Re: Theory? (of Web design)

Subject: Re: Theory? (of Web design)
From: Ed -dot- Hawco -at- acecomm -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 10:35:44 -0400

sandy -at- storm -dot- ca said:

> Methinks you should find another way, e.g. using the stylesheet
> of things like lists and paragraphs to create enough whitespace.

Why? Tables are standard fare. Good old-fashioned formatting tools that
won't jam up any browsers. They're easy to implement, and from the user's
point-of-view they are invisible and seamless. Stylesheets are iffy if
you're not experienced with them (I've seen plenty of pages ruined by bad
stylesheets), and some older browsers won't interpret them properly.

> If I hit a site where lines get too long for me, I can narrow my browser
> window and fix the problem.

...but you can't do that if the white space is too much for you? (Besides,
I reject the idea that the reader should have to resize their browser just
to be able to read the page... the designer should nip that problem in the

> I sometimes have full 1600 by 1280 screen available on a 21" monitor. If
> I've got that, I'd like as much of yout text as reasonable on that

That's what I have all the time (at least at the office). I wouldn't dream
of viewing a web page in full screen mode at that resolution. Why would
anyone do that? Either half your screen will be white space or your lines
will be 300 characters long! I don't know of ANY web sites that look good
at full screen mode on a 1600 x1280 screen. IMO the habit of working in
full screen mode is a leftover habit from the old DOS days, or when nobody
had a monitor bigger than 14 inches.

bryan -dot- westbrook -at- amd -dot- com said:

> First of all, HTML is not printed documentation. That's a fact. Get
> it. It's a new medium and should be used as such.

I'm over it. But there are some principles of design and usage that are
cross-media. And, as the web evolves, it is evolving AWAY FROM the flowing
HTML and full-screen (no margins) style of its early days. Look at the
people who are doing cutting edge stuff on the web and you see it's all
about constrained layout. Most people are doing it with CSS but I'm not
that good at CSS so I use tables. The point, however, is that on-screen
layout is an important element in web design, and it includes things like
constrainted line lengths, margins, and white space. That's the future, not
the past.

BTW, Bryan, you made a good point about vision-impaired people still using


Ed Hawco
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