Logo idea and FreeBSD.com concept

W. D. WD at US-Webmasters.com
Wed Mar 2 22:48:19 GMT 2005

At 14:02 3/2/2005, Warren Myers, wrote:
>It's not an aspect of laziness. 

Well, I guess we differ on the definition of the term.
I would define it as an unwillingness to exert 
necessary effort to implement a desired result or 
something like that.

>It's in deference to other users of my

I am all in favor of 'deference' to users of websites.

>If you have the width uncontrolled, long streams of text become
>very hard to read on high resolutions. 

Huh?  Not if the page is designed properly.  You don't need
to have 'absolute' size fonts.  You can program the page
to display 'relative' fonts that work well no matter what
resolution the monitor is displaying:


>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.

Well, I guess that's why there are so many poorly designed
sites out there--the instructors of these classes aren't 
skilled themselves.

>The width is directly tied to readability. 

I would say the relationship is indirect.  If the site is
improperly designed, it might be a direct correspondence.

>If someone needs to resize
>the window down just to read what you have to say, they will most
>likely move on. 

Nah.  If they really want to read what's on the page they
will make the effort.  This is not to say that a hard to
read page won't repel users in marginal cases.

>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. 

Excellent point!  Print media--after hundreds of years--
finally got on the usability bandwagon.  Thin columns are
easier to speed read.  Perhaps it won't take hundreds
of years for this same lesson to sink into the brains
of 'Professional Web Designers'.  Google is leaning
in the right direction: http://news.Google.com/

>It can be
>done, but most people tend to start dropping their eye by the end of
>the line.

'Dropping their eye'?  My understanding of how most people read 
quickly is that they take in groups of words all at once.  

>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. 

That's your opinion.  (Don't you mean 'their'?)

>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. 

Well then, kudos to them!

>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.

Please refer to above 'relative' fonts comment.  If you are having
problems reading the font at ANY resolution, then the person
designing the page hasn't expended the necessary effort to design
the page properly.

>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. 

I am all for readability!  However, that's only one consideration
of 'good' Web design.

>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.

Good point!  This is one of the most important principles of
proper design.

>Changing the width setting will not make the page look the same in my
>browser, either. 

Yep.  How does one define 'same'?  Since browsers vary, and 
resolutions vary, it's impossible to get a Web page to look
exactly the same in all browsers and monitors.  The
important principle is 'universal' ease of use and 
readability for the vast majority of cases.

>If I let the width float, I would lose the clear
>borders and margins around the edge of my page. 

Then you don't know about all the methods available in HTML.

>As a general rule, I
>also don't do all of my layout and formatting with tables. 

Perhaps this is the main problem.  In HTML, tables are a
primary, if not THE primary technique for controlling
the format of a page.

>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. 

See definition of 'lazy' above.  ;^)

>CSS was designed from the
>ground up to provide all of the layout and style handling anyone

Not 'all', but quite a bit.  It sure would be nice if
people used it properly.

>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.

Oh, I believe in CSS, Mojumbo.

>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.

Did you run them through any kind of validation tool?  If not, please
again refer to definition of 'lazy' above.  ;^)

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