make a contract you get paid for and expect others to help you for
free, even in situations where you clearly have no clue of what you should
be doing? And even without giving them any real specifics of the problem
you are trying to solve, or to create.
Well the key phrase there is "even in situations where you clearly have no
clue of what you should be doing". There's a big difference between being
clueless about a project and not knowing how to do every single detail of
it. Paul Davis in the OP obviously was not clueless about what he was trying
to do and indeed he ultimately solved the problem on his own. Furthermore,
in my earlier post I made it clear that I would pass on a project if it
seemed too far removed from my knowledge set.
Oct 5 '06 #31

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"Felix Miata" wrote
Every page that styles font-size in body or main body paragraph or other
main content at
anything other than 100% of the user default is morally repugnant.
Believe it or not I can actually relate to this. Although I don't care that
much about the font size on a web page, I do have a visceral reaction to bad
database design.

Oct 5 '06 #32

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"Andreas Prilop" wrote
"Ich habe nur Befehle ausgefhrt."
Is that a Nazi reference? It is isn't it? It's a Nazi reference.

Godwin's law!!! Godwin, Godwin, Godwin!!!

I win!!! ;)
Oct 5 '06 #33

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Bill Norton schrieb:
"Jukka K. Korpela" wrote
>Someone has said: "Get real. This is a discussion group, not a helpdesk.
You post something, we discuss the implications. If the discussion happens
to answer a question you've asked, that's incidental."

That may be the way you envision it, but that's not the way it works.
No?
Take a
look at the current threads on this forum
<nitpick>It's a newsgroup.</nitpick>
and you will see that almost all
of them are asking a specific technical question about how to do something
or why something is behaving in a certain way.
And people discuss the implications.
Oddly enough the only general
discussion that I can see is one that I started a couple of months ago, "
Does CSS Suck?"
Jukka did not talk about _general_ discussions.
--
Johannes Koch
In te domine speravi; non confundar in aeternum.
(Te Deum, 4th cent.)
Oct 5 '06 #34

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"Johannes Koch" wrote
And people discuss the implications.
And I certainly have no problem with that - in fact that's basically what
we're doing right now. But if you were to remove all posts that dealt with
the "how-to's" of specific technical question this would be a much thinner
newsgroup <nitpick acknowledged>.


>
>Oddly enough the only general discussion that I can see is one that I
started a couple of months ago, " Does CSS Suck?"

Jukka did not talk about _general_ discussions.
--
Johannes Koch
In te domine speravi; non confundar in aeternum.
(Te Deum, 4th cent.)

Oct 5 '06 #35

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Scripsit Bill Norton:
Paul Davis in the OP obviously was not
clueless about what he was trying to do and indeed he ultimately
solved the problem on his own.
Really? There's no indication of that; the evidence given is close to
nothing but suggests that he _created_ _a_ problem. We've seen neither a
"before" URL nor an "after" URL.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Oct 5 '06 #36

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On Thu, 5 Oct 2006, Johannes Koch wrote:
and you will see that almost all of them are asking a specific
technical question about how to do something or why something is
behaving in a certain way.

And people discuss the implications.
Indeed. Broadly speaking, a large proportion of these queries are
what are known, e.g on the Perl groups, as an "X Y question". The
questioner wants to achieve some unstated purpose X - without advice
they have concluded that it can be solved with Y, but they can't get Y
to work so they ask about Y.

The more experienced usenauts, if they choose to respond to this kind
of question, will try to find out what X is, for example ask for a
(validated) URL so that they can see the problem in its native
environment, and maybe suggest a more effective approach.

Less-experienced contributors are inclined to go into technical detail
immediately about how to implement Y, irrespective that they have no
idea whether it's a good solution to the unstated requirement X.

Q: How do I shoot myself in the foot?
A: load weapon, point weapon at foot, pull trigger.

Do you want that kind of advice? Some of the mail gateways that are
recommended by inexperienced contributors are easily compromised by
the bad folks and used for spamming. Just as one example.
Oct 5 '06 #37

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On 06/10/05 11:18 (GMT+0200) Markus Ernst apparently typed:
Felix Miata schrieb:
>Every page that styles font-size in body or main body paragraph or
other main content at anything other than 100% of the user default is
morally repugnant. It's telling the user his choice of optimal font
(preference, default) is wrong.
I would perfectly agree to that in a perfect world. But it is my
experience (I don't know any statistics about it) that most average users
have never opened the settings dialog of their browser.
Which has what to do with the price of tea in China, or with doing the right
thing? Browser defaults are adjustable precisely so that users who find them
inappropriate can change them. This applies to dee-zigners as well as
ordinary users. It's too bad for most ordinary users that most dee-zigners
don't understand this.
In these cases your point about the user's choice of optimal font rather
refers to the browser manufacturer's choice of default settings.
Browser manufacturers are incompetent boobs? Hardly. Most browsers default
to 12pt, which is exactly what most users prefer over even 10pt, and
virtually all prefer to 11px mousetype.

Most dee-zigners don't have average eyesight, they have better. Most
dee-zigners don't have average size displays, they have larger. Most
dee-zigners don't use high resolution, because they want to see the page "as
the average user sees the page", which they can't do because they have
better than average eyesight and larger than average displays.

Browser defaults are not and cannot rationally be presumed to be wrong:
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/bigdefaults.html
--
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him,
and I am helped." Psalm 28:7 NIV

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

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
Oct 6 '06 #38

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Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Scripsit Bergamot:
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Scripsit Paul Davis:

But, if the font is changed with
'view->text size->larger' it becomes gigantic, 'view->text
size->smaller' makes it microscopic.

For some odd values for "gigantic" or "microscopic".
Not 'odd' at all, at least not the way you usually infer that means.
Windows IE has a well-known bug scaling font sizes set in em units.

I had really forgotten that. I have used and recommended percentages rather
than em units for font size settings (locally, e.g. for headings) that I had
not thought much about the reasons for it.

(I thought, in the absence of a URL, that the OP had made the usual mistake
of setting something like * { font-size: 96% } and then complained about the
consequences.)
Correct, that was the mistake, only em's instead of percent but, the
result was the same.
--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Oct 6 '06 #39

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Andy Dingley wrote:
Bill Norton wrote:
It's certainly legitimate for a web developer to make
the case for usability as strongly as he or she chooses, but ultimately it's
the client's call.

Are you a web commerce consultant or just a mere coder? If they're not
just a coder. I don't do design
paying you to worry about these issues, then let them hang themselves.
If you're trying to defend your own reputation as someone who builds
Correct, I'm not being paid to worry, just to make it happen. My
reputation isn't in the HTML but, in the Java that makes it. Thus, my
goal is sweet, trivially simple, structured XHTML. Its easier to
dynamicly create. I'm using CSS to make the structure fit the design.
Truth is, even though a lot of effort is going into clean code, nobody
will ever know I made the site since its for internal DoD use.
competent sites, then there comes a point when they either listen to
what you're telling them or you terminate the contract (been there,
done that, refused to set the pixel sized font).
Thus the compromise. Designer is happy if default browser settings give
what he wants, 508 guy is happy if users have the ability to resize
fonts.
>From my experience, its a pretty good compromise. The designers I had
to deal with, back in the day, at RealNetworks were Nazis by comparison.

Oct 6 '06 #40

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Felix Miata wrote:
Every page that styles font-size in body or main body paragraph or other main content at anything other than 100% of the user default is morally repugnant. It's telling the user his choice of optimal font (preference,
default) is wrong. If your client doesn't understand this, and how to accept it, you haven't finished your job.

Wow! And I thought I was hardcore 8-)

Oct 9 '06 #41

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