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What do you think of resizing 1em to 10px?

P: n/a
Because when I asked for comments on my site-design (Remember? My site,
your opinion!) some of you told me never to change anything on
font-sizes!

What do you guys think of that: http://www.clagnut.com/blog/348/

I hope that's going to be a good discussion!

Michael

Jul 20 '05 #1
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86 Replies


P: n/a
Quoth the raven Michael Kalina:
Because when I asked for comments on my site-design (Remember? My site,
your opinion!) some of you told me never to change anything on font-sizes!
...which was a Good Idea™.
What do you guys think of that: http://www.clagnut.com/blog/348/
From your CSS:

/* Clagnut.com typefaces - Lucida family */

/* This reduces default size from 16px to 13px.
All font-sizes after here are in ems and made to whole pixel sizes.
*/
BODY {font-size:81.25%;} <<<------ Bad Idea™.

/* page heading, main body text and side-col subheadings */
BODY, H1, P, BLOCKQUOTE, LI, TD, #footer, UL#bookmarks H2, #features
H2, .blogsupl H2, FORM H2, BODY#photo H2, #notes H2 {
font-family: "Lucida Bright", Lucidabright, Georgia, "Bitstream Vera
Serif", serif;
}

End quote. My machine seems to perhaps use Georgia (as I don't have
any of those other ones). Georgia is a fairly nice serif font, but at
81.25% it is looking like a bad (worse?) Times New Roman. I can't read it.

Rethink the body font-size, and change it to 100%. I had to resize
your page to about 140% in order to read it, and my eyes are pretty good.

You should also consider using only fonts that the majority of your
visitors will have. This is quite limited.
I hope that's going to be a good discussion!


Undoubtedly.

Your page does scale correctly when resized or browser window size
changed. Kudos for that.

--
-bts
-This space intentionally left blank.
Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
Michael Kalina wrote:
Because when I asked for comments on my site-design (Remember? My
site, your opinion!) some of you told me never to change anything
on font-sizes!
No. What we told you was that the most practical thing to do is not
set a font-size for body text, and to use percent for e.g. headings to
make them bigger as a percent of that body text.
What do you guys think of that: http://www.clagnut.com/blog/348/
I think you obviously ignored our advice.
I hope that's going to be a good discussion!


Why are you hoping for that? What more is there to tell you? Perhaps
this will be a shock, but I don't really enjoy repeating myself. I'm
not interested in the least in telling you what you should already
know from the previous thread you mention, or from any of the numerous
other threads where the ciwas regulargs gave essentially the same advice.

--
Brian (remove ".invalid" to email me)

Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
Els
Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
Quoth the raven Michael Kalina:
Because when I asked for comments on my site-design (Remember? My
site, your opinion!) some of you told me never to change anything on
font-sizes!


..which was a Good Idea™.
What do you guys think of that: http://www.clagnut.com/blog/348/


From your CSS:


[snip site/font-check]

I was under the impression that Michael was asking opinions
about the content of the article, as I don't think it is his
site? It's about font-sizes, and has "Copyright © 1996–2003,
Richard Rutter." at the bottom of the page.

--
Els
http://locusmeus.com/
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vão. O resto é imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Jul 20 '05 #4

P: n/a
Michael Kalina wrote:

What do you guys think of that: http://www.clagnut.com/blog/348/


Bad advice, all around. First off, my default font size is _not_ 16px. I
changed it to something more suitable to my particular environment.

Setting body text to 62% like the author suggests only makes it
unreadably small. As it stands, I had to zoom to 150% to read that drivel.

--
Reply email address is a bottomless spam bucket.
Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
Jul 20 '05 #5

P: n/a
On Thu, 3 Jun 2004, Michael Kalina wrote:
What do you guys think of that: http://www.clagnut.com/blog/348/

I hope that's going to be a good discussion!


I smell trolls.

The author appears to be trying to create a site which will work best
for those undiscerning souls who bought a big display and left it
configured for some default display setting like 640x480 or 800x600,
while pissing-off anyone who bothered to configure to something which
uses that big display better.

|unless you know (not think) your audience won.t be using IE/Win or
|will never wish to resize their text then pixels are not yet a viable
|solution.

What's this "not yet" crap? Specifying px units in CSS is a request
to the display to display CSS px units, not to display user-resizable
text. So the author is telling us he's yearning to use something
which he presumably knows doesn't do what it's specified to do, but he
won't use it "yet" because it hasn't been broken enough "yet" by the
browser designers. Implying that he wants to make browser conformance
with the CSS specification even *worse* than it is now.

Meantime, as we know here, em units and percentages already do
pretty-much what it says on the tin, and are the closest thing we have
to responding to each and every user's individual need. But not when
you take their normal text size and reduce it to fly-droppings first.
Bleagh.
Jul 20 '05 #6

P: n/a
Quoth the raven Els:
I was under the impression that Michael was asking opinions about
the content of the article, as I don't think it is his site? It's
about font-sizes, and has "Copyright © 1996–2003, Richard Rutter."
at the bottom of the page.


You could be right. In that case, change my comments from "your" to
"his" ... Still applies, though. <g>

--
-bts
-This space intentionally left blank.
Jul 20 '05 #7

P: n/a
Michael Kalina wrote:
What do you guys think of that: http://www.clagnut.com/blog/348/


I quoteth from that blog:

"The default size for 'medium' text in all modern browsers is 16px.
Our first step is to reduce this size for the entire document by
setting body size to 62.5%:

BODY {font-size:62.5%}

"This takes 16px down to 10px, which apart from being less huge is a
nice round number. From now on it's easy to think in pixels but still
set sizes in terms of ems: 1em is 10px, 0.8em is 8px, 1.6em is 16px,
etc."
Never have I seen the message so twisted. This blog says to its
audience: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. A little knowledge is
a dangerous thing."

A rare glimpse inside the mind of microfonter. Controversial.
Confrontational. Destined to become a modern classic. I gave it four
and a half stars.

This atmospheric, gritty blog lays bare the thought processes of the
microfonters in a way that Zeldman or Meyer never could. What did you
think, David?

I didn't like it. I gave it two stars.
Jul 20 '05 #8

P: n/a
On 3 Jun 2004 19:50:37 -0700, Wolfgang Wildeblood wrote:
..What did you
think, David?

I didn't like it. I gave it two stars.


(chuckle) ..And I do not even watch TV,
let alone Australian TV.

--
Andrew Thompson
http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
Jul 20 '05 #9

P: n/a
Brian <us*****@julietremblay.com.invalid> wrote:
What do you guys think of that: http://www.clagnut.com/blog/348/

I think you obviously ignored our advice.


Dear Brian!

I do not understand why you are so pessimistic about me: MY Site
(http://michaelsremarks.com) does not ignore your advice! I only
wanted to know what you think of a site that is referred to as a "good
advice in working with em-units"!

Please do not put so much bad things on me, this is NOT my site, it is
a site I found while surfing the web!

Because I wondered what was written there (after we had the discussion
in this group and there were lot of advices how to use em-units), I
posted a link to this newsgroup to see what happens...
Jul 20 '05 #10

P: n/a
Wolfgang Wildeblood wrote:
Michael Kalina wrote:
What do you guys think of that: http://www.clagnut.com/blog/348/
I quoteth from that blog:
"The default size for 'medium' text in all modern browsers is 16px.


That is my conclusion too. I recently asked for a site check elsewhere, and my
analysis confirmed this, at least on my system.
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm...erver.ntli.net
Our first step is to reduce this size for the entire document by
setting body size to 62.5%:
BODY {font-size:62.5%}

"This takes 16px down to 10px, which apart from being less huge is a
nice round number. From now on it's easy to think in pixels but still
set sizes in terms of ems: 1em is 10px, 0.8em is 8px, 1.6em is 16px,
etc."

Never have I seen the message so twisted. This blog says to its
audience: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. A little knowledge is
a dangerous thing."

[snip]

I have come to a different conclusion. It is as follows.

- My PC is configured to my satisfaction. System text is the right size. I
think this happened "out of the box".

- When I view pages that don't specify font sizes & families, my set of
browsers, at their default settings, make them look OK to me. This appears to
mean that not only my *system*, but my *browsers*, are configured, at their
default settings, to my satisfaction. My default font is "Times New Roman", so
I am really saying "16px "Times New Roman"" is the ideal setting for main web
text for me.

- My experiments (see the above thread) suggest that the practical sans-serif
equivalent of "16px "Times New Roman"" is "13px Arial". It gives lines that
are about the same length, and key features of characters that are about the
same size. It is about as comfortable as "16px "Times New Roman"" for main
text, and I wouldn't even worry about the difference. It is better than serif
for short uses, such as button-links. Anyone specifying "13px Arial" will get
my approval. Or, in fact, "80% Arial", or "0.8em Arial", which appear the same
on my system. (Obviously they should provide a full font-family, but in this
case I don't need that).

But if *I*, as an author, let the main body text of my pages be the user's
default, yet specify "80% Arial" for buttons, that is bad authoring. If the
user has "Times New Roman" as the default font, my button text is then about
97% of the size. Pretty good - they are equally important. But if the user has
"Verdana" as the default font, my button-text is about 69% of the size. (See
the thread above, which gives the numbers). Pretty bad! *Don't* use "%" if you
haven't a clue what it is a % of. And the only way you can know what it is a %
of is to control this via something like the body-rule. Don't mix default
settings with combinations of specified fonts & %s. The results may be what
neither you nor the user thinks sensible.

