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How to define a HTML page not allow scroll bars and resize?

P: n/a
RC
I know how to do this in JavaScript by

window.open("newFile.html",
"newTarget",
"scrollbars=no,resizable=0,width=200,height=20 0");

The browser will open a new window size 200x200, not allow resize and
no auto horizontal, vertical scrolling bars.

I am wonder can I do the similar inside a HTML file like

<html><head>
<meta pageSize=200x200, resize=no, scrollbars=no />
</head>
<body>
....
</body></html>

Can I do that?

Or do in CSS
html { height: 200; width: 200;
overflow-y: hidden; overflow-x: hidden; }

But how can you in CSS out side of the html tag?
Because the <styletag is between the html open/close tags.

Any idea?

Thank Q very much in advance!
Jul 26 '06 #1
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69 Replies


P: n/a
RC wrote:
I know how to do this in JavaScript by

window.open("newFile.html",
"newTarget",
"scrollbars=no,resizable=0,width=200,height=20 0");

The browser will open a new window size 200x200, not allow resize and
no auto horizontal, vertical scrolling bars.

I am wonder can I do the similar inside a HTML file like

<html><head>
<meta pageSize=200x200, resize=no, scrollbars=no />
</head>
<body>
...
</body></html>

Can I do that?

Or do in CSS
html { height: 200; width: 200;
overflow-y: hidden; overflow-x: hidden; }

But how can you in CSS out side of the html tag?
Because the <styletag is between the html open/close tags.
It's the user's business, not yours, how big he wants or needs his
window to be. One of the most obnoxious things I've come across on the
web is a page that suddenly makes my browser open full-screen, as though
the site owner has any business whatsoever controlling the layout of my
computer screen. This is right up there with playing unwanted music.
Jul 26 '06 #2

P: n/a
RC <ra**********@nospam.noaa.govwrote:
I know how to do this in JavaScript by

window.open("newFile.html",
"newTarget",
"scrollbars=no,resizable=0,width=200,height=20 0");

The browser will open a new window size 200x200, not allow resize and
no auto horizontal, vertical scrolling bars.
Maybe. Maybe not. That depends on the browser, and on the browser settings.

My browser allows me to resize and scroll all windows. And window.open()
may or may not open a new window/tab, depending on which site I'm visiting
and the context in which window.open() is used.

And of course, in some browsing environments, concepts like "window" or
"pixel" may be irrelevant.
--
Darin McGrew, mc****@stanfordalumni.org, http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/
Web Design Group, da***@htmlhelp.com, http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

The box said, "Requires Windows 98 or better." So I installed Linux.
Jul 26 '06 #3

P: n/a
On 2006-07-26, RC wrote:
I know how to do this in JavaScript by

window.open("newFile.html",
"newTarget",
"scrollbars=no,resizable=0,width=200,height=20 0");

The browser will open a new window size 200x200, not allow resize and
no auto horizontal, vertical scrolling bars.
Not in my browser, it won't!

If I want a page to open in a new window (or a new tab), *I* will
tell my browser to do that. Any page that is rude enough to try to
tell me what I want does not get very far.
I am wonder can I do the similar inside a HTML file like

<html><head>
<meta pageSize=200x200, resize=no, scrollbars=no />
</head>
<body>
...
</body></html>

Can I do that?
Heaven forbid!
Or do in CSS
html { height: 200; width: 200;
overflow-y: hidden; overflow-x: hidden; }

But how can you in CSS out side of the html tag?
Because the <styletag is between the html open/close tags.

Any idea?

Thank Q very much in advance!

--
Chris F.A. Johnson, author <http://cfaj.freeshell.org>
Shell Scripting Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (2005, Apress)
===== My code in this post, if any, assumes the POSIX locale
===== and is released under the GNU General Public Licence
Jul 26 '06 #4

P: n/a
PTM
"Harlan Messinger" <hm*******************@comcast.netwrote in message
news:4i************@individual.net...
RC wrote:
>I know how to do this in JavaScript by

window.open("newFile.html",
"newTarget",
"scrollbars=no,resizable=0,width=200,height=20 0");

The browser will open a new window size 200x200, not allow resize and
no auto horizontal, vertical scrolling bars.

I am wonder can I do the similar inside a HTML file like

<html><head>
<meta pageSize=200x200, resize=no, scrollbars=no />
</head>
<body>
...
</body></html>

Can I do that?

Or do in CSS
html { height: 200; width: 200;
overflow-y: hidden; overflow-x: hidden; }

But how can you in CSS out side of the html tag?
Because the <styletag is between the html open/close tags.

It's the user's business, not yours, how big he wants or needs his window
to be. One of the most obnoxious things I've come across on the web is a
page that suddenly makes my browser open full-screen, as though the site
owner has any business whatsoever controlling the layout of my computer
screen. This is right up there with playing unwanted music.
That's not always true. Often users get frustrated or annoyed by windows
that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes it's preferable
(user wise) for the window size to be dictated by the developer.
Specifically in the case of corporate web apps for example, not all html/css
questions relate to internet sites.

Back to the initial question.
Html is used primarily for the content of a page to be displayed after the
holding window is open. CSS is for layout again once the window is open.
Essentially what you are trying to do is auto resize a window once it's been
opened and while it's loading the page code.
Html and css don't have the tags required for resizing, while meta tags are
fairly loose and not all work cross browser.
JavaScript or php/asp is definitely the best way to go.

Hope this helps,

Phil
Jul 26 '06 #5

P: n/a
PTM wrote:
"Harlan Messinger" <hm*******************@comcast.netwrote in message
news:4i************@individual.net...
>RC wrote:
>>I know how to do this in JavaScript by

window.open("newFile.html",
"newTarget",
"scrollbars=no,resizable=0,width=200,height=20 0");

The browser will open a new window size 200x200, not allow resize and
no auto horizontal, vertical scrolling bars.

I am wonder can I do the similar inside a HTML file like

<html><head>
<meta pageSize=200x200, resize=no, scrollbars=no />
</head>
<body>
...
</body></html>

Can I do that?

Or do in CSS
html { height: 200; width: 200;
overflow-y: hidden; overflow-x: hidden; }

But how can you in CSS out side of the html tag?
Because the <styletag is between the html open/close tags.
It's the user's business, not yours, how big he wants or needs his window
to be. One of the most obnoxious things I've come across on the web is a
page that suddenly makes my browser open full-screen, as though the site
owner has any business whatsoever controlling the layout of my computer
screen. This is right up there with playing unwanted music.

That's not always true. Often users get frustrated or annoyed by windows
that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes it's preferable
(user wise) for the window size to be dictated by the developer.
The preferable solution is for the developer to stop annoying the users
by designing pages that only work with the browser set to a particular size.
Specifically in the case of corporate web apps for example, not all html/css
questions relate to internet sites.
The ones that don't are off-topic in comp.infosystems.www.*.
Back to the initial question.
Html is used primarily for the content of a page to be displayed after the
holding window is open. CSS is for layout again once the window is open.
Essentially what you are trying to do is auto resize a window once it's been
opened and while it's loading the page code.
Html and css don't have the tags required for resizing, while meta tags are
fairly loose and not all work cross browser.
JavaScript or php/asp is definitely the best way to go.
PHP and ASP have nothing to do with it. The only way to resize the
window is with client-side code, and the ability to send such code to
the client is independent of the presence or absence of any particular
server-side programming technology .
Jul 26 '06 #6

P: n/a
RC
OK, I just found other way to fooling the browser by used frames

<frameset rows="10%,*">
<frame src="clicklink.html" name="content" scrolling="no" noresize>
<frame name="display" scrolling="no" noresize>
</frameset>

So in my clicklink.html

<a href="newFile.html" target="display">New File</a>

Now, when an user click the link "New File", they can only see
what I allow them to see, no scrolling bars, no resize frames.

