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[SUMMARY]: Advice concerning difficult to view web site.

From: Mark Andrew Nassy <nassy@mac.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 11:25:47 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
CC: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, Dick Brown <dickb@microsoft.com>, "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org>, <custemail@etrade.com>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>
Message-ID: <B4FA698A.1A91%nassy@mac.com>
Thank you everyone who replied with suggestions.

Case #: 000312-1105

on 3/17/00 5:52 PM, Gregory J. Rosmaita at unagi69@concentric.net wrote:

> issue 1: relative links don't work in your local copy of the page

> solution: as suggested in the abstract by charles on-list, try adding the
> following line immediately following the line that contains the <HEAD>
> element of the copy of the document source you saved locally:

> <BASE HREF="http://www.etrade.com/">

> this will append the domain to the relative URLs on the page (and every one
> i tried after adding the above BASE declaration worked)

Thanks. This works but unfortunately requires I edit each page I visit each
time I visit it. One work arround may be to write an applescript that adds
the information automatically for me.

> issue 2: the font size of the items inside the table
> problem statement: they are being controlled by the following (illegally
> declared, but more of that later) STYLE declaration:

> <STYLE TYPE="text/css">
> <!--
> TD {font-size:9pt;font-family: Arial,Helvetica;}
> TH {font-family: Arial,Helvetica;}
> TH.cow {font-size:12pt;font-family: Arial,Helvetica;}
> PRE {font-size:10pt;font-family: Courier;}
> SPAN.pig {font-size:14pt;font-family:
> Arial,Helvetica;font-weight:bold;color:#FF6600;}
> SPAN.cow {font-size:11pt;font-family: Arial,Helvetica;font-weight:bold;}
> SPAN.sheep {font-size:8pt;font-family: Arial,Helvetica;}
> input.gr { background : #CCCCCC none; color : #CCCCCC; }
> -->
> </STYLE>
> so, if you have support for stylesheets turned on, and it sounds as if you
> do, the solution is to find the STYLE declaration reproduced above and
> replace it with the following:

It just occured to me perhaps if I disable support for stylesheets the site
may be a bit more accessible to me. As soon as I have an opportunity to go
online I will let you know the results.

I just had an opportunity to visit the site with style sheets disabled. It
works much better now.

> <STYLE TYPE="text/css">
> <!--
> TD {font-size:105%;font-family: Arial,Helvetica;} /* font-size:9pt; */
> TH {font-family: Arial,Helvetica;}
> TH.cow {font-size:120%;font-family: Arial,Helvetica;} /* font-size:12pt; */
> PRE {font-size:110%;font-family: Courier;} /* font-size:10pt; */
> SPAN.pig {font-size:130%;font-family:
> Arial,Helvetica;font-weight:bold;color:#FF6600;} /* font-size:14pt; */
> SPAN.cow {font-size:115%;font-family: Arial,Helvetica;font-weight:bold;} /*
> font-size: 11pt */
> SPAN.sheep {font-family: Arial,Helvetica;} /* font-size:8pt; */
> input.gr { background : #CCCCCC none; color : #CCCCCC; }
> /* added by GJR */
> SMALL {font-size:95%;font-family: Arial,Helvetica;}
> -->
> </STYLE>
> the reason that the font size remains small in the table of "Hottest
> Stocks" when you remove the SMALL tag is that the point size for various
> portions of the TABLE are hard-coded to a specific point size using
> stylesheets....  and, since CSS includes presentational markup in its
> cascade order, style takes precedence over presentational markup, so
> removing the presentational element shouldn't impact the cascade order, as
> IE was ignoring them anyway...

> what i actually did was simply substitute a percentage for the point sizes
> defined by the page's authors, so that IE could use those percentages to
> calculate the increase in font size, based on whatever _you_ have defined
> as the base font size for the page...  the drawback of this is that it
> causes the page to render in a space larger than an average screen, thereby
> necessitating scrolling...  as for how i arrived at the percentages i used,
> i simply added 5% for each point over 8...  this decision was based on 2
> assumptions: 1) that you've already set MSIE to display the largest
> possible fonts, and 2) that IE on the Mac supports this feature of CSS (but
> from your problem statement, it sounds as if it does)

I think I read somewhere that there is a version MS IE for the Mac does not
properly calculate the sizes of inherited properties when percentages are
used. I cannot recally my source but I think I should be able to find it
again if I browse:


Should this be the case it may be better if I use the em unit. But if I
understand your point you are suggesting the use relative values.

> if you find that the ensuing enlargement is still insufficient, you can
> simply re-edit the style declaration and increase the percentages...