Why is it that, when I browse the web, I rarely have trouble with font sizes?
I think it is because so many authors use something like "13px Arial", or "80%
Arial", or "0.8em Arial". I am flattered that millions of authors have taken
this trouble to please me! But ... a more realistic view is that I am not
alone, and perhaps the majority of users are just like me. Those properties
for main text are just right for millions of users across the planet.

This is not post-hoc rationalisation. It contradicts every page I have on the
web. I am being lead to the view that, contrary to what I have been doing,
authors *should* take more control of font sizes & families. In an ideal
world, no, but we live in a world of CSS, not an ideal world. And CSS hasn't a
clue about the concepts discussed above!

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #11

P: n/a
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Thu, 3 Jun 2004, Michael Kalina wrote:
What do you guys think of that: http://www.clagnut.com/blog/348/
I hope that's going to be a good discussion!
[snip]|unless you know (not think) your audience won.t be using IE/Win or
|will never wish to resize their text then pixels are not yet a viable
|solution.

What's this "not yet" crap? Specifying px units in CSS is a request
to the display to display CSS px units, not to display user-resizable
text. So the author is telling us he's yearning to use something
which he presumably knows doesn't do what it's specified to do, but he
won't use it "yet" because it hasn't been broken enough "yet" by the
browser designers. Implying that he wants to make browser conformance
with the CSS specification even *worse* than it is now.
Not true. Any browser, (that I am aware of), *including* IE, can be made to
override text sizes specified in pixels. So why isn't it possible to assume
that an author who specifies text sizes in pixels is simply expressing a
starting position, knowing that any user can override it?

You have recently checked a site of mine, (thank you), in which, for example,
I had borders of 1px, images of Xpx, etc. But you should also remember that I
checked the pages to see what they looked like in browsers that changed things
entirely, such as zooming to a few 100%, or viewing in "small screen mode" to
simulate a 240px screen. Obviously I am fully aware that a 1px border doesn't
*really* mean 1 pixel on the screen consistently! And it doesn't mean what the
system thinks is 1 pixel. In the absence of a better presentation language, I
use CSS. That doesn't mean I believe everything I tell it to do! So why assume
that anyone else who uses "px" values actually expects them to be so many
pixels on a screen? Perhaps the author is trying to express how big they
should be relative to something else.

I don't believe that either authors or users really want full compliance all
the time with CSS. Does someone using Opera really want it to precisely obey
px values when zooming? (And how could it zoom if it did?) These are surely
simply default values, or starting positions. As an author, I want to
communicate with my audience. I don't have a good language to achieve this. So
I have to make do with HTML and CSS. I find myself trying to outwit the
obstacles that broken recommendations, supported by broken implementations,
put in the way of communication. And I suspect that millions of other authors
are trying to do exactly the same. We just want to communicate!
Meantime, as we know here, em units and percentages already do
pretty-much what it says on the tin, and are the closest thing we have
to responding to each and every user's individual need. But not when
you take their normal text size and reduce it to fly-droppings first.
Bleagh.


You should know, from the discussion in the thread I started for my site
check, that there are *massive* problems with % and em for text sizes. This is
especially the case when the font-family changes, and even worse when one of
the font-families is left unspecified. Quite simply, "%" doesn't mean much if
you don't know what it is a % of. And authors don't know what the user's
default text is like. So saying (for example) "80% Arial (etc)" for a button
link does not give a plausible correspondence with the user's text based on a
default font. It may be nearly the same size as the main text, or less than
70% of its size. That isn't good for the user!
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm...erver.ntli.net

The principle appears to be a bit like the idea that you should always set the
foreground & background colour together, in case they are overridden. Not only
should %s and font-families be set together, but whenever text rules change,
the new % and the new font-family should have a known relationship with the
original. (Otherwise, what does % actually mean?)

I have been looking at lots of sites, to try to understand why they appear to
be OK to me. And a site that specifies, in the body rule, "16px "Times New
Roman" (etc)", or "13px Arial (etc)", will look comfortable to me, with my
well-configured (to me) system. And, I suspect, to millions of other users on
the planet. And, for me, "80% Arial" looks the same as "13px Arial" in the
body rule. If all authors used those values, I would be very happy. So would
those others.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #12

P: n/a
"Barry Pearson" <ne**@childsupportanalysis.co.uk> wrote:
Any browser, (that I am aware of), *including* IE, can be made to
override text sizes specified in pixels. So why isn't it possible to
assume that an author who specifies text sizes in pixels is simply
expressing a starting position, knowing that any user can override
it?


So the excuse for suggesting a font size that does not naturally adapt to
users' choices is that they can override it if they know how to? Does
this extend to making link texts black and not underlined, etc.?

Much fewer people know how to override px sizes on IE than how to select
the basic font size. You would effectively make the vast majority suffer.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #13

P: n/a
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
"Barry Pearson" <ne**@childsupportanalysis.co.uk> wrote:
Any browser, (that I am aware of), *including* IE, can be made to
override text sizes specified in pixels. So why isn't it possible to
assume that an author who specifies text sizes in pixels is simply
expressing a starting position, knowing that any user can override
it?
So the excuse for suggesting a font size that does not naturally
adapt to users' choices is that they can override it if they know how
to? Does this extend to making link texts black and not underlined,
etc.?


It is a compromise. And so, I suggest, is *anything* you could suggest. (I'll
ignore your last sentence).

In the thread I quoted:
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm...erver.ntli.net
I asked for a site check for a web site I am developing. Like every site I
have on the web, it didn't have a px value for *any* text. They all use %.
Like every site I have on the web, it didn't specify a font-family or a
font-size (even %) for the default text. You are welcome to look & comment. I
encourage you & others, nay, *defy* you, to help me solve all the problems I
face:
http://www.kingsnorton.info/

And it ran into problems. The first criticism was that the main text was too
small. (Remember that this was not specified by me at all! It was that user's
default font & size. The user saw Arial). And I believe that nearly every user
who linked *to* that site from the most obvious sites would think the same.
And every user who linked *from* that site to one of the sites it linked to
would feel the same. Whatever the theoretical policies of people in authoring
newsgroups, my web site was an anomaly that I believe would have been
unacceptable to its users. I looked at those sites. I think any of "13px Arial
(etc)" or "80% Arial (etc)" or "0.8em Arial (etc)" would make my site
reasonably consistent with them.

A second problem was that the text for the button-links was too small. I has
specified "75% Arial (etc)", and I should at least have specified 80%. (The
CSS now says 80%). On my system, or that of anyone where the default font was
equivalent to "16px "Times New Roman"", "80% Arial" was visually about the
same size (actually 97%) as the default text, but just sans-serif instead. (It
is about the same as "13px Arial (etc)"). (The above thread has some details
of the pixel-counts I did, and I have more). (If my body-rule set a size, I
would not then say anything extra for the button-links).

But, of course, if the user's default font is Arial, then the button-links are
about 80% of the main text size, which is unacceptable! And if the user's
default is Verdana (!), the button-links would be 69% of the size, which is
even worse. Yet, to me & the user, both should be equally readable. The
difference that appears is not some conscious choice by the user. ("I want
button-links to be 69% of the size of my main text"). The difference is
because I have failed to let the user's system know that these pieces of text
should be equally readable, so perhaps considerable differences in sze would
inconvenient to the user. I should have used the limited features of CSS to
make that statement. And that (unfortunately) means specifying fonts & sizes.

So, if this user, who happens to be a disabled person who is authoring web
sites to be accessible, thinks my main text is too small (& Arial), what
should I do? This was a wake-up call. Remember - if I simply put "80% Arial
(etc)" as the body rule, that person would undoubtedly see my main text as
being too small, because that would be the same as my default, which was too
small. I think that I may need to use a px value, rather than a %, to
synchronise with the other web sites that person, and all my users, will have
looked at, before, after, and during, their stay at my site.
Much fewer people know how to override px sizes on IE than how to
select the basic font size. You would effectively make the vast
majority suffer.


No. I would simply be indistinguishable from what they see whenever they
browse the web. I've examined lots of sites to see what they specify. "13px
Arial (etc)" would do the trick. If users would then struggle with this site,
they would also be struggling with the others. Perhaps they would seek help.
But if users had succeeded with those other sites, they wouldn't have trouble
with this one.

Sometimes, the worst thing you can do is be different. Users also want
predictability. Especially those users with the most problems.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #14

P: n/a
Barry Pearson <ne**@childsupportanalysis.co.uk> wrote:
And it ran into problems. The first criticism was that the main text was too
small. (Remember that this was not specified by me at all! It was that user's
default font & size. The user saw Arial).


If users complain that their own browsers' font is too small, then your
best bet may be to refer them to a page like this one:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/main/adjust.html

That will improve their overall experience on the web, not just at your
site.

The alternative is to make things worse (perhaps much worse) for discerning
web users.
--
Darin McGrew, da***@TheRallyeClub.org, http://www.TheRallyeClub.org/
A gimmick car rallye is not a race, but a fun puzzle testing your
ability to follow instructions. Upcoming gimmick car rallye in
Silicon Valley: Best in Show (Saturday, June 5)
Jul 20 '05 #15

P: n/a
"Barry Pearson" <ne**@childsupportanalysis.co.uk> wrote:
I have come to a different conclusion. It is as follows.