Yes, agree, use JavaScript or PHP/JSP/ASP may be better.
Jul 26 '06 #7

P: n/a
PTM
"Harlan Messinger" <hm*******************@comcast.netwrote in message
news:4i************@individual.net...
PTM wrote:
>"Harlan Messinger" <hm*******************@comcast.netwrote in message
news:4i************@individual.net...
>>RC wrote:
I know how to do this in JavaScript by

window.open("newFile.html",
"newTarget",
"scrollbars=no,resizable=0,width=200,height=20 0");

The browser will open a new window size 200x200, not allow resize and
no auto horizontal, vertical scrolling bars.

I am wonder can I do the similar inside a HTML file like

<html><head>
<meta pageSize=200x200, resize=no, scrollbars=no />
</head>
<body>
...
</body></html>

Can I do that?

Or do in CSS
html { height: 200; width: 200;
overflow-y: hidden; overflow-x: hidden; }

But how can you in CSS out side of the html tag?
Because the <styletag is between the html open/close tags.
It's the user's business, not yours, how big he wants or needs his
window to be. One of the most obnoxious things I've come across on the
web is a page that suddenly makes my browser open full-screen, as though
the site owner has any business whatsoever controlling the layout of my
computer screen. This is right up there with playing unwanted music.

That's not always true. Often users get frustrated or annoyed by windows
that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes it's preferable
(user wise) for the window size to be dictated by the developer.

The preferable solution is for the developer to stop annoying the users by
designing pages that only work with the browser set to a particular size.
>Specifically in the case of corporate web apps for example, not all
html/css questions relate to internet sites.

The ones that don't are off-topic in comp.infosystems.www.*.
>Back to the initial question.
Html is used primarily for the content of a page to be displayed after
the holding window is open. CSS is for layout again once the window is
open.
Essentially what you are trying to do is auto resize a window once it's
been opened and while it's loading the page code.
Html and css don't have the tags required for resizing, while meta tags
are fairly loose and not all work cross browser.
JavaScript or php/asp is definitely the best way to go.

PHP and ASP have nothing to do with it. The only way to resize the window
is with client-side code, and the ability to send such code to the client
is independent of the presence or absence of any particular server-side
programming technology .
And here was me thinking that in a newsgroup you asked a question in order
to find out some information, not to get an agitated response as to why you
shouldn't do what you want to.
I must apologise and remember to be more unhelpful in future, lol.
Jul 26 '06 #8

P: n/a
RC wrote:
OK, I just found other way to fooling the browser by used frames

<frameset rows="10%,*">
<frame src="clicklink.html" name="content" scrolling="no" noresize>
<frame name="display" scrolling="no" noresize>
</frameset>

So in my clicklink.html

<a href="newFile.html" target="display">New File</a>

Now, when an user click the link "New File", they can only see
what I allow them to see, no scrolling bars, no resize frames.
Unless they decide to open the frame in a new window/tab themselves.

The point is not so much that you should *never* try to control the
size of windows or frames, but to be aware that any attempt to do so
will likely fail a good percentage of the time and that it may make
your site dysfunctional for some users.
Yes, agree, use JavaScript or PHP/JSP/ASP may be better.
JavaScript is (very) unreliable as noted, PHP/JSP/ASP are irrelevant.
--
Rob

Jul 27 '06 #9

P: n/a
Dan
PTM wrote:
That's not always true. Often users get frustrated or annoyed by windows
that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes it's preferable
(user wise) for the window size to be dictated by the developer.
What about windows that are forced by the developer to be too small for
the content, and in which resizing and scrollbars have been disabled,
so that there's no way to see all of the content? I've run into that
sort of atrocity all too often. Developers who perpretrate these
crimes against humanity should be executed by firing squad.

--
Dan

Jul 27 '06 #10

P: n/a
PTM
"Dan" <da*@tobias.namewrote in message
news:11*********************@h48g2000cwc.googlegro ups.com...
PTM wrote:
>That's not always true. Often users get frustrated or annoyed by windows
that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes it's preferable
(user wise) for the window size to be dictated by the developer.

What about windows that are forced by the developer to be too small for
the content, and in which resizing and scrollbars have been disabled,
so that there's no way to see all of the content? I've run into that
sort of atrocity all too often. Developers who perpretrate these
crimes against humanity should be executed by firing squad.

--
Dan
That's exactly what I just said.
>users get frustrated or annoyed by windows
that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes it's preferable
(user wise) for the window size to be dictated by the developer
I've seen users who ARE allowed to do anything they want with
windows/dialogs/etc, minimize errors boxes that MUST have an option selected
before they continue. And also those who reduce the size so small they can't
see the actual window because of so much other clutter the have open. Then
they wonder why things aren't working.

Please note I did say "sometimes it's preferable", users CAN be stupid,
nothing can be idiot proof, but reducing the problems they can potentially
cause themselves, through good interface design, is often preferable to
personal (user) preference.

The original question was about html/css NOT the rights or wrongs of
interface design. Perhaps the guy who asked it is one of those who likes to
do it right and put the right content into the right place at the right time
to get the right results. Perhaps we should also consider starting an
Interface Design newsgroup so everyone who has had to put up with shoddy
developers can bitch about it to their hearts content :-)

Phil
Jul 27 '06 #11

P: n/a
PTM wrote:
That's not always true. Often users get frustrated or annoyed by windows
that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes it's preferable
(user wise) for the window size to be dictated by the developer.
Suggested, perhaps; but dictated, no.

--
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact

Jul 27 '06 #12

P: n/a
PTM wrote:
>
And here was me thinking that in a newsgroup you asked a question in
order to find out some information, not to get an agitated response
as to why you shouldn't do what you want to.
It's regularly pointed out that these newsgroups don't comprise a
helpdesk; people will discuss whatever aspects of your post they see fit.

--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 27 '06 #13

P: n/a
PTM wrote:
>
And here was me thinking that in a newsgroup you asked a question in order
to find out some information, not to get an agitated response as to why you
shouldn't do what you want to.
I suppose if you were a teacher and a kid in your classroom asked how he
could make an indelible ink he could use to write on his desk, you would
tell him how to make it instead of telling him not to do it?
Jul 27 '06 #14

P: n/a
I suppose if you were a teacher and a kid in your classroom asked how he
could make an indelible ink he could use to write on his desk, you would
tell him how to make it instead of telling him not to do it?
Personally, I don't like taking control from users when I design web
pages. I've debated many interface design issues with my boss in the
past; however. I don't view any of my opinions as some
holier-than-thou, moral principal that I must follow at all cost in
order to be a REAL human being. I've had more than one instance where
a manager or client has ask me to do something to the interface that
limited user control. I made my case, but ultimately lost the argument
and did it their way in the end. For me, it isn't worth losing my job
or a large sum of money over something so trivial. So, try to take
that into mind when people ask these questions. Sometimes they may
agree with the principal, but their boss doesn't agree.

Jul 27 '06 #15

P: n/a
PTM
"Matt" <ml*******@data-management.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@m79g2000cwm.googlegro ups.com...
>I suppose if you were a teacher and a kid in your classroom asked how he
could make an indelible ink he could use to write on his desk, you would
tell him how to make it instead of telling him not to do it?

