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[Whatwg] Request for HTML-only print link

From: Sander <html5@zoid.nl>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 23:02:06 +0200
Message-ID: <46ABAECE.9050409@zoid.nl>

Sander Tekelenburg schreef:
> Your main argument for a print links seemed to be that some people might not
> know where to find their UA's print command (hard to believe -- even IE by
> default presents a shiny print button always).
Well, Opera doesn't show a print button for instance.

>  Giving them a "print link"
> doesn't help them, because now they still don't know where their UA's print
> command is.
That's not the point as it is not up to the author of a website to 
educate their visitors about their browser. I agree that it is best if 
people knew the applications they're using but that's just not always 
the case.

>  So if you'd really want to help those people, you would not
> provide a print link. You'd let them figure out how to print, or you could
> add a help page that explains how to print a web page (making sure that
> you're clear about which specific browsing environment you''re talking about).
>   
A lot of site owners just don't want to do that as it turns the focus on 
the browser instead of their. Providing a print link on the spot where 
you refer to printing doesn't force the visitor to think (which seems to 
be the credo in usability land).

>> Compare it to the sentence "You can find our address on the contact page".
>>     
> >From a usability point of view it is advisable to make "contact page" a link
>
> Actually, no, that would be close to "click here". "You can <a
> href="contact.html#address" rel="contact">find our address</a> on the contact
> page" would be the more usable markup. (Or alternatively, the entire sentence
> can be the link.) (Btw, this in turn shows that the sentence was not written
> for the Web. I understand that this was just a quick example. But it's the
> sort of text that makes sense in print, but not on the Web. Unfortunately
> many authors still throw text that was written for print on the Web.)
>   
You're right. It was indeed a quick example. What I meant to say was 
that providing a link that offers what you're talking about is better 
than 'just' talking about it. Especially because it is the web we're 
talking about. Compare it with these annoying URLs and email addresses 
that are not actual links.

> So what? If every browsing environment would work and present the same,
> there'd be no need for more than one browsing environment. The very fact that
> different people have different needs and preferences is why we have
> different UAs, why we have separation of content and presentation and why
> different UAs work differently. It is what makes the Web work.
>
> The only thing that's important, if you're talking about usability, is that
> things work the same for a given user  across sites. And per definition, only
> UAs can provide that experience.
>   
What I meant was that people are not always on the same environment.

cheers,
Sander

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