Logo idea and FreeBSD.com concept

Warren Myers volcimaster at gmail.com
Wed Mar 2 20:02:05 GMT 2005

It's not an aspect of laziness. It's in deference to other users of my
site. If you have the width uncontrolled, long streams of text become
very hard to read on high resolutions. I understand that not many
people will view pages maximized at 1600x1200, but I do for basic
design principles taught in every web design class I've ever been in
or heard of.

The width is directly tied to readability. If someone needs to resize
the window down just to read what you have to say, they will most
likely move on. There's a reason why newspapers and magazines use the
column approach: it's not because it's "what we do" it's because the
human eye has trouble reading wide streams of text easily. It can be
done, but most people tend to start dropping their eye by the end of
the line.

You see this tendency when someone writes on a chalk or whiteboard. As
the line continues across the board, it gradually gets lower and
lower, because they do not force their hand up, and as you get further
away from the center of your viewing, your eye wants to relax

All good professional web designers know that they need to keep there
site a decent width. Sometimes scaling works decently, but not often.
Slashdot is a good example of a site that chooses not to set the width
of their pages. They fix the size of the menus and ad space, but let
the text flow inside whatever space is left over. This means that
their pages are not very readable in high resolution windows. For
example, at work I run 1024x768 and keep all of my window maximized
when browsing. At that resolution, the article space doesn't look too
bad. However, when I'm at home or school and running 1280x1024, the
articles are more difficult to read, and at 1600x1200, they become
nearly impossible to follow. And I have good eyesight.

The positioning chosen by most good designers from large companies
like Apple, IBM, CNN, on down to personal sites like my own
(http://warrenmyers.com) all follow the simple readability rules
mentioned above. They also make sure that the most important
information is in the first screen of what you see since a large
percentage of visitors will not scroll the window if they don't see
what they need immediately.

Changing the width setting will not make the page look the same in my
browser, either. If I let the width float, I would lose the clear
borders and margins around the edge of my page. As a general rule, I
also don't do all of my layout and formatting with tables. Only one
site I maintain uses tables for its layout, and I just haven't had the
time to switch over to pure HTML and CSS. CSS was designed from the
ground up to provide all of the layout and style handling anyone
needs. Look at http://csszengarden.com for examples of identical HTML
but different style sheets, and see the drastic differences realized
through the judicious use of CSS.

As to your question of validity, yes my sites are all valid, to the
best of my knowledge. There may be some minor inconsistencies, but
they are just that, minor.


On Wed, 02 Mar 2005 12:50:26 -0600, W. D. <WD at us-webmasters.com> wrote:
> At 12:30 3/2/2005, Warren Myers, wrote:
> >I always trim my pages to 750 pixels. It gives a small border on each
> >side (except in the retardedly stupid css rendering in IE), and makes
> >it very readable. I run high res at home (1280x1024, because I only
> >have a 17"), and like to have multiple windows open simultaneously,
> >and if I could run 1600 or higher, I most certainly would. Having
> >multiple windows open is nearly a necessity anymore, and sizing the
> >site to fit in a common size of 750 wide (to allow for the window
> >borders and such) is a reasonable thing to do, in my opinion..
> It's reasonable if you are lazy.  Go over your HTML code and
> replace
>   WIDTH="750"
> with
>   WIDTH="100%"
> You will have a page that looks the same in your browser, but
> will auto-size for other configurations.  If you have nested
> tables, those will also need to be converted from fixed pixels
> to percentages as well.
> Most HTML on the Web is just plain sloppy.  This is one
> of the reasons browsers have to be bulky--they need to
> make allowances for crappy HTML.  Are you valid?
> http://www.HTMLvalidator.com/
> http://www.HTMLhelp.com/tools/validator/
> http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator-uri.html
> Start Here to Find It Fast!™ -> http://www.US-Webmasters.com/best-start-page/
> $8.77 Domain Names -> http://domains.us-webmasters.com/
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