- My PC is configured to my satisfaction. System text is the right size. I
think this happened "out of the box".

- When I view pages that don't specify font sizes & families, my set of
browsers, at their default settings, make them look OK to me. This appears to
mean that not only my *system*, but my *browsers*, are configured, at their
default settings, to my satisfaction. My default font is "Times New Roman", so
I am really saying "16px "Times New Roman"" is the ideal setting for main web
text for me.


Stop right there! You just equivocated between "satisfactory" and
"ideal" - I'm not reading any further.
Jul 20 '05 #16

P: n/a
Andrew Thompson <Se********@www.invalid> wrote:
On 3 Jun 2004 19:50:37 -0700, Wolfgang Wildeblood wrote:
..What did you think, David?

I didn't like it. I gave it two stars.


(chuckle) ..And I do not even watch TV,
let alone Australian TV.


[Austrian TV? We only watch it because my dog likes it.]

And I do not even read books,
let alone Australian history.

Which is why I only found out yesterday
who Andrew Thompson was, you old rogue.
Jul 20 '05 #17

P: n/a
On 5 Jun 2004 01:20:34 -0700, Wolfgang Wildeblood wrote:
Andrew Thompson <Se********@www.invalid> wrote:
On 3 Jun 2004 19:50:37 -0700, Wolfgang Wildeblood wrote:
.... [Austrian TV? We only watch it because my dog likes it.]
Oh ..yeah, right.
Blame the dog! Mongrel. [ ;-) ]
And I do not even read books,
let alone Australian history.

Which is why I only found out yesterday
who Andrew Thompson was, you old rogue.


ehhh? Went searching..
<http://www.google.com.au/search?q=%22andrew+thompson%22+history>
found (about) 11,900 pages and discovered
that (lemme see..) 1,2,3..
'None', were about me. :-(

Though I did quite like the chap described here..
<http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/history.htm>

And this one is definitely prettier than I am..
<http://saints.com.au/default.asp?pg=players&spg=playerprofile&personid= 13500>
....and he's an AFL player. ;-)

[ If anyone is bored enough to wanna see a crude
depiction of me, you need to chase the links in
my sig. ..and you need to get out more. ]

--
Andrew Thompson
http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
Jul 20 '05 #18

P: n/a
Darin McGrew wrote:
Barry Pearson <ne**@childsupportanalysis.co.uk> wrote:
And it ran into problems. The first criticism was that the main text
was too small. (Remember that this was not specified by me at all!
It was that user's default font & size. The user saw Arial).
If users complain that their own browsers' font is too small, then
your best bet may be to refer them to a page like this one:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/main/adjust.html


The complaint *wasn't* that their own browser's font was too small. It was
that *my* main text size was too small.

I don't want users looking at the site and believing that there is something
wrong with it. I don't want to start off by making excuses and telling them
they should adjust their system. I would prefer that they simply didn't see
anything out of the ordinary, and just on with using it.
That will improve their overall experience on the web, not just at
your site.
Hw much would that improve their experience of the web? What proportion of the
web sites that they view would then appear different? Putting it a bit more
narrowly, because I can more easily answer this, what proportion of the web
sites that cover this particular topic, and that they may have come from, and
may be going to from this site, would appear different? None that I have
found.

There are potentially 2 different things to adjust. Font & size. Consider my
own PC. Suppose I change the default font to Arial. Then, to make the size of
this site OK, I need to reduce the browser's text size, because Arial is
bigger, both subjectively & objectively, the Times New Roman I am used to. In
fact, I need to reduce the size to about half-way between IE's "medium", which
I normally use, and IE's "smaller". Suppose I change IE to "smaller". Now look
at the problem. If I now view a site that says "80% Arial (etc)", or "0.8em
Arial (etc)", which appears to be quite typical of the "surrounding" sites, I
see text that is too small! I have to change IE back to "medium" to view them
satisfactorily.

If that is what would happen to me, how can I be confident that it wouldn't
happen to a majority of users? Most of them don't have the degree of control
that Mozilla or Opera provide. And I'm not going to put "best viewed with
Mozilla or Opera" on the front of the web site. Perhaps accompanied by Mozilla
or Opera buttons that link to the download sites!
The alternative is to make things worse (perhaps much worse) for
discerning web users.


What do your "discerning web users" do when they are looking at web sites
other than mine? (Remember - none of my web sites at the moment specify a main
text font or size or use anything other than % to specify an other cases). Do
they spend all of their time gnashing their teeth in fury but doing nothing
about it? Or do they actually take control? Might it not be the case that
discerning web users are not an issue, because they long ago overrode the
properties of web sites?

The problem I originally faced was actually another one. And that is that a
font suitable for main text may be different from one for button-links &
special purposes. Even on the web, some people prefer a serif font for main
text. (I am one of those people). I can accept a sans-serif font, though, and
I am used to this.

But for small special-purpose pieces of text, that isn't the case. I no longer
get advantage from the serifs, which help guide the eye. I just get the
disadvantages of the smaller size. Assuming other users are the same, I want
to specify a sans-serif font for the button-links. I would like to be able to
say "use a sans-serif font that is about the same size subjectively as the
default font". How can I do that?

On my system, to get "Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" about the same size as a
default of "Times New Roman", which is my current default, I need to specify
about 80%, or about13px. Obviously, to get "Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" to
be the same size as a default of Arial, I need to specify 100% or 16px, or
leave it unspecified. And to get it the same size as a default of Verdana, I
would probably need it to be about 120% or 19px. So, if I specify a sans-serif
family for button-links, what size should accompany it?

If you don't specify a font-family for the main text, it appears that you
shouldn't specify one elsewhere either. Because that is the only way that
using % actually means anything.

I'll also express some frustration here. I look at web sites or pages, where I
can find them, of people who respond to me. You, Alan, Jukka, etc. (Also, the
CSS Zen Garden & its authors, etc). I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and
assume that you have little or no control over the web site in your sig! But I
tend to feel that the attitude is "do as I say", not "do as I do". That
statement, by the way, does *not* apply to Stephen Poley.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #19

P: n/a
Wolfgang Wildeblood wrote:
"Barry Pearson" <ne**@childsupportanalysis.co.uk> wrote:
I have come to a different conclusion. It is as follows.

- My PC is configured to my satisfaction. System text is the right
size. I think this happened "out of the box".

- When I view pages that don't specify font sizes & families, my set
of browsers, at their default settings, make them look OK to me.
This appears to mean that not only my *system*, but my *browsers*,
are configured, at their default settings, to my satisfaction. My
default font is "Times New Roman", so I am really saying "16px
"Times New Roman"" is the ideal setting for main web text for me.


Stop right there! You just equivocated between "satisfactory" and
"ideal" - I'm not reading any further.


Then you are simply ducking the issue. Change all those to "satisfactory", or
all to "ideal", and my point remains.

For my viewing convenience, based on my satisfaction with the system set-up
and my satisfaction with the way my browsers handle pages without a main text
specification, I want authors of web sites to specify main text according to
the following examples:

[no specification]
16px Times New Roman (etc)
100% or 1em Times New Roman (etc)
13px Arial (etc)
80% or 0.8em Arial (etc).

Or close variations on those.

For special purposes such as button-links, I want them to specify something
like:

13px Arial (etc)
80% or 0.8em Arial (etc).

Or close variations on those. (Excluding serif fonts).

I wouldn't be surprised if many, perhaps most, other users in the world would
agree with that. And I wouldn't be surprised if many, perhaps most, authors in
the world believe that most users agree with that.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #20

P: n/a
On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 20:24:30 +0100, "Barry Pearson"
<ne**@childsupportanalysis.co.uk> wrote:
[snip!]Anyone specifying "13px Arial" will get my approval. Or, in fact, "80%
Arial", or "0.8em Arial", which appear the same on my system. (Obviously
they should provide a full font-family, but in this case I don't need that).


Ideally, of course, the author wouldn't specify a font family for
*anything* and let the user's default be used.

As you noted, changing the font-family causes havok with percieved
text size, so the only sensible solution is to leave the body text
size and font family alone and assume the user is happy with their
browser preferences. That is, after all, why they are called
"preferences".

-Claire
Jul 20 '05 #21

P: n/a
On Sat, 5 Jun 2004, Barry Pearson wrote:
Darin McGrew wrote:

If users complain that their own browsers' font is too small, then
your best bet may be to refer them to a page like this one:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/main/adjust.html
The complaint *wasn't* that their own browser's font was too small.


Not in so many words, no: but that was the gist of it, nevertheless.
It was that *my* main text size was too small.
And since you know that you didn't size that text, you have to
conclude that it was displayed at the user's configured preference
size, right?
I don't want users looking at the site and believing that there is
something wrong with it.
There will always be someone to find fault with it. Any web author
has got to live with that.