Personally, I don't like taking control from users when I design web
pages. I've debated many interface design issues with my boss in the
past; however. I don't view any of my opinions as some
holier-than-thou, moral principal that I must follow at all cost in
order to be a REAL human being. I've had more than one instance where
a manager or client has ask me to do something to the interface that
limited user control. I made my case, but ultimately lost the argument
and did it their way in the end. For me, it isn't worth losing my job
or a large sum of money over something so trivial. So, try to take
that into mind when people ask these questions. Sometimes they may
agree with the principal, but their boss doesn't agree.
I totally agree with you Matt, I think Harlan was just being pedantic.
Jul 27 '06 #16

P: n/a

PTM wrote:
That's not always true. Often users get frustrated or annoyed by windows
that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes it's preferable
(user wise) for the window size to be dictated by the developer.
No, never.

Simply because the developer doesn't _know_ what the best window size
is. That's dependent on run-time combinations of font and available
space.

The best thing to work these sizes out is usually the browser, right at
the last minute. Second best is the user. Developer's guesses are a
far-behind third place.

Jul 27 '06 #17

P: n/a
PTM
"Andy Dingley" <di*****@codesmiths.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@s13g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
>
PTM wrote:
>That's not always true. Often users get frustrated or annoyed by windows
that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes it's preferable
(user wise) for the window size to be dictated by the developer.

No, never.

Simply because the developer doesn't _know_ what the best window size
is. That's dependent on run-time combinations of font and available
space.

The best thing to work these sizes out is usually the browser, right at
the last minute. Second best is the user. Developer's guesses are a
far-behind third place.
But if you have a fixed size, fixed face font, with a fixed number of
characters, taking up a fixed height and width, or a pop-up of a larger
image or something, then why not fix the window size?
Jul 27 '06 #18

P: n/a
PTM wrote (quoting Matt, whose quote I snip):
>Personally, I don't like taking control from users when I design
web pages.

I totally agree with you Matt, I think Harlan was just being
pedantic.
It is a fundamental principle of GUI design that the user is in control.
This is obviously so at the very low level of stuff like mouse events
and so on; it may be less obvious that the principle is supposed to be
applied all the way up the 'stack'.

That doesn't mean that the user can actually design his own GUI
(although with web-apps, he may indeed be able to do that); it does mean
that people who design webpages should (in general) have the attitude
that the user ought to be allowed to do whatever she chooses to do. That
includes:

* Using a monitor that isn't set to 1024x768
* Changing the default CSS
* Disabling CSS and Javascript
* Applying very large font-size overrides
* Invoking frame-urls from the address-bar
* etc.

Whether the designer agrees that users ought to be allowed to do these
things isn't really important; they *are* allowed to do them, so the
designers' page-designs ought to accomodate that aspect of reality.

If the designer is out of sympathy with the fact of the users' power,
then their page-designs are likely to cause problems for someone sooner
or later. I like to think that the "someone" in question is the
designer, not the user - the user can usually go elsewhere.

--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 27 '06 #19

P: n/a
PTM wrote:
"Andy Dingley" <di*****@codesmiths.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@s13g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
>PTM wrote:
>>That's not always true. Often users get frustrated or annoyed by
windows that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes
it's preferable (user wise) for the window size to be dictated by
the developer.
No, never.

Simply because the developer doesn't _know_ what the best window
size is. That's dependent on run-time combinations of font and
available space.

The best thing to work these sizes out is usually the browser,
right at the last minute. Second best is the user. Developer's
guesses are a far-behind third place.

But if you have a fixed size, fixed face font, with a fixed number of
characters, taking up a fixed height and width, or a pop-up of a
larger image or something, then why not fix the window size?
Well *you* may have that font; but the user may not have it, or they may
not be able to read it, and so they may have set an override.

You can't count on your type taking up a box of some particular
dimensions, even if the font you have specified is being displayed by
the user's browser. I'm not sure what you mean by "pop-up" in this
context; but many browsers allow people to zoom images.

I'm afraid you made a weak argument there; you could have made a
stronger one, but I don't feel like arguing over these details. The
principle is that the user should be in control, where GUIs are
concerned; and webpages are GUIs. If a GUI designer thinks that a user
shouldn't be in control, then either he has to argue against this
accepted principle, or he has to make a special-case argument.

I don't deny that there are special cases; but to qualify, a case has
to be special.

--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 27 '06 #20

P: n/a
PTM wrote:
Andy Dingley wrote:
<snip>
>The best thing to work these sizes out is usually the browser, right
at the last minute. Second best is the user. Developer's guesses
are a far-behind third place.

But if you have a fixed size, fixed face font, with a fixed number of
characters, taking up a fixed height and width, or a pop-up of a larger
image or something, then why not fix the window size?
"But if you have" is only a worthwhile consideration if you do (or
could) have, and you don't. You cannot fix the font size (even on IE 6
as it allows user style sheets to override all author provided CSS),
you cannot know the font face (but can be fairly certain that it will
not be a font face that is not installed on the machine running the
browser) and strictly you cannot know the number of characters as a
user style sheet may insert something extra (though it is massively
unlikely that they would). So you cannot know the width and height of
any displayed text with certainty.

Images seem to offer more potential, particularly when loaded directly
rather than displayed in an HTML page (to which some CSS may alter the
size of the image), but even when an image is displayed directly in a
browser it is actually being displayed in a browser created (x?)HTML
page, and that page will be just as susceptible to user style sheets as
any other (including various applications of borders margins and
padding and directly setting the size of the IMG elements).

Richard.

Jul 27 '06 #21

P: n/a
PTM
"Jack" <mr*********@nospam.jackpot.uk.netwrote in message
news:ea*******************@news.demon.co.uk...
PTM wrote:
>"Andy Dingley" <di*****@codesmiths.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@s13g2000cwa.googleg roups.com...
>>PTM wrote:

That's not always true. Often users get frustrated or annoyed by
windows that are far too big or small for the content. Sometimes
it's preferable (user wise) for the window size to be dictated by
the developer.
No, never.

Simply because the developer doesn't _know_ what the best window
size is. That's dependent on run-time combinations of font and
available space.

The best thing to work these sizes out is usually the browser,
right at the last minute. Second best is the user. Developer's
guesses are a far-behind third place.

But if you have a fixed size, fixed face font, with a fixed number of
characters, taking up a fixed height and width, or a pop-up of a
larger image or something, then why not fix the window size?

Well *you* may have that font; but the user may not have it, or they may
not be able to read it, and so they may have set an override.

You can't count on your type taking up a box of some particular
dimensions, even if the font you have specified is being displayed by
the user's browser. I'm not sure what you mean by "pop-up" in this
context; but many browsers allow people to zoom images.

I'm afraid you made a weak argument there; you could have made a
stronger one, but I don't feel like arguing over these details. The
principle is that the user should be in control, where GUIs are
concerned; and webpages are GUIs. If a GUI designer thinks that a user
shouldn't be in control, then either he has to argue against this
accepted principle, or he has to make a special-case argument.

I don't deny that there are special cases; but to qualify, a case has
to be special.

--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
I didn't make a weak argument. My initial comment was "Sometimes it's
preferable" emphasis on sometimes, to which you actually end up agreeing,
"special cases".
We should just all give up with this because everyone has their own
preference and no-one is ever going to win.
Jul 27 '06 #22

P: n/a
On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 17:47:06 +0000, PTM wrote:
... everyone has their own
preference and no-one is ever going to win.
least of all the user
Jul 27 '06 #23

P: n/a
PTM wrote:
>
I've seen users who ARE allowed to do anything they want with
windows/dialogs/etc, minimize errors boxes that MUST have an option
selected before they continue.
Wrong use of eror boxes; they shouild only be used for information. You
have described a dialog.
And also those who reduce the size so small they can't see the actual
window because of so much other clutter the have open. Then they
wonder why things aren't working.
You can't prevent users reformatting their hard disks either, luckily.
Sometimes people screw things up, and the only way you can prevent that
is by stopping them doing anything. However this isn't likely to be easy
on the worldwide web.
>
Please note I did say "sometimes it's preferable", users CAN be
stupid, nothing can be idiot proof, but reducing the problems they
can potentially cause themselves, through good interface design, is
often preferable to personal (user) preference.
However on the worldwide web, the users' preferences override the
authors'. That's just the way it is; it's just like that.

