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DragonFly users List (threaded) for 2006-10
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Re: Text-columns and CSS

From: "Dennis Melentyev" <dennis.melentyev@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 11:03:12 +0300

Hi Tom and others,

Well, may be I underestimated usage statistics for text browsers and,
definitely, missed requirement for persons with disabilities, but,
afraid you (not only you Tom, but also many others) had got me as a
flash-java-other-bloat evangelist.

No! No! No!

If you re-read my and your posts, you'll find that we are talking
about the same thing: it is possible AND reasonable to make the site
usable in BOTH technologies. May be we disagree on some kind of
"default" style of site usage, but not on the general approach.

This also relevant to specific parts of the site: documentation MUST
be readable and comfortable for any kind of browser, while news and
other not-rescue-specific project info not necessarily should be
designed this way.

I, personally, hate browser-specific and simply over-bloated sites,
using lot's of useless but m.b. "creative-looking" design decisions.

But, all I'd like to state, is it is not reasonable to stuck to
text-ONLY representation.
Tom, as you stated absolutely right, CSS could do the main trick -
site could be elegant in a capable browser as well as usable (but m.b.
not as elegant) in text-browsers.

But: DO NOT STUCK TO TEXT-BROWSERS ONLY. It's a matter of emotional
perception of the project in general for people visiting homepage for
the first time and/or looking for initial info on DragonflyBSD.

Both you and me see no reason to DENY standard compliant design
approaches supported by most browsers as soon as it is possible to
support both variants quite easily.

I think, the web-designer able to produce minimalistic, but elegant
design is just a great professional. And professionalism is the most
wanted characteristics nowadays.

2006/10/26, Tom Davis <subscriber@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>:

On 2006 Oct 26, at 10:22 am, Dennis Melentyev wrote:
> Hardly can see any reason to keep text-only browsers compatibility.
> They are good for running from scripts but not for real surfing.
> Almost everyone use Firefox/Opera/IE these days.

There are three very different reasons for keeping text-only browser

1) Accessibility for vision impaired people who use text-to-speech or
braille readers.

2) For small screen devices like cell-phones and PDAs. I can't tell
you how often I find myself needing to research a problem in the
field (read 'on the subway' when I get a call) where I don't have a
laptop, or there is GSM coverage, but not WiFi.

3) Because that's actually the direction in which all Web designers
are moving. A Standards Compliant Web site is actually a site in
which the content (very simple HTML) is separate from the
presentation (CSS). That does a number of things. It makes your site
Accessible for the vision impaired which in the US is a legal
requirement for all commercial sites. It reduces code maintenance
requirements. Using a single CSS file for all of your Web pages
allows you to give the entire site a facelift (change colors, logo,
menu position from top to side, etc) all by changing that single CSS
file. And most important of all, by reducing the content html to it's
most basic form and linking all of your html files to a single
external stylesheet which is cacheable, you significantly reduce your
server load.

All of these disparate problems have a single simple and elegant
solution which just happens to be text-only browser compatible.

Dennis Melentyev

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