Now that you've got some body text to work with, I feel more confident
to offer a report, and my view is that on my Mozilla the body text is
fine, while on IE6 by default it's too large. But that's OK because I
normally have IE6 cranked-down at least one notch (to "smaller") if
not two ("smallest") to compensate for its unnecessarily large default
text size. Of course when idiot web authors come along and crank it
down for me, assuming that I would be too dim to be able to do that
for myself, then we get microfonts. But you didn't do that.
I don't want to start off by making excuses and telling them they
should adjust their system. I would prefer that they simply didn't
see anything out of the ordinary,
I would hope to see something "out of the ordinary", since the present
"ordinary" web situation in my experience so often produces
microfonts. You may say that's my fault for refusing to choose a font
that's two notches bigger than the size that I really wanted, but I'm
going to be stubborn about that - I'm going to use the font size that
I wanted - and use Mozilla's min font size as a safety-net to protect
me from mad deezyners. Random example that I recently needed to use:
http://www.3com.com/selectsite.html
There are potentially 2 different things to adjust. Font & size.
You have identified a genuine problem (we need an improved version of
the font-size-adjust property, one that's adapted for *perceived* font
size rather than the objective sizing that was the basis of the
abandoned CSS2 property).

But in my view you've allowed that problem to sway you into arguing
the whole principle of flexible design out of the window.
Fortunately, your actual web designs are far from being so rigid and
fragile as your arguments might lead one to believe.
Consider my own PC.


No need - I'm happy to do the argument in the abstract, and I don't
deny that you have identified a genuine problem.

But it's not solved by changing to units which (a) don't scale in the
way that you need and (b) aren't implemented to specification and (c)
if they were implemented to specification they still wouldn't be what
users in general need. Those units might (thanks to a combination of
bugs) seem to produce the end result you wanted, on the displays you
use, and with your particular eyesight capability, but they still
aren't the right choice for WWW use, and it's not just me that's
saying so.

Sure, those with special needs can override them, but to my mind
there's something comfortable about choosing units which are *meant*
to cascade with the users own needs, rather than forcing users into a
position where they have to fight back by overruling the author
completely. I apply that verdict not only to pt units, but also, for
the most part, to px units, when we're in the context of WWW display.

I'm talking about text size here: so don't start quibbling that I'm
trying to stop you using px or even pt units amongst the
specifications that you use for margins, borders etc. - I'm not. But
the text should be "user sized", and the boxes should be flexible
(which means, where they are specified numerically at all, generally
using percentage or em units - pixel-sized objects being a possible
exception).
Jul 20 '05 #22

P: n/a
Barry Pearson <ne**@childsupportanalysis.co.uk> wrote:
I'll also express some frustration here. I look at web sites or pages, where I
can find them, of people who respond to me. You, Alan, Jukka, etc. (Also, the
CSS Zen Garden & its authors, etc). I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and
assume that you have little or no control over the web site in your sig! But I
tend to feel that the attitude is "do as I say", not "do as I do". That
statement, by the way, does *not* apply to Stephen Poley.


My sig is random. The one on the previous message referred to
http://www.TheRallyeClub.org/ (which I do not control). Basically, the
person who is willing to do the work uses MS Frontpage (ptui!), and anyone
who wants anything better would have to take over the site from him.

The sites that I do control do not try to specify fonts for normal text at
all. They specify font sizes for headings and similar brief phrases. And
sometimes they specify font faces for such things, since the short text and
the larger-than-default font size make it less likely for the differences
between fonts to cause legibility problems.
--
Darin McGrew, mc****@stanfordalumni.org, http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/
Web Design Group, da***@htmlhelp.com, http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

"The handwriting on the wall may mean you need a notepad by the phone."
Jul 20 '05 #23

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:
The complaint *wasn't* that their own browser's font was too small. It was
that *my* main text size was too small.

I don't want users looking at the site and believing that there is
something wrong with it. I don't want to start off by making excuses and
telling them they should adjust their system. I would prefer that they
simply didn't see anything out of the ordinary, and just on with using it.
They *should* have adjusted their system already by the time they got to
your site. Unfortunately, it seems way too few people know that the font
size is even a user-configurable item.
There are potentially 2 different things to adjust. Font & size. Consider
my own PC. Suppose I change the default font to Arial. Then, to make the
size of this site OK, I need to reduce the browser's text size, because
Arial is bigger, both subjectively & objectively, the Times New Roman I am
used to. In fact, I need to reduce the size to about half-way between IE's
"medium", which I normally use, and IE's "smaller". Suppose I change IE to
"smaller". Now look at the problem. If I now view a site that says "80%
Arial (etc)", or "0.8em Arial (etc)", which appears to be quite typical of
the "surrounding" sites, I see text that is too small! I have to change IE
back to "medium" to view them satisfactorily.
This is the fault of both IE, which only gives you five choices instead of
the full spectrum of point sizes, and the idiot that decided to resize
normal text to smaller than the size the user selected.

80% or 0.8em means one-fifth smaller than the (inherited) value of
font-size. Of course it's going to be too small if it's 20% smaller than
what you have configured for a correctly designed site.
If that is what would happen to me, how can I be confident that it
wouldn't happen to a majority of users? Most of them don't have the degree
of control that Mozilla or Opera provide. And I'm not going to put "best
viewed with Mozilla or Opera" on the front of the web site. Perhaps
accompanied by Mozilla or Opera buttons that link to the download sites!


I agree here, but only because "best viewed with" banners or buttons look
silly.

--
Shawn K. Quinn
Jul 20 '05 #24

P: n/a
On Fri, 4 Jun 2004, Barry Pearson wrote:
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
What's this "not yet" crap? Specifying px units in CSS is a request
to the display to display CSS px units, not to display user-resizable
text. So the author is telling us he's yearning to use something
which he presumably knows doesn't do what it's specified to do, but he
won't use it "yet" because it hasn't been broken enough "yet" by the
browser designers. Implying that he wants to make browser conformance
with the CSS specification even *worse* than it is now.
Not true.


Specifying px units in CSS is a request to the display to display CSS
px units. Honestly: it is.
Any browser, (that I am aware of), *including* IE, can be made to
override text sizes specified in pixels.
Of course. In the final analysis, CSS is designed to be optional.

Nevertheless, specifying px units in CSS is a request to the display
to display CSS px units. That request can be implemented in
accordance with the specification, or it can be ignored. Any other
option represents non-conformance with the CSS spec.
So why isn't it possible to assume that an author who specifies text
sizes in pixels is simply expressing a starting position, knowing
that any user can override it?
"override it". Exactly my point.
You have recently checked a site of mine, (thank you), in which, for
example, I had borders of 1px,
I said nothing about measurement units for borders; I was addressing
the size of text.
I don't believe that either authors or users really want full
compliance all the time with CSS.
That's the core of the problem, then. <troll>Which HTTP header do
they send to the server to indicate their non-acceptance of the
interworking specification?</>
Does someone using Opera really want it to precisely obey
px values when zooming? (And how could it zoom if it did?)
Exactly. So why ask for something that - objectively, in terms of the
interworking specification - does not represent what you really hope
will happen?
Meantime, as we know here, em units and percentages already do
pretty-much what it says on the tin, and are the closest thing we have
to responding to each and every user's individual need. But not when
you take their normal text size and reduce it to fly-droppings first.
Bleagh.


You should know, from the discussion in the thread I started for my
site check, that there are *massive* problems with % and em for text
sizes.


I don't agree. There -are- problems, as I've never tried to deny or
conceal; but they are of secondary scale compared with the problems
that you would be confronted with if browsers took your sizing
proposals seriously. There's no argument over the fact that you get
the results you intended, in the mainstream browsing situation with
the mainstream users; but you're relying on browser non-conformance
(in clear-text: bugs), or users overriding your specifications, to get
results which are acceptable to some proportion of your readers.
The principle appears to be a bit like the idea that you should
always set the foreground & background colour together, in case they
are overridden.
That's a good principle, but I don't see the analogy to the present
issue.
Not only should %s and font-families be set together, but whenever
text rules change, the new % and the new font-family should have a
known relationship with the original. (Otherwise, what does %
actually mean?)


Which is why we need some enhanced version of font-size-adjust.
Meantime, we need to make the best use of what we have.
Jul 20 '05 #25

P: n/a
Andrew Thompson wrote:
On 5 Jun 2004 01:20:34 -0700, Wolfgang Wildeblood wrote:
...
And I do not even read books,
let alone Australian history.

Which is why I only found out yesterday
who Andrew Thompson was, you old rogue.


ehhh? Went searching..
<http://www.google.com.au/search?q=%22andrew+thompson%22+history>
found (about) 11,900 pages and discovered
that (lemme see..) 1,2,3.. 'None', were about me. :-(

Though I did quite like the chap described here..
<http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/history.htm>


That's the one I was reading about. Sharp practices when settling his
IOUs apparently - led to one of our early legal precedents. And since
that was your first choice of 11900 possibilities, I'd say I was right
that it was he you had in mind when you chose that "Andrew Thompson"
nick.
Jul 20 '05 #26

P: n/a
On 5 Jun 2004 22:59:47 -0700, Wolfgang Wildeblood wrote:
I'd say I was right
that it was he you had in mind when you chose ...
'chose'?
..that "Andrew Thompson"
I think my mom chose the 'Andrew' bit..
and the son of one of my ancestors named,
well 'Thomp' apparently chose the other. ;-)
nick.