Perhaps you should be arguing that idiots should be prevented from using
the internet; I happen to believe that that position has a lot going for
it. Most others disagree. I also think that computers are still too
difficult for average folks to get to grips with. They should be given
games-consoles, or Web-TVs, instead. Real, programmable computers are
for geeks. Most others seem to disagree.

But it's moot; there's no way of preventing idiots from using the
internet. We all therefore have to account for idiots in the way we
design our services. Too bad for us. That's just the way it is. It's
just like that.
>
The original question was about html/css NOT the rights or wrongs of
interface design. Perhaps the guy who asked it is one of those who
likes to do it right and put the right content into the right place
at the right time to get the right results. Perhaps we should also
consider starting an Interface Design newsgroup so everyone who has
had to put up with shoddy developers can bitch about it to their
hearts content :-)
I have no doubt that such newsgroups exist, somewhere among the 60,000
or so that my .newsrc is aware of. If they aren't particularly active,
that might be because there isn't a lot that's new to say about the
subject.

Or not.
--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 27 '06 #24

P: n/a
PTM wrote:
>>
I'm afraid you made a weak argument there; you could have made a
stronger one, but I don't feel like arguing over these details. The
principle is that the user should be in control, where GUIs are
concerned; and webpages are GUIs. If a GUI designer thinks that a
user shouldn't be in control, then either he has to argue against
this accepted principle, or he has to make a special-case argument.
I don't deny that there are special cases; but to qualify, a case
has to be special.

I didn't make a weak argument. My initial comment was "Sometimes it's
preferable" emphasis on sometimes, to which you actually end up
agreeing, "special cases".
Yes; but you failed to plead a special case. Your case consisted of
nothing more than that it's possible to construct a fixed-spacing dialog
(which it isn't). You didn't produce any kind of special-case reason why
one might need to do that.
We should just all give up with this because everyone has their own
preference and no-one is ever going to win.
Oh, really? My view is that the argument was won a long time ago (long
before this thread started). But I'm glad you now acknowledge that the
user's preference trumps all other arguments!

--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 27 '06 #25

P: n/a
On Thu, 27 Jul 2006, PTM wrote:
[f'ups suggested. Feel free to override if you insist.]
We should just all give up with this
With what "this"?
because everyone has their own preference and no-one is ever going
to win.
On the contrary: any author can win, once they have taken on board
the principles of proposing a desired visual appearance which responds
gracefully to user choices. The user also wins, which is nice.

Jul 27 '06 #26

P: n/a

On Thu, 27 Jul 2006, Jack wrote:

[f'ups proposed...]
that people who design webpages should (in general) have the attitude
that the user ought to be allowed to do whatever she chooses to do. That
includes:

* Using a monitor that isn't set to 1024x768
Don't forget that the browser window will typically be set to
something smaller. After all, of one uses a windowing system (whether
X or MS), why not use a windowing system? That generally means having
two or more windows viewable alongside each other. On my typical
office display (1280x1024) I'll often have two browser windows
alongside each other, for my own good reasons, and if the author can't
let their page adapt gracefully to that, I'm going to rate them
incompetent.
* Changing the default CSS
One of they key options of "Cascading", after all.
If the designer is out of sympathy with the fact of the users'
power, then their page-designs are likely to cause problems for
someone sooner or later. I like to think that the "someone" in
question is the designer, not the user - the user can usually go
elsewhere.
Good points. And keep in mind that, thanks to the widespread lack of
action in response to user complaints (in most cases they either
remain unanswered, or bring an anodyne note from some front-desk
person to say that their web deezyner has assured them that what the
complainant wants isn't possible - even when the complainant has
included a worked solution! So one can not rely on user complaints to
find out about shortcomings in a web site's design - as you say,
they'll just quietly leave - and go to a competitor.

ttfn
Jul 27 '06 #27

P: n/a
PTM
"Jack" <mr*********@nospam.jackpot.uk.netwrote in message
news:ea*******************@news.demon.co.uk...
PTM wrote:
>>>
I'm afraid you made a weak argument there; you could have made a
stronger one, but I don't feel like arguing over these details. The
principle is that the user should be in control, where GUIs are
concerned; and webpages are GUIs. If a GUI designer thinks that a
user shouldn't be in control, then either he has to argue against
this accepted principle, or he has to make a special-case argument.
I don't deny that there are special cases; but to qualify, a case
has to be special.

I didn't make a weak argument. My initial comment was "Sometimes it's
preferable" emphasis on sometimes, to which you actually end up
agreeing, "special cases".

Yes; but you failed to plead a special case. Your case consisted of
nothing more than that it's possible to construct a fixed-spacing dialog
(which it isn't). You didn't produce any kind of special-case reason why
one might need to do that.
>We should just all give up with this because everyone has their own
preference and no-one is ever going to win.

Oh, really? My view is that the argument was won a long time ago (long
before this thread started). But I'm glad you now acknowledge that the
user's preference trumps all other arguments!

--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
I don't recall having agreed that USER preference triumphs. I do recall
saying 'everyone has their own' which does include the developer as well as
the companies and individuals they develop for.
Jul 27 '06 #28

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger wrote:
RC wrote:
>I know how to do this in JavaScript by

window.open("newFile.html",
"newTarget",
"scrollbars=no,resizable=0,width=200,height=20 0");

The browser will open a new window size 200x200, not allow resize and
no auto horizontal, vertical scrolling bars.

I am wonder can I do the similar inside a HTML file like

<html><head>
<meta pageSize=200x200, resize=no, scrollbars=no />
</head>
<body>
...
</body></html>

Can I do that?

Or do in CSS
html { height: 200; width: 200;
overflow-y: hidden; overflow-x: hidden; }

But how can you in CSS out side of the html tag?
Because the <styletag is between the html open/close tags.

It's the user's business, not yours, how big he wants or needs his
window to be. One of the most obnoxious things I've come across on the
web is a page that suddenly makes my browser open full-screen, as though
the site owner has any business whatsoever controlling the layout of my
computer screen. This is right up there with playing unwanted music.
I find it interesting how so many folks here go ballistic at the idea of
developers opening new browser windows on their desktops (I find this
perfectly acceptable EXCEPT for advertising purposes, which is not
really part of an app, it's an invasive intrusion..); if you're using
any desktop app you're always opening tons of new windows, dialogues,
etc.. but a new browser window? oh horror!! :) sometimes I even WISH
certain links would open in a new window so I could easily go back and
look at the list of links, for example, while looking at particular link
I just opened..

same thing with window size, I mean shouldn't developers -- in certain
situations -- be able to adjust window size to window content? (what a
concept...;)

I love pop-ups, I learned pop-ups early on when I was learning
JavaScript about eight years ago and I think you can design good UIs
with them if you use them properly, but oh well... I guess abusive
advertisers took care of that one!! ;)

ok, we all know there are many different opinions about all this.. this
is just my two cents...;)

Jul 27 '06 #29

P: n/a
PTM wrote:
>>
>>We should just all give up with this because everyone has their
own preference and no-one is ever going to win.

Oh, really? My view is that the argument was won a long time ago
(long before this thread started). But I'm glad you now acknowledge
that the user's preference trumps all other arguments!
[snipped my sig - how come your newsreader includes it in your quote?]

[Aaah - you don't have a newsreader :-)]
I don't recall having agreed that USER preference triumphs. I do
recall saying 'everyone has their own' which does include the
developer as well as the companies and individuals they develop for.
Yeah, well I was joking (but my jokes are usually serious).

