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RE: magnifiers vs relative font-sizes

From: Chris O'Kennon <chris@vipnet.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 10:18:54 -0400
Message-ID: <BCECCA7B3D37D611ABC5009027D6228A316114@iexch1.vipnet.org>
To: "'Robert Neff'" <robert.neff@uaccessit.com>, "Chris O'Kennon" <chris@vipnet.org>, "'Slaydon, Eugenia'" <ESlaydon@beacontec.com>, "'Charles McCathieNevile'" <charles@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

I guess as background I should mention that I design sites for the
Commonwealth of Virginia, so I fall into the government realm.  :)

Chris O'Kennon
Commonwealth of Virginia Webmaster/
VIPNet Portal Architect
"When people are free to do as they please, 
they usually imitate each other."

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Neff [mailto:robert.neff@uaccessit.com] 
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 10:17 AM
To: 'Chris O'Kennon'; 'Slaydon, Eugenia'; 'Charles McCathieNevile'
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: magnifiers vs relative font-sizes

When programmers developing web sites and are using standards, there are two
concerns. 1.  When browsers do not always implement the standards 2.  How do
you address old browsers? This is sometimes referred to as backward

This is not cut and dry and a business decision by the marketing or program
manager may be needed.  Here the target audience must be considered and the
role the expanded audience who you: (1) want to attract, and (2) do not want
to alienate.

As much as we want to be ubiquitous, web design is still a business and cost
must be projected and budgets met.  Therefore the decision to move forward
with standards must be one that can be supported and implemented by the
development team in the budget and time constraints.  Here, most issues are
lessons learned from development and feedback from the audience, which
correlate back to the target audience.  To address these issues, the site
maintenance budget and schedule must allot for the changed. Issues that
cannot be addressed through time, current competencies, and architecture
must be addressed in the redesign - AND THIS NEEDS TO BE BUDGETED.

So by law, Federal Agencies in the United States must address 508 whereas
commercial entities are more prone to consider their audience. Hence, the
moral of the story for the commercial audience - speak up and provide
feedback so you are part of the target audience.

Robert Neff

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Chris O'Kennon
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 9:24 AM
To: 'Slaydon, Eugenia'; 'Charles McCathieNevile'
Cc: 'jonathan chetwynd'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: magnifiers vs relative font-sizes

On the one hand, I agree that many developers have trouble with the
implementation of standards because browsers just don't seem to agree on
what to do and how to do it.  It's probably the only business where no one
steals good ideas from each other.  How difficult is it to just support
style sheets the same way?

On the other hand, many of these standards are tough because developers are
used to just one way of doing things, and just one audience to do it for.  I
only recently even started using style sheets, because I just found it
easier to hard code my font sizes into each page, so I'd know exactly what
the layout would look like on every browser imaginable, and not have to
worry about which ones handled style sheets.  It may not be easy design to
take so many variables into account when you create a site, but it's good
design.  It sometimes takes longer than bosses may want, but if you end up
with a site that looks good and works well for everyone - even if it doesn't
look exactly the same for everyone - then you have a superior product.

Chris O'Kennon
Commonwealth of Virginia Webmaster/
VIPNet Portal Architect
"When people are free to do as they please, 
they usually imitate each other."

-----Original Message-----
From: Slaydon, Eugenia [mailto:ESlaydon@beacontec.com] 
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 8:31 AM
To: 'Charles McCathieNevile'
Cc: 'jonathan chetwynd'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: magnifiers vs relative font-sizes

But to say that a site absolutely will not meet standards if it doesn't use
relative font-sizes is a big deal. As a developer I am told that I must make
the site look right, work, meet standards AND do so in NN 4.x and above and
IE 4.x and above. Netscape 4.x doesn't just not support relative font sizes
- it destroys them. So what is the lowly developer to do? I think one of the
reasons that developers don't follow accessibility standards is because they
can be so difficult to implement. Granted the newer browsers are going to
make that easier but most developers aren't given the option of coding for
their favorite browser. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:charles@w3.org]
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 9:48 PM
To: Slaydon, Eugenia
Cc: 'jonathan chetwynd'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: magnifiers vs relative font-sizes

No, it is saying that people who use Netscape 4.x browsers shouldn't expect
it to handle HTML and CSS very well under certain circumstances. I don't
have any problem with people using Netscape 4.x (or any other browser) if
they happen to like it and it suits their needs, but I have a big problem
with people turning up with broken systems and expecting that the Web be
broken to match. As well as with sites that do break the Web to match such
systems. They tend to be simple problems - I think the most common is "I
can't make a payment here so I will go find another provider". I don't
expect peoploe to resolve the problems caused by bugs in my browser (the one
that annoys me most is missing some CSS-positioning, although it isn't more
than cosmetic until people try to use presentation to convey critical
structure information).

I have a strong reason for preferring relative font-sizes - they are what I
need to be able to keep reading for the day. In fact some of my browsers do
pretty good zooming. The ones that require proper coding...


On Fri, 12 Jul 2002, Slaydon, Eugenia wrote:

>I still have a problem with pushing for relative font-sizes in CSS
>because it is destroyed in Netscape. Saying that you must use relative 
>font sizes instead of absolute for accessibility is the same as saying 
>you aren't allowed to use a Netscape 4.x browser.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: jonathan chetwynd [mailto:j.chetwynd@btinternet.com]
>Sent: Friday, July 12, 2002 10:23 AM
>To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
>Subject: magnifiers vs relative font-sizes
>Does anyone have strong reasons for preferring relative font-sizes to a

>screen maginifier?
>if so what are they?
>For magnifiers:
>There is a serious conflict between the necessity of
>keeping everything on one page, and allowing users to control font
>for people with severe learning difficulties, this is particularly
>magnifiers, allow one to gain a feel for the whole document, whilst
>enlarging a part. setting the font size to large makes the document 
>larger than the screen, and
>one looses the ability to percieve the whole.
>further, a great number of people don't appreciate that there is more
>one can see.
>from an offline discussion with Boris Zbarsky, following from a recent
>thread at www-style:
>scale: font-size to % of client window?
>jonathan chetwynd

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61
134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4
92 38
78 22
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,
Received on Monday, 15 July 2002 10:19:24 UTC

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