[ ..and it was mention of the illicit still
made me choose him*. My kinda' reprobate.
Besides the fact that page was 2nd or 3rd hit. ]

* <http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/history.htm>

--
Andrew Thompson
http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
Jul 20 '05 #27

P: n/a
Andrew Thompson <Se********@www.invalid> wrote:
On 5 Jun 2004 22:59:47 -0700, Wolfgang Wildeblood wrote:
I'd say I was right
that it was he you had in mind when you chose ...


'chose'?
..that "Andrew Thompson"


I think my mom chose the 'Andrew' bit..
and the son of one of my ancestors named,
well 'Thomp' apparently chose the other. ;-)
nick.


Well, I won't post to Usenet using my real name anymore, since I read
about a Microsoft project to profile people by their Usenet posting
habits. As in: profile everyone to decide whether they are of
interest, not profile particular people pre-determined to be of
interest. Ya know it won't stop there, they'll pass it on to the
CIA/MI5/ASIO/... I think that's outrageous.[1]

I think a lot of what people[2] do with Usenet is outrageous,
actually. Ever notice that you can post a message of your own original
composition to Usenet then go and look at that same message at
http://groups.google.com/ and you will see it displayed with
"Copyright (C) Google" written at the bottom of the page?
Out-bloody-rageous.

So I retaliate[3] with this handy user stylesheet:

http://groups.google.com/groups?selm...&output=gplain
[1] I'm actually far more chagrined at being profiled by Microsoft
computers, than the possibility of being monitored by the government.
Just who do these people think they are?
[2] "People" being nearly always corporate bodies, not natural
persons.
[3] In a completely non-aggressive sense of "retaliate", Mr Echelon
Profile-bot, Sir.
Jul 20 '05 #28

P: n/a
On 6 Jun 2004 09:38:35 -0700, Wolfgang Wildeblood wrote:
Well, I won't post to Usenet using my real name anymore, since I read
about a Microsoft project to profile people by their Usenet posting
habits.
Given the percentage of hits on my
sites from 'US military', makes me
wonder if MS just sub-contracts to
an entity that is more proficient
at such IT related matters.. ;-)
...Ya know it won't stop there, they'll pass it on to the
CIA/MI5/ASIO/... I think that's outrageous.[1]


My intention is to give 'em so much data to
chew over, it chokes their damn computer(s).

Let's start with this one, which
has a ..couple of related links.
<http://www.physci.org/codes/char.jsp?char=63>
Must be lot's of hidden messages in there, eh?

--
Andrew Thompson
http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
Jul 20 '05 #29

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:

For my viewing convenience, based on my satisfaction with the system set-up
and my satisfaction with the way my browsers handle pages without a main text
specification, I want authors of web sites to specify main text according to
the following examples: [snip] I wouldn't be surprised if many, perhaps most, other users in the world would
agree with that.
Well, I don't. Your browser defaults and mine are not the same. Setting
Arial to 80% and assuming it will be just as readable as the browser
default font at 100% is a very bad assumption.
And I wouldn't be surprised if many, perhaps most, authors in
the world believe that most users agree with that.


What authors believe isn't relevant. And you cannot know what users
believe unless you ask them - all of them. How many users in this ng
have already disagreed with you, eh? Consider me one.

--
Reply email address is a bottomless spam bucket.
Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
Jul 20 '05 #30

P: n/a
Claire Tucker wrote:
On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 20:24:30 +0100, "Barry Pearson"
<ne**@childsupportanalysis.co.uk> wrote:
[snip!]
Anyone specifying "13px Arial" will get my approval. Or, in fact, "80%
Arial", or "0.8em Arial", which appear the same on my system.
(Obviously they should provide a full font-family, but in this case I
don't need that).


Ideally, of course, the author wouldn't specify a font family for
*anything* and let the user's default be used.


If users could override the author's spcification easily, then there is
nothing wrong with an author specifying a font family. Ditto for all CSS
properties. The author's specification is then seen where the user doesn't
object enough to override it. Win-win.

Much of the discussion on this topic is influenced by the *relative*
difficulty of overiding px values in IE. (But even there it can be done). If
IE had made it easier, I think some of the objections to setting main text
properties wouldn't have been voiced.
As you noted, changing the font-family causes havok with percieved
text size, so the only sensible solution is to leave the body text
size and font family alone and assume the user is happy with their
browser preferences. That is, after all, why they are called
"preferences".


There is a problem with that, although I agree that it is a coherent position,
and one adopted by Stephen Poley to good effect.

The problem is that perhaps there really needs to be at least 2 preferences,
one for main text areas where there are potentially long lines, and one for
short text lengths where immediate clarity is the key. I use Times New Roman
as my preference because I think it looks good for bulk text. I don't like it
in button-links, etc. (This is similar to use off the web as well).

Consider: Opera 7.23 has font options for various cases, such as "menu text"
and "toolbar text", (default Tahoma). But those are for the browser, not for
the equivalent in a web page. What about menu text in the page? And it would
probably not solve this problem to extend its options to a separate choice for
link-text, because that would hit in-line links as well, and I think they look
best in the font of the surrounding text.

How can an author say "render the main text according to the user's
preferences, and render these button-links in sans-serif at the same practical
size"? (I use the word "practical" because 16px Arial is not just subjectively
bigger than 16px Times New Roman, but also the words are longer, and things
other than ascenders & descenders are larger too. It is only the total height
that is the same).

Note that even Stephen Poley runs a small risk here. For example, one of his
headers is { font-family: "Monotype Corsiva", cursive; font-size: 200% }. How
big is that relative to the user's main text size? It depends on whether the
user has a small font such as Times New Roman, or a big one like Verdana.

So, authors appear to work on the principle that they can't suceed with only a
partial specification, they have to do all or nothing. So they do all.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #31

P: n/a
Darin McGrew wrote:
Barry Pearson <ne**@childsupportanalysis.co.uk> wrote:
I'll also express some frustration here. I look at web sites or
pages, where I can find them, of people who respond to me. You,
Alan, Jukka, etc. (Also, the CSS Zen Garden & its authors, etc).
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have
little or no control over the web site in your sig! But I tend to
feel that the attitude is "do as I say", not "do as I do". That
statement, by the way, does *not* apply to Stephen Poley.
My sig is random. The one on the previous message referred to
http://www.TheRallyeClub.org/ (which I do not control). Basically, the
person who is willing to do the work uses MS Frontpage (ptui!), and
anyone who wants anything better would have to take over the site
from him.


No need to explain! I guessed it was something like that, and I wasn't going
to hold it as an example against you.
The sites that I do control do not try to specify fonts for normal
text at all. They specify font sizes for headings and similar brief
phrases. And sometimes they specify font faces for such things, since
the short text and the larger-than-default font size make it less
likely for the differences between fonts to cause legibility problems.


I understand. Mine do pretty much the same - no specification of font or
family or size for main text. Specifications for headings, button-links, admin
text, (and sometimes lists-of-links).

Unfortunately, my best judgement is that these pages then look odd, on many
other systems, compared with the sites that link to them, and the sites that
they link to. Being "right", according to some theory, but looking odd,
probably isn't a good thing.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #32

P: n/a
On Tue, 8 Jun 2004, Barry Pearson wrote:
There is a problem with that, although I agree that it is a coherent
position, and one adopted by Stephen Poley to good effect.
Quite.
Note that even Stephen Poley runs a small risk here.
It's a different risk, and IMHO of much lesser severity.
For example, one of his headers is { font-family: "Monotype
Corsiva", cursive; font-size: 200% }. How big is that relative to
the user's main text size?
The following statement assumes, of course, that the reader is
actioning the stylesheet:

I'd say that it'll be sufficiently larger that it's unlikely that the
choice of cursive font will result in unreadability. And large enough
that it'll be evident that it's a header.

You don't know - can't know - and don't need to know - precisely how
big it'll be. Attempts to achieve such a specification in a WWW
context typically cause more harm than good. That's the message of
flexible design, IMHO.
It depends on whether the
user has a small font such as Times New Roman, or a big one like Verdana.
Agreed. But I see no genuine risk that the design will either fall
apart, or be unreadable.
So, authors appear to work on the principle that they can't suceed
with only a partial specification, they have to do all or nothing.
So they do all.


Who are these "authors"?
Jul 20 '05 #33

P: n/a
Michael Kalina wrote:
I only wanted to know what you think of a site that is referred to
as a "good advice in working with em-units"!
You already knew, from the earlier thread, what we thought of sizing
font to anything other than 100%.
Because I wondered what was written there (after we had the
discussion in this group and there were lot of advices how to use
em-units), I posted a link to this newsgroup to see what happens...


In other words, you were trolling?

--
Brian (remove ".invalid" to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #34

P: n/a
Brian wrote:
Michael Kalina wrote:
I only wanted to know what you think of a site that is referred to
as a "good advice in working with em-units"!


You already knew, from the earlier thread, what we thought of sizing
font to anything other than 100%.

[snip]

As a user, my main requirement is that authors achieve about the same
font-size as my default. (A secondary requirement, but much less important, is
that they leave the font-face the same).

Since my default is 16px Times New Roman, which looks good to me, if an author
changes this to (say) Arial, I want them to specify a font-size that will
correspond to my default. That is about 13px Arial, (no more than 14px Arial),
but 80% Arial will achieve the same on my PC.