My point was meant to be that the user has already triumphed; he is in
control of his computer and his browser, most of the time, and despite
the efforts of some kinds of murketers and their lackeys.

And that's the way that most users would like it; the web is not like
TV, where the "user" either takes the content the way it is delivered,
or finds another channel. On the web, the user chooses what they are
going to see, in what order, and with which accompaniment. This is the
world that web designers have to deal with. "Accompaniment" includes
ads, video, style, and music. You can cram all of that stuff down
peoples' throats on TV, but it won't wash on the web.

The designer's "preference" is of course more than the "suggestion" that
many folks here would relegate it to. The designer's preference, as
expressed in her stylesheets, will be accepted by most users, even if it
doesn't suit them; most users don't know how to apply their own
preferences. We all know that. But it's still not a very good idea to
rely on that fact as a guiding principle for page-design. If users _can_
override the designer's "suggestions", then designers should design with
that fact in mind. Is this not obvious?
--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 27 '06 #30

P: n/a
PTM
"maya" <ma********@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:44***********************@news.sunsite.dk...
Harlan Messinger wrote:
>RC wrote:
>>I know how to do this in JavaScript by

window.open("newFile.html",
"newTarget",
"scrollbars=no,resizable=0,width=200,height=20 0");

The browser will open a new window size 200x200, not allow resize and
no auto horizontal, vertical scrolling bars.

I am wonder can I do the similar inside a HTML file like

<html><head>
<meta pageSize=200x200, resize=no, scrollbars=no />
</head>
<body>
...
</body></html>

Can I do that?

Or do in CSS
html { height: 200; width: 200;
overflow-y: hidden; overflow-x: hidden; }

But how can you in CSS out side of the html tag?
Because the <styletag is between the html open/close tags.

It's the user's business, not yours, how big he wants or needs his window
to be. One of the most obnoxious things I've come across on the web is a
page that suddenly makes my browser open full-screen, as though the site
owner has any business whatsoever controlling the layout of my computer
screen. This is right up there with playing unwanted music.

I find it interesting how so many folks here go ballistic at the idea of
developers opening new browser windows on their desktops (I find this
perfectly acceptable EXCEPT for advertising purposes, which is not really
part of an app, it's an invasive intrusion..); if you're using any desktop
app you're always opening tons of new windows, dialogues, etc.. but a new
browser window? oh horror!! :) sometimes I even WISH certain links
would open in a new window so I could easily go back and look at the list
of links, for example, while looking at particular link I just opened..

same thing with window size, I mean shouldn't developers -- in certain
situations -- be able to adjust window size to window content? (what a
concept...;)

I love pop-ups, I learned pop-ups early on when I was learning JavaScript
about eight years ago and I think you can design good UIs with them if you
use them properly, but oh well... I guess abusive advertisers took care
of that one!! ;)

ok, we all know there are many different opinions about all this.. this is
just my two cents...;)
here here, two cents very well spent.
i'm sure css and user layout options would not exist if it wasn't for
developers trying to present THEIR content as they would like users to see
it in it's best light.
Jul 27 '06 #31

P: n/a
On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 19:32:20 +0000, PTM wrote:
"Jack" <mr*********@nospam.jackpot.uk.netwrote in message
news:ea*******************@news.demon.co.uk...
>PTM wrote:
>>>>
I'm afraid you made a weak argument there; you could have made a
stronger one, but I don't feel like arguing over these details. The
principle is that the user should be in control, where GUIs are
concerned; and webpages are GUIs. If a GUI designer thinks that a
user shouldn't be in control, then either he has to argue against
this accepted principle, or he has to make a special-case argument.

I don't deny that there are special cases; but to qualify, a case has
to be special.

I didn't make a weak argument. My initial comment was "Sometimes it's
preferable" emphasis on sometimes, to which you actually end up
agreeing, "special cases".

Yes; but you failed to plead a special case. Your case consisted of
nothing more than that it's possible to construct a fixed-spacing
dialog (which it isn't). You didn't produce any kind of special-case
reason why one might need to do that.
>>We should just all give up with this because everyone has their own
preference and no-one is ever going to win.

Oh, really? My view is that the argument was won a long time ago (long
before this thread started). But I'm glad you now acknowledge that the
user's preference trumps all other arguments!

I don't recall having agreed that USER preference triumphs. I do recall
saying 'everyone has their own' which does include the developer as well
as the companies and individuals they develop for.
Unfortunately.

One of our client companies once sent us instructions for setting up
access to one of their web application... it walked the reader through the
process of accepting ANY active-X component from ANYWHERE.

Needless to say I didn't set it up that way.

--
The USA Patriot Act is the most unpatriotic act in American history.
Feingold-Obama '08 - Because the Constitution isn't history,
It's the law.

Jul 27 '06 #32

P: n/a
In message <44***********************@news.sunsite.dk>, maya
<ma********@yahoo.comwrites
>I find it interesting how so many folks here go ballistic at the idea
of developers opening new browser windows on their desktops
Who says everyone have a desktop?

Who says that everyone who does have a desktop, can have multiple
windows open on it?
>sometimes I even WISH certain links would open in a new window so I
could easily go back and look at the list of links, for example, while
looking at particular link I just opened..
You mean that you have a browser which doesn't allow you to do that?
>same thing with window size, I mean shouldn't developers -- in certain
situations -- be able to adjust window size to window content? (what a
concept...;)
How do you intend to do that, on someone's mobile phone?

--
Andy Mabbett
Say "NO!" to compulsory ID Cards: <http://www.no2id.net/>

Free Our Data: <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>
Jul 27 '06 #33

P: n/a
On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 15:54:56 -0400, maya <ma********@yahoo.comwrote:

>.... sometimes I even WISH certain links would open in
a new window so I could easily go back and
look at the list of links, for example, while looking at particular link
I just opened..
Even my old Netscape 4.08 gives me an option to open a new window if
I choose to. You can do that, don't you??

>same thing with window size, I mean shouldn't developers -- in certain
situations -- be able to adjust window size to window content? (what a
concept...;)
I love pop-ups, I learned pop-ups early on when I was learning
JavaScript .......
Geo

Jul 27 '06 #34

P: n/a
Andy Mabbett wrote (apparently quoting Maya):
>same thing with window size, I mean shouldn't developers -- in certain
situations -- be able to adjust window size to window content? (what a
concept...;)

How do you intend to do that, on someone's mobile phone?
Some people may see this as a peripheral concern; they may see "the
desktop" as their principal "market". I think the desktop is peripheral.
My kids are both computer-savvy; but they both spend a lot more time
figuring-out how to use their respective MP3 players and their mobile
phones, than they do figuring out how IE or Firefox works.

I've thought for a long time that general-purpose computers were wasted
on retail users; suppliers and users alike will both be better-served by
appliances that do one thing well, and can be disposed-of when they are
"obsolete". I envisage, for example, a word-processor that you could buy
from a stationer's. It would look a lot like a book. On the next shelf,
you would expect to see a variety of browser-appliances; they would look
exactly the same, apart from the packaging. They would not be
upgradable; if there was a bug in the software, you would return the
goods and demand a refund, as you would if you had bought a hi-fi that
didn't work. Bugs are not acceptable in consumer products.

None of these appliances would be user-programmable; and I wouldn't
expect the user to be able to adjust the window-size in either case.

I don't think that programmable computers are a sensible long-term
solution for end-user requirements - it's too complicated to support
end-users with that kind of complexity. Programmable computers are for
programmers.

