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From: David Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-04-04 01:07:58

Miro Jurisic <macdev_at_[hidden]> writes:

> In article <uhdin48mv.fsf_at_[hidden]>,
> David Abrahams <dave_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>> "Jeff Garland" <jeff_at_[hidden]> writes:
>> > On Sun, 03 Apr 2005 17:35:02 -0400, David Abrahams wrote
>> >> "Jeff Garland" <jeff_at_[hidden]> writes:
>> >>
>> >> > On Sat, 02 Apr 2005 23:33:31 -0600, Rene Rivera wrote
>> >> >> Allen wrote:
>> >> >> > The width is fixed, I think that's bad.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Why?
>> >> >
>> >> > I agree with Allen -- fixed width is bad. Basically it wastes space on
>> >> > my monitor and forces me to scroll when I shouldn't have to.
>> >>
>> >> But without a fixed width the lines of text tend to become unreadably
>> >> long.
>> >
>> > Unreadable for you, but maybe not for me -- if the page is designed to just
>> > flow then everyone can set the browser size however they wish and the page
>> > will wrap to fit. This is how the current pages work.
>> True. It's just a shame that browsers maximize to this silly horizontal
>> aspect ratio all of our screens use.
> Fixed width is not bad, if it is fixed in ems (rather than pixels).

Agreed in principle, but:

a. AFAIK HTML has no way of expressing that

b. If you make the window wider, you "obviously" don't want the space
   filled up with a big blank area. It would make sense to fill it up
   with something useful, but AFAIK HTML has no way of expressing the
   desire to dynamically generate more columns of text as you widen
   your browser window.

<snip principles of typesetting>

Agreed, the "scan to the start of the next line" problem is one of my
major frustrations with computer interfaces. With all these
wider-than-tall screens UI designers at large only started to get a
clue recently that not everyone wants to divide windows into two wide,
short halves. Even emacs still does that by default and there's no
way to change it! Ugh :(

Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting

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