What I *don't* want is an author to change the font-face, for example to Arial
(etc), but leave the font-size unchanged, because then the text will be larger
than I want, with fewer words on a line, etc. I don't want to end up looking
at 16px Arial!

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #35

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:
As a user, my main requirement is that authors achieve about the same
font-size as my default. (A secondary requirement, but much less
important, is that they leave the font-face the same).

Since my default is 16px Times New Roman, which looks good to me, if an
author changes this to (say) Arial, I want them to specify a font-size
that will correspond to my default. That is about 13px Arial, (no more
than 14px Arial), but 80% Arial will achieve the same on my PC.

What I don't want is an author to change the font-face, for example to
Arial (etc), but leave the font-size unchanged, because then the text will
be larger than I want, with fewer words on a line, etc. I don't want to
end up looking at 16px Arial!


Then you need a browser that will automatically adjust the font size when
the font family is changed. Obviously, IE isn't up to the task, and if this
is really what you want, I'm not sure which browser would be.

--
Shawn K. Quinn
Jul 20 '05 #36

P: n/a
Shawn K. Quinn wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:
As a user, my main requirement is that authors achieve about the same
font-size as my default. (A secondary requirement, but much less
important, is that they leave the font-face the same). [snip] What I don't want is an author to change the font-face, for example
to Arial (etc), but leave the font-size unchanged, because then the
text will be larger than I want, with fewer words on a line, etc. I
don't want to end up looking at 16px Arial!


Then you need a browser that will automatically adjust the font size
when the font family is changed. Obviously, IE isn't up to the task,
and if this is really what you want, I'm not sure which browser would
be.


I wonder how many other users have the same requirements? And how many of them
would appreciate being told "because of the way this web site has been
authored, you need to use browser XYZ"? (Even if such a browser existed!)

Just to show why I made the statement above, I have uploaded a page that shows
the problem from my point of view as a user. It shows just what the
differences are between various font-sizes. It shows a table with lots of
different styles for the same piece of text. Then it shows a screen-shot of
how that table looks on my system. I would like to know whether other people
see this sort of variation of their systems?
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articl...comparison.htm

Instead of being told that I need some different browser, perhaps I just need
web sites that cater for my requirements! This means a web site that, if it
decides to use Arial, specifies (say):
body { font: 13px Arial, sans-serif }
And there are vast numbers of web sites that do something similar to that. It
doesn't have to be exact. 14px Arial is still OK. 13px Tahoma looks OK. But
Verdana would have to be about 12px.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #37

P: n/a
On Wed, 9 Jun 2004, Barry Pearson wrote:
Instead of being told that I need some different browser, perhaps I
just need web sites that cater for my requirements!
Why for -your- requirements, specifically? I want a solution that is
acceptable to my -readers- too. The requirement (for the WWW) was
already recognised, and a well-intentioned but partially flawed design
was offered: font-size-adjust, as we already discussed.
This means a web site that, if it
decides to use Arial, specifies (say):
body { font: 13px Arial, sans-serif }
And there are vast numbers of web sites that do something similar to that. It
doesn't have to be exact.
Yes, yes, you keep repeating the problem as if nobody had yet shown
themselves capable of understanding what it was. But that isn't where
the difficulty lies.
14px Arial is still OK. 13px Tahoma looks OK. But
Verdana would have to be about 12px.


As I said before, most browsers don't implement CSS px units "to
specification", and even if they did, they still wouldn't be what the
WWW needs (except arguably for a collective viewing situation, where
the needs of an individual cannot be taken into account).

So why are you continually obsessing about specifying text sizes in px
units? My guess it it's because your dominant content is pixel-sized,
so you're doomed to assume that the text has to be moulded to suit.
But that's only one possible opinion. Mine hasn't changed materially
since the last round: it's illogical to specify something in units
that don't really do what is needed by the WWW users - and still
wouldn't do what was needed even if browsers implemented them to
specification - merely on the excuse that they look OK in the narrow
range of presentation situations that you use yourself, and if others
don't want that then they can always override it. Well, yes: sure
they can, but it's no less illogical, nevertheless.

By the way, on my desktop I found I had to stop using the custom font
size configuration because it upset the graphics display of the
videoconferencing software that I use. So now I'm back with tiny
"pixels", as before, on my 135-ish dpi display setting. In this
situation, 16px sans fonts are OK-ish; your 13px is near my lower
toleration limit. 1.0em is still fine, just as it was before, modulo
the agreed problem with different font faces. But IMHO your proposed
solution is worse than the problem that it's aiming to solve.

Oh well. You'll have the last word, as always.
Jul 20 '05 #38

P: n/a
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Tue, 8 Jun 2004, Barry Pearson wrote:

[snip]
So, authors appear to work on the principle that they can't suceed
with only a partial specification, they have to do all or nothing.
So they do all.


Who are these "authors"?


It might be easier to say who they are not, because, as far as I can tell, a
majority of web sites in the world work on that principle. Is there any
sizeable population of authors who don't work on that principle? Are they the
ones in-step, or the ones out-of-step?

Think of it from the point of view of a user who browses the web, then looks
at the subject web site, perhaps links to other web sites from that one, then
exits back to the rest of the web. If the user is happy with the browsing
experience outside the subject site, how should that site ensure the user's
satisfaction within the site? And if that site causes the user to change the
settings, will the user then be happy elsewhere on the web? (Don't assume that
users are wrong or remiss if they don't conform to the settings suggested by
some people in authoring newsgroups. They may have got things right).

Perhaps "the subject site" is the one I recently asked for a site check for:
http://www.kingsnorton.info/
The sites linked to, and those that link to it, probably include the "Digital
Midlands" sites. See [1]. (I've tried to find the most representative font
properties for these sites, and other noted below).

Perhaps on-line news services would link to it. See [2]. Perhaps the user got
there from Google, or has recently been doing some shopping. See [3]. Perhaps
they stopped-off to see what graphics designers are doing with CSS, at CSS Zen
Garden. See [4].

Why do so many sites have a main text size roughly equivalent to about 13px
Arial? I wonder if it arose because, from years ago, perhaps browsers mostly
defaulted to 16px serif, and 13px sans-serif is about the same subjective
size? So specifying 13px Arial looks OK to a user still using the default
browser settings. If so, then this is an attempt by web authors to standardise
on "practical font-size" (not font-height) for people happy with default
browser settings or the equivalent. I think those authors are working *for*
those users, (and that includes me), not *against* them.

How do the people who object to web sites changing the main text size deal
with all of these sites? They are surely not going to cause all the sites to
change. So perhaps they either just mutter under their breath, or they adapt
to these sites, for example by changing the browser settings? And if they have
adapted their browser settings to cater for these sites, why shouldn't authors
conform to their adapted settings? (Are the people who object to what these
web sites are doing running with 16px sans-serif as their default browser
font?)
[1] "Digital Midlands":
(Note - nearly all of the cases in [1] to [4] have a family, not just one
font; it would be wasteful to keep repeating that. I haven't double-checked
all these values; there may be errors).

Digital Handsworth: 0.8em Verdana
Digital Midlands: 74% Arial
Exploring the Potteries: 12px Arial
Literary Heritage West Midlands: 100% Arial
Revolutionary Players: 0.8em Verdana
Secret Shropshire: 10pt Geneva, Arial
Stafordshire Past-Track: CSS+<font>, Tahoma, but equivalent to between 13px &
14px Arial
Windows on Warwickshire: small Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, but equivalent to
between 13px & 14px Arial

[2] On-line news services:

Ananova: 100% Arial
BBC: 13px Verdana
Guardian: <font>, but equivalent to 13px Arial
Independent: equivalent to 13px Arial
Telegraph: 12px Verdana
Times: 13px Arial

[3] Major sites:

Google (summary text): CSS+<font>, equivalent to 13px Arial
Amazon.co.uk: <font>, Verdana -1, equivalent to 13px Verdana
eBay: small Arial, equivalent to 13px Arial

[4] CSS Zen Garden, including recent additions:

Home page (Tranquille): 9pt Georgia, equivalent to 13px Arial on my PC
Mediterranean: 12px Verdana
Austrian's Dark Side: 12px "Courier New"
Invitation: 13px Georgia
Odyssey: 12px Arial
Revolution!: small Georgia, Tahoma, Verdana, equivalent to between 13px & 14px
Arial
punkass: 11px Verdana
15 petals: 90%, close to 13px Arial on my PC

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #39

P: n/a
Shawn K. Quinn wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote: [snip]
There are potentially 2 different things to adjust. Font & size.
Consider my own PC. Suppose I change the default font to Arial.
Then, to make the size of this site OK, I need to reduce the
browser's text size, because Arial is bigger, both subjectively &
objectively, the Times New Roman I am used to. In fact, I need to
reduce the size to about half-way between IE's "medium", which I
normally use, and IE's "smaller". Suppose I change IE to "smaller".
Now look at the problem. If I now view a site that says "80% Arial
(etc)", or "0.8em Arial (etc)", which appears to be quite typical of
the "surrounding" sites, I see text that is too small! I have to
change IE back to "medium" to view them satisfactorily.

[snip] 80% or 0.8em means one-fifth smaller than the (inherited) value of
font-size. Of course it's going to be too small if it's 20% smaller
than what you have configured for a correctly designed site.

[snip]

It means "one-fifth smaller than the inherited font-height". That means
something different from "one-fifth smaller than the inherited font-width", or
"one-fifth smaller than the inherited subjective font-size".