IMO.
--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 27 '06 #35

P: n/a
In message <ea*******************@news.demon.co.uk>, Jack
<mr*********@nospam.jackpot.uk.netwrites
>Andy Mabbett wrote (apparently quoting Maya):
I gave a full attribution:

In message <44***********************@news.sunsite.dk>, maya
<ma********@yahoo.comwrites
--
Andy Mabbett
Say "NO!" to compulsory ID Cards: <http://www.no2id.net/>

Free Our Data: <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>
Jul 27 '06 #36

P: n/a
Dan
maya wrote:
I find it interesting how so many folks here go ballistic at the idea of
developers opening new browser windows on their desktops (I find this
perfectly acceptable EXCEPT for advertising purposes, which is not
really part of an app, it's an invasive intrusion..);
In other words, at least 90% of the popups in use on the Web now are
unacceptable to you; you're only arguing about that other <10%.
if you're using
any desktop app you're always opening tons of new windows, dialogues,
etc.. but a new browser window? oh horror!! :) sometimes I even WISH
certain links would open in a new window so I could easily go back and
look at the list of links, for example, while looking at particular link
I just opened..
In my browser: Right-click, and select "Open in new window", though I
prefer "Open in new tab". Your browser may vary.

--
Dan

Jul 27 '06 #37

P: n/a
maya wrote:
if you're using
any desktop app you're always opening tons of new windows, dialogues,
etc.. but a new browser window? oh horror!! :) sometimes I even WISH
certain links would open in a new window so I could easily go back and
look at the list of links, for example, while looking at particular link
I just opened..
Dan <da*@tobias.namewrote:
In my browser: Right-click, and select "Open in new window", though I
prefer "Open in new tab". Your browser may vary.
Shift-click (or shift-enter) works in many browsers (and browser-like OS
components). I've grown fond of Opera's Ctrl-Shift-click, which opens the
link in a background tab. That's really useful when I've got a list of
links (e.g., search results, online forums).
--
Darin McGrew, mc****@stanfordalumni.org, http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/
Web Design Group, da***@htmlhelp.com, http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

"Warning: Dates in the calendar are closer than they appear."
Jul 28 '06 #38

P: n/a
On 2006-07-27, PTM wrote:
"Matt" <ml*******@data-management.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@m79g2000cwm.googlegro ups.com...
>>I suppose if you were a teacher and a kid in your classroom asked how he
could make an indelible ink he could use to write on his desk, you would
tell him how to make it instead of telling him not to do it?

Personally, I don't like taking control from users when I design web
pages. I've debated many interface design issues with my boss in the
past; however. I don't view any of my opinions as some
holier-than-thou, moral principal that I must follow at all cost in
order to be a REAL human being. I've had more than one instance where
a manager or client has ask me to do something to the interface that
limited user control. I made my case, but ultimately lost the argument
and did it their way in the end. For me, it isn't worth losing my job
or a large sum of money over something so trivial. So, try to take
that into mind when people ask these questions. Sometimes they may
agree with the principal, but their boss doesn't agree.

I totally agree with you Matt, I think Harlan was just being pedantic.
"...the word "pedantic" is used to describe those who care
about accuracy, by those who don't." (Richard Heathfield)
--
Chris F.A. Johnson, author <http://cfaj.freeshell.org>
Shell Scripting Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (2005, Apress)
===== My code in this post, if any, assumes the POSIX locale
===== and is released under the GNU General Public Licence
Jul 28 '06 #39

P: n/a
Jack wrote:
Andy Mabbett wrote (apparently quoting Maya):
>>same thing with window size, I mean shouldn't developers -- in certain
situations -- be able to adjust window size to window content? (what a
concept...;)

How do you intend to do that, on someone's mobile phone?

Some people may see this as a peripheral concern; they may see "the
desktop" as their principal "market". I think the desktop is peripheral.
My kids are both computer-savvy; but they both spend a lot more time
figuring-out how to use their respective MP3 players and their mobile
phones, than they do figuring out how IE or Firefox works.

I've thought for a long time that general-purpose computers were wasted
on retail users; suppliers and users alike will both be better-served by
appliances that do one thing well, and can be disposed-of when they are
"obsolete". I envisage, for example, a word-processor that you could buy
from a stationer's. It would look a lot like a book. On the next shelf,
you would expect to see a variety of browser-appliances; they would look
exactly the same, apart from the packaging.
And the reason people would spend money on, and try to find space in
their houses for, multiple machines to do what one machine does now is what?

Haven't you noticed that the trend everywhere is to combine
functionality? Phones that are also PDAs and MP3 players and cameras and
Web browsers?
They would not be
upgradable; if there was a bug in the software, you would return the
goods and demand a refund, as you would if you had bought a hi-fi that
didn't work. Bugs are not acceptable in consumer products.

None of these appliances would be user-programmable; and I wouldn't
expect the user to be able to adjust the window-size in either case.
What would lead you to expect the different appliances all to be
manufactured with the same window size in the first place? Or the same
resolution?

By the way, a couple of manufactures *tried* this with e-mail
appliances. They failed miserably.
>
I don't think that programmable computers are a sensible long-term
solution for end-user requirements - it's too complicated to support
end-users with that kind of complexity.
If you're talking about building flexible web pages, it's a little
complicated. So is building a house, which is why houses are only
designed and built by people who've made the effort to learn how.
Programmable computers are for
programmers.
That's like saying TVs with adjustable volume and surround sound
settings and variable video settings are for programmers. And how can
you make your commercial yell at the viewers if they have the ability to
turn the volume down?
Jul 28 '06 #40

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger <hm*******************@comcast.netwrote:
PTM wrote:

And here was me thinking that in a newsgroup you asked a question in order
to find out some information, not to get an agitated response as to why you
shouldn't do what you want to.

I suppose if you were a teacher and a kid in your classroom asked how he
could make an indelible ink he could use to write on his desk, you would
tell him how to make it instead of telling him not to do it?
The indelible ink part is interesting, because it gets into solvents and
binders and such. There is an opportunity there to actually teach the
kid about something interesting and useful, instead of growling "No!"
and telling him/her to go away.

Using the indelible ink to semi-permanently deface the desk is also
interesting, because it's an opportunity to teach something about
ownership, respect and responsibility.

So, yes: I would (if I could) tell the kid how to make it, and also
advise him that defacing property that is not his is not likely to work
out in his favor.

He/She is curious. It is not inappropriate to encourage and satisfy that
curiosity, while at the same time imparting a lesson about
responsibility. Never assume malice when ignorance (or innocence) will
do.

It's really not that hard.

--
Joel.
Jul 28 '06 #41

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger wrote:
>
And the reason people would spend money on, and try to find space in
their houses for, multiple machines to do what one machine does now
is what?
Convenience, reliability, simplicity. Your washing machine has a
microprocessor in it; are you suggesting thast consumers would sooner
dispense with that microcontroller, and instead have the wash-cycle
controlled via their PC? I feel a marketing disaster coming on...
>
Haven't you noticed that the trend everywhere is to combine
functionality? Phones that are also PDAs and MP3 players and cameras
and Web browsers?
I take that point in general, although I have owned a PDA/MP3/Phone
device, and found it to be less satisfactory than a standalone phone and
a standalone MP3 player. The two devices have conflicting design
requirements. There's a lot of room for personal preference in the
design of portable devices though.

But this is beside the point; my argument is rather that GP computers
are not consumer durables. You don't expect to have to patch and upgrade
software in a car or a washing machine, or even a phone, nor should you
expect to do so in a word-processing appliance.

If Microsoft (or similar) came up with an office device that integrated
WP, spreadsheet, browser and email in a non-upgradeable and *bug-free*
package, that might well be an example of the kind of product I am
envisaging; the original Apple Macintosh was an early gesture in this
direction (and was wildly successful). But it is critical that such
products be substantially bug-free, because they are by definition not
upgradeable.
>They would not be upgradable; if there was a bug in the software,
you would return the goods and demand a refund, as you would if you
had bought a hi-fi that didn't work. Bugs are not acceptable in
consumer products.

