W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > site-comments@w3.org > December 2009

Re: Redesign Styles Hypocritical

From: Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 09 Dec 2009 22:10:22 -0500
Message-ID: <4B20669E.1020009@earthlink.net>
CC: site-comments@w3.org, www-style@w3.org, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On 2009/12/09 21:59 (GMT) Patrick H. Lauke composed:

> GĂ©rard Talbot wrote:

> Accessibility rarely deals with absolutes, black/white situations.

That may be true, but without question for sighted users legibility is
fundamental to accessibility. Since he isn't there, the designer has no
reasonable basis to determine that making his baseline text size anything
other than 100% can improve or maintain legibility.

>> It's utterly weak to tell web visitors/users that they should just zoom
>> the page themselves if they want to read it according to their eyesight
>> needs, legibility requirements, vision... when, from the beginning, all
>> the web author had to do is set body {font-size: 100%;} or body
>> {font-size: medium;} or not set any font-size at all for body so that
>> (s)he would meet the preferred font-size of the visitor.

> Ok, this argument has been going around forever. It assumes that users 
> set their browser to their preferred font-size.

To bring up this issue presumes a designer can or should do anything about
what users do or don't do with their browser's default text size. Since the
designer isn't there, he's in no position to determine the consequences
outside his direct control, including whether a user needs or would rather
something different than what he has. Thus it doesn't matter whether users
know how or do or not. Any do, and they should be given deference.

Personal computer users who find it _necessary_ to change it will find out
how, either by trial, or by seeking help. If they can figure out how to
change desktop wallpaper, they can change text size. After all, they're
users' _personal_computers_, systems designed to be _personalized_.
Paternalism here is unjustified.

> It also neglects the
> fact that, for better or worse, the large majority of sites do (either 
> through px based fonts or something like font-size: 0.85em or whatever) 
> duck the standard body size from 100% on a regular basis.

This paradigm has outlived its desirability. Many years ago when display DPI
was considerably lower, and the range from lowest to highest much lower, it
wasn't unreasonable to assume 100% was too big. In the years since earnest
browser support for CSS began, average DPI has climbed considerably, as has
the range between lowest and highest. It's no longer reasonable to presume
100% is too high. It's now as likely to be too small as too big, and the
consequences of too small are usually more dire than those of too big.

> As they have to on the majority of other sites out there. Either that or 
> *they* would have to go into their preferences and change the default 
> text size, which I'd posit not many people even know how to do.

And I posit that most of those who actually _need_ to will find out both that
they can, and how to do it.

> Copying this to the WCAG list for their take (for those just joining us, 
> the original thread is on W3C Style list, if I recall correctly)

I originated the thread on www-style (and site-comments, archived at
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2009Nov/0327.html ), with the
practical goal of having reconciled current W3.org site styles with the
content on http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/font-size . Due to having forgotten I
had posted to both, my last follow up went only to www-style, is archived at
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2009Dec/0118.html and the
highlight of which is http://fm.no-ip.com/SS/SC/w3home-ss-0910.html to
demonstrate the impact of current styles in a high(er than average) DPI
environment.
-- 
"   We have no government armed with power capable of
contending with human passions unbridled by morality and
religion."                  John Adams, 2nd US President

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/
Received on Thursday, 10 December 2009 03:10:57 GMT

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