For me, as a user, font-height is less important than font-width or subjective
font-size. So I want authors to assume that I have primarily configured for
font-width or subjective font-size, not font-height.

Or, of course, they can avoid change my settings, and not specify *either* a
font or a size. Why aren't they doing that? (One reason is that a serif font
isn't good for small pieces of text such as button-links).

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #40

P: n/a
kchayka wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:

For my viewing convenience, based on my satisfaction with the system
set-up and my satisfaction with the way my browsers handle pages
without a main text specification, I want authors of web sites to
specify main text according to the following examples:

[snip]
I wouldn't be surprised if many, perhaps most, other users in the
world would agree with that.


Well, I don't. Your browser defaults and mine are not the same.
Setting Arial to 80% and assuming it will be just as readable as the
browser default font at 100% is a very bad assumption.


And "Setting Arial to 100% and assuming it will be just as readable as the
browser default font at 100% is a *also* very bad assumption!"

We disagree as *users*. So no proposal can assume that there is a consensus
among users, because there isn't.
And I wouldn't be surprised if many, perhaps most, authors in
the world believe that most users agree with that.


What authors believe isn't relevant. And you cannot know what users
believe unless you ask them - all of them. How many users in this ng
have already disagreed with you, eh? Consider me one.


See above. Neither of us knows how users across the planet would vote if they
had the chance. But they don't appear to have risen up and strangled the vast
numbers of authors who think that about 13px Arial is close to what users
want.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #41

P: n/a
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Wed, 9 Jun 2004, Barry Pearson wrote:
Instead of being told that I need some different browser, perhaps I
just need web sites that cater for my requirements!
Why for -your- requirements, specifically? I want a solution that is
acceptable to my -readers- too. The requirement (for the WWW) was
already recognised, and a well-intentioned but partially flawed design
was offered: font-size-adjust, as we already discussed.


I was speaking as a *user*. Are you certain that your readers really do want
what you think? Perhaps they do, in which case we are simply revealing the
lack of consensus among users.
This means a web site that, if it
decides to use Arial, specifies (say):
body { font: 13px Arial, sans-serif }
And there are vast numbers of web sites that do something similar to
that. It doesn't have to be exact.


Yes, yes, you keep repeating the problem as if nobody had yet shown
themselves capable of understanding what it was. But that isn't where
the difficulty lies.


To me, this *is* where the difficulty lies. (Well, one of the places). And it
is proving hard to convince myself that you & others *have* shown themselves
capable of understanding what it is. I state a problem, and supply some
evidence to support my concerns. You appear to casually dismiss my concerns,
with statements like yours above. That leaves me with the suspicion that you
need further explanation in order for you to understand what I saying. So I
supply it. And so it goes.

There is a real problem here for which no one has identified a comprehensive
solution. (And such a solution probably doesn't exist). So what we are left
with are compromises, each of which satisfies some people, and caters for some
of the issues, but at the expense of others. Some methods may satisfy more
people than others. Some may have a longer life. Some may have some extreme
disadvantages for some people that should rule them out. This needs analysis &
evidence.

Each publisher & author may need a different compromise. But I believe these
should start by analysing the target audience for that site. There is a
marketting technique called "day in the life of". Don't just look at one
action, look at what a person is doing throughout the day. (Eg, if someone is
accessing your web site via a PDA, is this the only way they access it, or do
they also access it via full screen? The answer may influence how you present
information to PDAs and to screens).

In this case, I believe it is important to consider what my users were doing
before they got to my site, and what they might link to from it. I want to
conform to their browsing experience & preferences.

[snip] So why are you continually obsessing about specifying text sizes in px
units? My guess it it's because your dominant content is pixel-sized,
so you're doomed to assume that the text has to be moulded to suit.
No! I am talking as a *user*. I was not talking as an author. What I said
would apply if I had never written a web page in my life. As a *user*, if
someone says "Arial", I want them say "13px Arial", or possibly "14px Arial",
or whatever will make it appear to me as one of those sizes.

Some *users* may want different things. That would simply say there is
competition among users. I hope I am on the winning side!

[snip] Oh well. You'll have the last word, as always.


I intend to publish web pages about this. They will probably start at:
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/text/

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #42

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:
Shawn K. Quinn wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:
As a user, my main requirement is that authors achieve about the same
font-size as my default. (A secondary requirement, but much less
important, is that they leave the font-face the same). [snip] What I don't want is an author to change the font-face, for example
to Arial (etc), but leave the font-size unchanged, because then the
text will be larger than I want, with fewer words on a line, etc. I
don't want to end up looking at 16px Arial!
Then you need a browser that will automatically adjust the font size
when the font family is changed. Obviously, IE isn't up to the task,
and if this is really what you want, I'm not sure which browser would
be.


I wonder how many other users have the same requirements?


Probably not that many. You're the first I have heard of.
And how many of them would appreciate being told "because of the way this
web site has been authored, you need to use browser XYZ"? (Even if such a
browser existed!)
They probably wouldn't, but the blame needs to be placed where it belongs.
ON THE SITE AUTHOR. The site author CANNOT specify a size in px, pt, or
similar units and expect it to work for everyone, because such a size DOES
NOT EXIST.
Just to show why I made the statement above, I have uploaded a page that
shows the problem from my point of view as a user. It shows just what the
differences are between various font-sizes. It shows a table with lots of
different styles for the same piece of text. Then it shows a screen-shot
of how that table looks on my system. I would like to know whether other
people see this sort of variation of their systems?
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articl...comparison.htm
Surprisingly enough, 16px and 14px Times New Roman, as well as all the
samples for Arial, Tahoma, and Verdana are the same size here, since to
actually honor them would make them unreadable or borderline unreadable
here (in fact, Times New Roman below 18px is approaching unreadable here).
Instead of being told that I need some different browser, perhaps I just
need web sites that cater for my requirements! This means a web site that,
if it decides to use Arial, specifies (say):
body { font: 13px Arial, sans-serif }


No, you need to set it to 13px and Arial IN YOUR BROWSER if you want 13px
Arial. If your browser doesn't let you do this, then you need to USE A
DIFFERENT BROWSER that does. It's really that simple.

--
Shawn K. Quinn
Jul 20 '05 #43

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:

There is a real problem here
No, it is only a perceived problem.
for which no one has identified a comprehensive solution.


The real solution is to convince authors to leave fonts at the browser
defaults, at least for body text. If you're going to give the lame
excuse that browser defaults are stoopid and the masses don't know how
to adjust them, then link to a page of instructions.

If authors continue to set text smaller than the browser default just
because other sites do, the situation will never improve. But if the
likes of MS, cnn or other top sites dumped their puny text sizes, it
would certainly set a precedent, maybe even start a snowball effect.
That would be grand. :)

Regardless, don't be a lemming. Just do The Right Thing and move on to
more important stuff.

--
Reply email address is a bottomless spam bucket.
Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
Jul 20 '05 #44

P: n/a
Shawn K. Quinn wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:
Shawn K. Quinn wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:

As a user, my main requirement is that authors achieve about the
same font-size as my default. (A secondary requirement, but much
less important, is that they leave the font-face the same).

[snip]
What I don't want is an author to change the font-face, for example
to Arial (etc), but leave the font-size unchanged, because then the
text will be larger than I want, with fewer words on a line, etc. I
don't want to end up looking at 16px Arial!

Then you need a browser that will automatically adjust the font size
when the font family is changed. Obviously, IE isn't up to the task,
and if this is really what you want, I'm not sure which browser
would be.


I wonder how many other users have the same requirements?


Probably not that many. You're the first I have heard of.


I suspect I am in the majority. And that is why the vast majority of authors
on this planet cater for my requirements, and those of people like me.

Perhaps, if you haven't heard of others, it is because they have nothing to
complain about. With so many authors saying "13px Arial", or nearly that, why
should they bother saying anything? (See [1] to [4] below). Perhaps you are
trying to disturb a status-quo that is actually acceptable to the majority at
the moment.

[snip]
Just to show why I made the statement above, I have uploaded a page
that shows the problem from my point of view as a user. It shows
just what the differences are between various font-sizes. It shows a
table with lots of different styles for the same piece of text. Then
it shows a screen-shot of how that table looks on my system. I would
like to know whether other people see this sort of variation of
their systems?
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articl...comparison.htm


Surprisingly enough, 16px and 14px Times New Roman, as well as all the
samples for Arial, Tahoma, and Verdana are the same size here, since
to actually honor them would make them unreadable or borderline
unreadable here (in fact, Times New Roman below 18px is approaching
unreadable here).


Ah! So your system doesn't render the styles specified! No wonder you have the
views you do. You are not seeing what some other people are seeing.

As you can see from the screen-shot at the above URL, they are very different
for me. I would be very interested to see what you see. Could you please
upload a screen-shot from the table on that page that we can examine? (It
would probably be less than 30k). Without such a screen-shot, we can't
evaluate what you are saying. With it, we could see what you are seeing.
Instead of being told that I need some different browser, perhaps I
just need web sites that cater for my requirements! This means a web
site that, if it decides to use Arial, specifies (say):
body { font: 13px Arial, sans-serif }


No, you need to set it to 13px and Arial IN YOUR BROWSER if you want
13px Arial. If your browser doesn't let you do this, then you need to
USE A DIFFERENT BROWSER that does. It's really that simple.