None of these appliances would be user-programmable; and I wouldn't
expect the user to be able to adjust the window-size in either
case.

What would lead you to expect the different appliances all to be
manufactured with the same window size in the first place? Or the
same resolution?
Nothing. Perhaps you have misread me?

I've designed and written browser-based software for mobile devices; the
divergent screen and input specifications present a major challenge to
developers, who are forced to choose between targeting the lowest common
denominator (which is very low) and writing for a narrow range of
specific devices.

I used to own an XDA, which was the closest I've yet seen to a decent
mobile browsing appliance. Actually I still own it; but it doesn't work,
because I dropped it. Design misfeature. If it is meant to be picked up,
then it must be made resistant to dropping.
>
By the way, a couple of manufactures *tried* this with e-mail
appliances. They failed miserably.
I'm aware of that; Amstrad produced an email/phone device. It was rather
big, and had to be plugged into two different wall-sockets. Mobile
phones with email functionality, however, have been wildly successful
(and the Blackberry isn't even a phone).

The closer these devices come to being GP computers, the more they are
suited only for geeks. Phones that run Windows? Gimme a break - they crash!
>
>>
I don't think that programmable computers are a sensible long-term
solution for end-user requirements - it's too complicated to
support end-users with that kind of complexity.

If you're talking about building flexible web pages, it's a little
complicated. So is building a house, which is why houses are only
designed and built by people who've made the effort to learn how.
Well, I agree.
>
>Programmable computers are for programmers.

That's like saying TVs with adjustable volume and surround sound
settings and variable video settings are for programmers.
I can't really see why you think so. TVs with adjustable volume are made
for viewers, not for sound-engineers. But programmable computers aim to
meet the needs of software engineers, schoolchildren and office-workers
(et al), and are unsuited to the needs of the latter two groups.
And how can you make your commercial yell at the viewers if they have
the ability to turn the volume down?
I must confess I'm having difficulty figuring out what point you're
trying to make. I'm not enthusiastic about TV commercials, especially
the ones that yell.

--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 28 '06 #42

P: n/a
TC

Jack wrote:
people who design webpages should (in general) have the attitude
that the user ought to be allowed to do whatever she chooses to do.
Your own site malfunctions at my preferred text size!

http://102673.atspace.com/pic2.htm

TC (MVP MSAccess)
http://tc2.atspace.com

Jul 28 '06 #43

P: n/a
Jack wrote:
Harlan Messinger wrote:
>>
And the reason people would spend money on, and try to find space in
their houses for, multiple machines to do what one machine does now
is what?

Convenience, reliability, simplicity. Your washing machine has a
microprocessor in it; are you suggesting thast consumers would sooner
dispense with that microcontroller, and instead have the wash-cycle
controlled via their PC? I feel a marketing disaster coming on...
>>
Haven't you noticed that the trend everywhere is to combine
functionality? Phones that are also PDAs and MP3 players and cameras
and Web browsers?
I take that point in general, although I have owned a PDA/MP3/Phone
device, and found it to be less satisfactory than a standalone phone and
a standalone MP3 player. The two devices have conflicting design
requirements. There's a lot of room for personal preference in the
design of portable devices though.

But this is beside the point; my argument is rather that GP computers
are not consumer durables. You don't expect to have to patch and upgrade
software in a car or a washing machine, or even a phone, nor should you
expect to do so in a word-processing appliance.

If Microsoft (or similar) came up with an office device that integrated
WP, spreadsheet, browser and email in a non-upgradeable and *bug-free*
package, that might well be an example of the kind of product I am
envisaging; the original Apple Macintosh was an early gesture in this
direction (and was wildly successful). But it is critical that such
products be substantially bug-free, because they are by definition not
upgradeable.
>>They would not be upgradable; if there was a bug in the software,
you would return the goods and demand a refund, as you would if you
had bought a hi-fi that didn't work. Bugs are not acceptable in
consumer products.

None of these appliances would be user-programmable; and I wouldn't
expect the user to be able to adjust the window-size in either
case.

What would lead you to expect the different appliances all to be
manufactured with the same window size in the first place? Or the
same resolution?

Nothing. Perhaps you have misread me?

I've designed and written browser-based software for mobile devices; the
divergent screen and input specifications present a major challenge to
developers, who are forced to choose between targeting the lowest common
denominator (which is very low) and writing for a narrow range of
specific devices.

I used to own an XDA, which was the closest I've yet seen to a decent
mobile browsing appliance. Actually I still own it; but it doesn't work,
because I dropped it. Design misfeature. If it is meant to be picked up,
then it must be made resistant to dropping.
>>
By the way, a couple of manufactures *tried* this with e-mail
appliances. They failed miserably.

I'm aware of that; Amstrad produced an email/phone device. It was rather
big, and had to be plugged into two different wall-sockets. Mobile
phones with email functionality, however, have been wildly successful
(and the Blackberry isn't even a phone).

The closer these devices come to being GP computers, the more they are
suited only for geeks. Phones that run Windows? Gimme a break - they crash!
>>
>>>
I don't think that programmable computers are a sensible long-term
solution for end-user requirements - it's too complicated to
support end-users with that kind of complexity.

If you're talking about building flexible web pages, it's a little
complicated. So is building a house, which is why houses are only
designed and built by people who've made the effort to learn how.

Well, I agree.
>>
>>Programmable computers are for programmers.

That's like saying TVs with adjustable volume and surround sound
settings and variable video settings are for programmers.

I can't really see why you think so. TVs with adjustable volume are made
for viewers, not for sound-engineers. But programmable computers aim to
meet the needs of software engineers, schoolchildren and office-workers
(et al), and are unsuited to the needs of the latter two groups.
>And how can you make your commercial yell at the viewers if they have
the ability to turn the volume down?

I must confess I'm having difficulty figuring out what point you're
trying to make. I'm not enthusiastic about TV commercials, especially
the ones that yell.
Jul 28 '06 #44

P: n/a
[sorry for hitting Send prematurely on my previous reply]

Jack wrote:
Harlan Messinger wrote:
>>
And the reason people would spend money on, and try to find space in
their houses for, multiple machines to do what one machine does now
is what?

Convenience, reliability, simplicity.
How is it convenient or simple for me to have SIX remote controls to
operate my video and audio components? It isn't. That's why I bought a
programmable universal remote.
Your washing machine has a
microprocessor in it; are you suggesting thast consumers would sooner
dispense with that microcontroller, and instead have the wash-cycle
controlled via their PC? I feel a marketing disaster coming on...
That's an absurdity. A washing machine can't be carried around with you
along with your word processing, e-mail, web browsing, music listening,
photographing, etc. capabilities.

However, if the washer's computer, and the oven's and the air
conditioner's, could be put on the household wireless network and
remotely drivable, that would be great.
>Haven't you noticed that the trend everywhere is to combine
functionality? Phones that are also PDAs and MP3 players and cameras
and Web browsers?
I take that point in general, although I have owned a PDA/MP3/Phone
device, and found it to be less satisfactory than a standalone phone and
a standalone MP3 player.
Mostly because the technology is still young.

The two devices have conflicting design
requirements.
Not really.

There's a lot of room for personal preference in the
design of portable devices though.

But this is beside the point; my argument is rather that GP computers
are not consumer durables. You don't expect to have to patch and upgrade
software in a car or a washing machine, or even a phone, nor should you
expect to do so in a word-processing appliance.
To avoid paying $400 and upward a pop, I certainly do expect to be able
to upgrade software when it's improved rather than having to buy a whole
new machine. Every few months, when someone discovers a new way to
attack computers and Microsoft develops a patch, you think everyone's
going to shell out another package of money to replace the machine they
just bought a few months earlier after the previous attack? Computers
are wholly incomparable with cars and washing machines.

