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

Michael Scharkow mscharkow at gmx.net
Wed Feb 15 15:24:15 CET 2006

Ben O'Hear wrote:

> the main reasons against flexi are: 
> - You end up with massively wide text lines (poor legibility)

This is only in conjunction with fixed-size fonts. Users of big screens 
can simply turn up the size of the text, or resize the window to their 
liking. And let's not forget most of the content on typo3.org is 

> - It's harder to maintain a balanced design as the proportions will
> constantly vary. 

Well, that's a general issue with HTML. If you need absolute precise 
proportions, you need PDF ;)

> - 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. 

If you have floating in-text pictures, the content will still be even 
and readable. Plus, we probably don't have fancy images en masse.

> 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.

A lot of web designers tend to fixed layouts because it's nearer to 
print aesthetics and you have more control. On the other hand, most of 
the much-used sites use a flexible layout. typo3.org has to be practical 
to the users that browse the site, and there's tons of information to 

> 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.

We may have unlimited scrolling but people hate scrolling, especially 
when the right half of their screen is intentionally left blank.

> (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).

typo3.org is not about telling stories. Even the articles are split into 
chunks that are supposed to fit the screen.

Ben, I really hope we can find a flexible layout solution that keeps the 
nice design mostly in place. I have already fiddled with it (just 
removed the absolute widths and made them fluid), and I still like it as 
much, only more readable...

Would you be interested in help?


PS: I also hope we can clean up the CSS by removing *all* settings 
involving px and replacing them with relative em or percent dimensions. 
This is is good practice in every CSS book, and essential to be 
zoom-friendly. I'm sure the people in the content-rendering group would 
be of much help making the layout as accessible as possible.

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