Which browser would enable me to see 16px Times New Roman when an author has
not specified a main text size, but 13px Arial if the author has specified
"Arial" without a size? I suspect *none*.

I want to see main text fonts with the practical size of 16px Times New Roman
or 13px Arial, which are about the same practical size. What should I do to
achieve this? What browser shoud I use? How should I set it?

[1] "Digital Midlands":
(Note - nearly all of the cases in [1] to [4] have a family, not just one
font; it would be wasteful to keep repeating that. I haven't double-checked
all these values; there may be errors).

Digital Handsworth: 0.8em Verdana
Digital Midlands: 74% Arial
Exploring the Potteries: 12px Arial
Literary Heritage West Midlands: 100% Arial
Revolutionary Players: 0.8em Verdana
Secret Shropshire: 10pt Geneva, Arial
Stafordshire Past-Track: CSS+<font>, Tahoma, but equivalent to between 13px &
14px Arial
Windows on Warwickshire: small Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, but equivalent to
between 13px & 14px Arial

[2] On-line news services:

Ananova: 100% Arial
BBC: 13px Verdana
Guardian: <font>, but equivalent to 13px Arial
Independent: equivalent to 13px Arial
Telegraph: 12px Verdana
Times: 13px Arial

[3] Major sites:

Google (summary text): CSS+<font>, equivalent to 13px Arial
Amazon.co.uk: <font>, Verdana -1, equivalent to 13px Verdana
eBay: small Arial, equivalent to 13px Arial

[4] CSS Zen Garden, including recent additions:

Home page (Tranquille): 9pt Georgia, equivalent to 13px Arial on my PC
Mediterranean: 12px Verdana
Austrian's Dark Side: 12px "Courier New"
Invitation: 13px Georgia
Odyssey: 12px Arial
Revolution!: small Georgia, Tahoma, Verdana, equivalent to between 13px & 14px
Arial
punkass: 11px Verdana
15 petals: 90%, close to 13px Arial on my PC

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #45

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:
Shawn K. Quinn wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:

> What I don't want is an author to change the font-face, for
> example to Arial (etc), but leave the font-size unchanged,
> because then the text will be larger than I want I wonder how many other users have the same requirements?
Probably not that many. You're the first I have heard of.


I suspect I am in the majority.


Your suspicions are unconvincing, coming as they are without
accompanying usability studies. The only people that I've ever
encountered who complain about font size being too large are site
authors. I have never had a user complain about it, even when I ask
them to perform certain tasks on a site I designed. Font size is
simply never an issue for them.
Perhaps, if you haven't heard of others, it is because they have
nothing to complain about.


People who visit my sites have, so far, had no complaints about
font-size. They did have trouble finding e.g. credit card info on a
restaurant site, prompting me to (finally!) install a site search.
There's a lesson in there for those who have ears to hear. You'll miss
the point entirely, of course.

--
Brian (remove ".invalid" to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #46

P: n/a
kchayka wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:

There is a real problem here
No, it is only a perceived problem.


If you knew anything about marketing, you would know that that perceived
problems were real problems! When a user leaves your web site without
bothering to look at it, it doesn't matter in the slightest whether *you*
judge the problem real or perceived. All that matters is what the user thinks,
and how the user reacts. Just as "the customer is always right", so "the user
is always right".
for which no one has identified a comprehensive solution.


The real solution is to convince authors to leave fonts at the browser
defaults, at least for body text. If you're going to give the lame
excuse that browser defaults are stoopid and the masses don't know how
to adjust them, then link to a page of instructions.


I assume that you are talking about *both* the font -face & the font-size? So
you are saying that authors shouldn't attempt to change the font-face from
what the user has as a default? So authors shouldn't say "Arial" in the body
rule?

(For intetest, I don't specify, in the body-rule either the font-face or the
font-size, in any of my web sites. I am in a tiny minority).
If authors continue to set text smaller than the browser default just
because other sites do, the situation will never improve. But if the
likes of MS, cnn or other top sites dumped their puny text sizes, it
would certainly set a precedent, maybe even start a snowball effect.
That would be grand. :)
It is *vital* to treat font-face and font-size together. The snowball effect
has *already* happened. The result is "13px Arial". It is unlikely to change
again in the near future.
Regardless, don't be a lemming. Just do The Right Thing and move on to
more important stuff.


This topic is itself very important stuff. And sometimes the best thing to do
is conform to the majority view, so that our users see some consistency.

(Of couse, lemmings don't run over cliffs! That is just a silly myth).

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #47

P: n/a
Brian wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote: [snip] People who visit my sites have, so far, had no complaints about
font-size. They did have trouble finding e.g. credit card info on a
restaurant site, prompting me to (finally!) install a site search.
There's a lesson in there for those who have ears to hear. You'll miss
the point entirely, of course.


Then let's start right now.

I object to the font size on the following pages:
http://www.julietremblay.com/brian/

And, of course, I had studied those pages before I wrote what I did! I knew
that *you* were one of the people who specified Arial without a corresponding
change in size. But I wanted to avoid anything that could look like an attack
on you. So I tried to avoid mentioning you.

Please register this as a formal complaint.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #48

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:
Brian wrote:
People who visit my sites have, so far, had no complaints about
font-size.


Then let's start right now.

I object to the font size on the following pages:
http://www.julietremblay.com/brian/


Very good. One person has complained about font size being too large.
That person, however, is a web author with an ax to grind, and is hard
to distinguish from a troll. Since the complaint doesn't seem genuine,
I won't put solving the problem at the top of my to-do list.

Of course, even if it *were* on top of that list, there is no way to
solve the problem for you that would not, at the same time,
inconvenience others.

--
Brian (remove ".invalid" to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #49

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:
Shawn K. Quinn wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:
Shawn K. Quinn wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:
> What I don't want is an author to change the font-face, for example
> to Arial (etc), but leave the font-size unchanged, because then the
> text will be larger than I want, with fewer words on a line, etc. I
> don't want to end up looking at 16px Arial!

Then you need a browser that will automatically adjust the font size
when the font family is changed. Obviously, IE isn't up to the task,
and if this is really what you want, I'm not sure which browser
would be.

I wonder how many other users have the same requirements?
Probably not that many. You're the first I have heard of.


I suspect I am in the majority. And that is why the vast majority of
authors on this planet cater for my requirements, and those of people like
me.


Your requirements are different from mine, and one of the ideas of the World
Wide Web is that the user can configure the browser to suit his/her own
needs. Platform- and device-independence, and all that.
Perhaps, if you haven't heard of others, it is because they have nothing
to complain about. With so many authors saying "13px Arial", or nearly
that, why should they bother saying anything? (See [1] to [4] below).
My point is, they shouldn't be saying this to begin with.
Perhaps you are trying to disturb a status-quo that is actually acceptable
to the majority at the moment.
It's only acceptable until 1280x960 or higher setups become more common,
then it'll be patently unacceptable.
Just to show why I made the statement above, I have uploaded a page
that shows the problem from my point of view as a user. It shows
just what the differences are between various font-sizes. It shows a
table with lots of different styles for the same piece of text. Then
it shows a screen-shot of how that table looks on my system. I would
like to know whether other people see this sort of variation of
their systems?
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articl...comparison.htm


Surprisingly enough, 16px and 14px Times New Roman, as well as all the
samples for Arial, Tahoma, and Verdana are the same size here, since
to actually honor them would make them unreadable or borderline
unreadable here (in fact, Times New Roman below 18px is approaching
unreadable here).


Ah! So your system doesn't render the styles specified! No wonder you have
the views you do. You are not seeing what some other people are seeing.


Due to the idiotic way many stylesheets were written, this was unfortunately
necessary. I had to set up Konqueror this way just to be assured of legible
text. Otherwise, it'd constantly be too small.
As you can see from the screen-shot at the above URL, they are very
different for me. I would be very interested to see what you see. Could
you please upload a screen-shot from the table on that page that we can
examine? (It would probably be less than 30k). Without such a screen-shot,
we can't evaluate what you are saying. With it, we could see what you are
seeing.


It's pretty simple to describe. Any text less than 16px is rendered at the
same size as 16px, with the exception that unstyled text is in Bitstream
Vera Sans instead of whatever your default font was..
Instead of being told that I need some different browser, perhaps I
just need web sites that cater for my requirements! This means a web
site that, if it decides to use Arial, specifies (say):
body { font: 13px Arial, sans-serif }


No, you need to set it to 13px and Arial IN YOUR BROWSER if you want
13px Arial. If your browser doesn't let you do this, then you need to
USE A DIFFERENT BROWSER that does. It's really that simple.


Which browser would enable me to see 16px Times New Roman when an author
has not specified a main text size, but 13px Arial if the author has
specified "Arial" without a size? I suspect *none*.


Hack Mozilla Firefox to do it, or hire someone to hack it for you. *Maybe*
Opera will let you do this in a future version, if they feel they can sell
more registrations (or ads) this way.

If this really is a feature in demand, it'll make its way into a future
version of one of these browsers (possibly even Konqueror). Though it is
possible the GUI environment might be a more approriate place for this
feature.

--
Shawn K. Quinn
Jul 20 '05 #50

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