Has the first generation if iPods, with their unreplaceable batteries,
become unrechargeable yet? I've been waiting to hear the outcry over the
idea of people spending all that money on something that needs to be
replaced for hundreds more dollars only because Apple decided not to
make the batteries replaceable.
>
If Microsoft (or similar) came up with an office device that integrated
WP, spreadsheet, browser and email in a non-upgradeable and *bug-free*
package, that might well be an example of the kind of product I am
envisaging;
Well, no kidding! "Let's not put bugs in our products--why didn't we
think of that?" they're saying right now, slapping their foreheads in
embarrassment. If they could guarantee that it was bug-free in the first
place then all this software updating wouldn't be needed.
the original Apple Macintosh was an early gesture in this
direction (and was wildly successful). But it is critical that such
products be substantially bug-free, because they are by definition not
upgradeable.
>>They would not be upgradable; if there was a bug in the software,
you would return the goods and demand a refund, as you would if you
had bought a hi-fi that didn't work. Bugs are not acceptable in
consumer products.

None of these appliances would be user-programmable; and I wouldn't
expect the user to be able to adjust the window-size in either
case.

What would lead you to expect the different appliances all to be
manufactured with the same window size in the first place? Or the
same resolution?

Nothing. Perhaps you have misread me?
Since the discussion was about the difficulty face by developers in
writing for users who run their browsers on different platforms, with
different screen sizes, configured for different resolutions, and with
users deciding for themselves how big or small to make their windows,
and your response to this seemed to be that it would make life simpler
for all if instead of having user-configurable, user-programmable
computers they all bought standard-issue appliances instead, removing
all this variability from their hands, I thought that that was an
assumption you were making. Otherwise, I don't see what your point was.
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, perhaps you were misunderstanding the
topic.
Jul 28 '06 #45

P: n/a
Jack <mr*********@nospam.jackpot.uk.netwrote:
If Microsoft (or similar) came up with an office device that integrated
WP, spreadsheet, browser and email in a non-upgradeable and *bug-free*
package, that might well be an example of the kind of product I am
envisaging; the original Apple Macintosh was an early gesture in this
direction (and was wildly successful). But it is critical that such
products be substantially bug-free, because they are by definition not
upgradeable.
That might be fine for someone who needs only the functionality provided by
this office appliance. But what if they want some additional functionality?
With a general-purpose computer, they can install a new program and run it.
With this office appliance, they're stuck. They need to buy a completely
new specialty appliance for that functionality.

Any given specialty application may not have many users, but many users
will want to use at least one specialty application. If the office
appliance can't run the application I need, then I won't buy it.
--
Darin McGrew, mc****@stanfordalumni.org, http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/
Web Design Group, da***@htmlhelp.com, http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

"There are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't."
Jul 28 '06 #46

P: n/a
TC wrote:
Jack wrote:
>people who design webpages should (in general) have the attitude
that the user ought to be allowed to do whatever she chooses to do.

Your own site malfunctions at my preferred text size!

http://102673.atspace.com/pic2.htm
Thanks!

It's new (or rather it's just had a major revamp), and I haven't yet had
a chance to do 'destructive testing' on it. I've spent a whole lot of
time on it over the last three months, and I had to make it live, just
to justify the effort to myself.

If you're wondering what took three months, well, it's not the
appearance. The thing's driven by Java, XML and XSLT, and it's supposed
eventually to do a lot more than displaying static HTML (which is most
of what it's doing at the moment).

Anyway - I obviously need to take another look at the CSS.
--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 28 '06 #47

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger wrote:
[sorry for hitting Send prematurely on my previous reply]
There's always cancel.
>
Jack wrote:
>Harlan Messinger wrote:
I shall trim fairly violently; apologies in advance. I think
some of your comments are irrelevant, so I'm ignoring them.
>
However, if the washer's computer, and the oven's and the air
conditioner's, could be put on the household wireless network and
remotely drivable, that would be great.
I don't think it would. Or rather, while there is a marginal benefit in
being able to operate these machines remotely, the idea that ordinary
people might want to use a computer to control them seems very dubious
to me.
>
The two devices have conflicting design
>requirements.

Not really.
Well, I think they do. An MP3 player ought to be capable of operation
in-situ inside a pocket; it needs to have the minimum number of buttons
and controls consistent with single-click control. Graphical display
isn't a critical issue on an MP3 player. A phone needs a large number of
buttons - so many that on a small phone, the space for the graphic
display is compromised. But graphical display isn't critical on phone,
although it's more important than it is on an MP3 player.

And a PDA needs as much space for graphic display as possible; PDA
designers therefore resorted to using styluses, so as to dispense with
buttons almost completely. On the XDA, the phone-dial buttons are
therefore necessarily on-screen graphics.
>
To avoid paying $400 and upward a pop, I certainly do expect to be
able to upgrade software when it's improved rather than having to buy
a whole new machine.
My comments have been concerned with mass-market appliances, not
early-adopter toys or specialist equipment. The devices that I envisage
are close to being disposable, and are not capital assets.
Every few months, when someone discovers a new way to attack
computers and Microsoft develops a patch, you think everyone's going
to shell out another package of money to replace the machine they
just bought a few months earlier after the previous attack? Computers
are wholly incomparable with cars and washing machines.
The devices I envisage are meant to be (as I mentioned) substantially
bug-free. If they "need" a patch, then you need a refund.
>
Well, no kidding! "Let's not put bugs in our products--why didn't we
think of that?" they're saying right now, slapping their foreheads
in embarrassment. If they could guarantee that it was bug-free in the
first place then all this software updating wouldn't be needed.
It's possible to produce software that is substantially bug-free. It's
almost impossible to make an OS that's free of bugs, but a dedicated
device that runs only one program isn't so hard to make bug-free. That's
the whole point.
assumption you were making. Otherwise, I don't see what your point
was. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, perhaps you were
misunderstanding the topic.
Perhaps I was going off at a tangent that was dangerously close to being
off-topic.
--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 28 '06 #48

P: n/a
Darin McGrew wrote:
Jack <mr*********@nospam.jackpot.uk.netwrote:
>If Microsoft (or similar) came up with an office device that
integrated WP, spreadsheet, browser and email in a non-upgradeable
and *bug-free* package, that might well be an example of the kind
of product I am envisaging; the original Apple Macintosh was an
early gesture in this direction (and was wildly successful). But it
is critical that such products be substantially bug-free, because
they are by definition not upgradeable.

That might be fine for someone who needs only the functionality
provided by this office appliance. But what if they want some
additional functionality? With a general-purpose computer, they can
install a new program and run it. With this office appliance, they're
stuck. They need to buy a completely new specialty appliance for that
functionality.
Yes, that's right. Instead of licensing a program, you buy a device. The
supplier can't whinge that you've misinstalled it, or that your graphics
card isn't supported. In fact software product support almost becomes an
historical profession; the product either works, or it fails totally.
>
Any given specialty application may not have many users, but many
users will want to use at least one specialty application. If the
office appliance can't run the application I need, then I won't buy
it.
Obviously there are applications that are not mass-market; those
applications are unsuited to being made into appliances. Browsing is
certainly a mass-market application.

--
Jack.
http://www.jackpot.uk.net/
Jul 28 '06 #49

P: n/a
Darin McGrew wrote:
I've grown fond of Opera's Ctrl-Shift-click, which opens the
link in a background tab. That's really useful when I've got a list of
links (e.g., search results, online forums).
I've set middle-click to perform the same trick. :-)

--
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact

Jul 28 '06 #50

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