[TYPO3-typo3org] FW: TYPO3.org nice but 800px?

Ben O'Hear ben at revelate.com.es
Wed Feb 15 11:55:08 CET 2006

Hi guys,

Possible the easiest way to kick off this exciting debate is that I paste
what I wrote to Daniel at the time:

> People already complain about it being fixed width
ok, let's go through that. 

dotcom is very much delimited by the picture. I don't see an (elegant) way
around that being fixed width.

dotorg could potentially be flexible. I'm always in two minds about this -
the main reasons against flexi are: 

- You end up with massively wide text lines (poor legibility)
- It's harder to maintain a balanced design as the proportions will
constantly vary. 
- As soon as you have fixed elements (i.e. pictures) within the content you
have really ugly effects - one-line paragraphs and blank space scattered
throughout, with almost no gain of information displayed as the vertical
space is determined by the pictures. Try varying the Amazon.com homepage on
a large screen - you'll see what I mean.

The arguments in favour are:
- It feels quite nice to see it adapt to your movement
- On massive screens, fixed width end up with a lot of background and not
much page.
- If the page is a lot of text, you do get more information on one page,
although hat gain is offset by the loss in legibility, and I'm really not
sure filling up a 1600x1200 with text gives you much above scrolling a
narrow column.

For those reasons I usually find myself leaning towards fixed layouts. In
this case we also have the dotcom issue and I think they should follow the
same pattern. I'm open to debate on that though.

To disgress a bit, the holy grail would be:
- Columns of content whose width is determined by their character count.
- As many next to each other as the browser will accommodate.
- Never higher than the vertical browser space.
- Pictures and headlines with the ability to span several columns (think

We've done experiments to try to achieve this (and failed), but if anyone
has a solution I'm all ears.

Then again this could be a red herring. After all, newspapers have to cram a
bunch of text in a fixed 2D space. We have unlimited vertical scrolling, so
we can have infinite column heights.

(and for those of you squirming in their seats thinking "scrolling is bad",
you always need to add the caveat "on navigation pages". Scrolling the
continuation of a story is no problem whatsoever).


Elastigirls, your go.



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