> of course, having to do this each time you want to view a page on eTrade is
> quite unreasonable (not to mention time consuming), so (if IE 4.5 for the
> mac has the same features as 4.01 had on the PC platform) you should probably:

Unfortunately, the feature set on the Mac and Windows versions of IE are not
par. There are some features that are unique to each version. But even if it
were as you suggest it would be time consuming and a bit unreasonable even
with an applescript to help.

> A) copy everything between the <!-- (less-than bang dash dash) and the -->
> (dash dash greater-than) and paste it into a file using a plain text editor
> (or another editor -- just make sure that you save it as plain text/ASCII)
> and save the file as: etrade.css (etrade dot css)

> B) go to the Internet Options (they may be called "Preferences" in the Mac
> version of IE) and see if there is an "Accessibility" button somewhere near
> the bottom of the first (titled "General") property sheet...  if there is,
> activate it, and then check the checkbox labeled "User Style Sheet: Format
> Documents using my style sheet"; if there isn't an accessibility button on
> the General property sheet for the mac, skip to step D)
> C) move into the text entry field labelled "Style Sheet" and type in the
> address of your style sheet (i.e. the full path and filename -- i'm not
> sure how one does that on the Mac, but there should be a "Browse" button
> nearby, which will allow you to pick files from a directory/folder listing)

> D)  ... the application's help system, and pray that someone responds to this
> to let us non-mac users know whether or not IE 4.5 for the mac supports
> client-side slash user-defined slash local style sheets

MS IE 4.5 does not support client side local style sheets. I am not aware of
any Mac Web Browsers that support this feature. This means I would need to
download the page each time to get the new changes and edit the associated
style sheet.

> E) if you can turn on support for a local style sheet, email eTrade, and
> ask them for a comprehensive listing of all of the absolute styling
> declarations used in their CGI scripts (basically, they'd need to look for
> any font-size property value that contains the string "pt" or "px"

This is a very good suggestion. Although currently there is no support that
I am aware of for local style sheets on the Mac web broswers that I use,
support may be available in the future. A collection of these values could
become useful at that time. I have cc ed a copy of this message to eTrade.

> short of running some sort of transformation utility on the document
> source, i don't know of a way of over-riding absolute sizing using CSS --
> the CSS accessibility note merely refers to section 15 of the CSS2 spec in
> respect to font sizing, and while i have a few ideas, they would involve a
> bit of work, so i'd like to first find out if you do have support for a
> client side style sheet in IE 4.5, and if not, whether or not dick can tell
> us the state of CSS support in the current beta of MSIE for the mac...  i'm
> also carbon-copying this to charles mccathie-nevile of the w3c and to len
> kasday, who is chair of the evaluation and repair interest group, who may
> be able to shed some more light on this problem...

> by the way, if IE 4.5 for the Mac does properly implement CSS, and you do
> have support for style sheets turned on, the BASEFONT declaration in the
> BODY of the page shouldn't stand in the way of the new style cascade, but
> if you want to err on the side of caution (and i'd advise you to do so,
> because i can't visually verify whether or not this is true -- plus, i'm
> using MSIE 5.01 on a Win95 box) you might also want to remove the following
> line:
> <BASEFONT FACE="Arial,Helvetica" SIZE=2>
> from the local copy of the document source...

> one last thing -- i noted earlier in my comments that the STYLE declaration
> that was causing the font re-sizing problem you reported was quote an
> illegal STYLE declaration...  let me explain...  according to the HTML 4x
> spec, use of the STYLE element is restricted to the HEAD

> quote
> The STYLE element allows authors to put style sheet rules in the head of
> the document. HTML permits any number of STYLE elements in the HEAD section
> of a document.
> unquote
> (source: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/present/styles.html#edef-STYLE)
> the correct way to encode inline styles is to use the <SPAN
> style="property:value;"> syntax, but what eTrade needs to do is:
> 1. move all illegal STYLE declarations to the HEAD of the document source
> generated by their CGI script
> 2. not use absolute font-sizing -- refer them to chapter/section 15 of the
> CSS2 specification to illustrate what other options are available to them:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-CSS2-19980512/fonts.html#font-size-props
> these are serious accessibility and validity problems, which could
> potentially confuse (or crash) a CSS rendering agent...  important enough
> to be brought to the attention of the folks at eTrade...

> you might also want to point them to an interesting article on font-sizing
> using CSS, entitled, "Understanding the Em", which is located at:
> http://webreview.com/wr/pub/98/06/26/webfonts/index.html
> (which took a really, really long time, for some reason, to load when i
> checked the URI)
> and to the "Implementation Advice" portion of Jakob Nielson's article on
> the "Effective Use of Cascading Style Sheets", from his "Alertbox"
> http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9707a.html
> in which it is stated, quote
> Do not use absolute font sizes; instead specify all text relative to the
> base font size defined by the user's preference setting. For example, large
> text could be defined as "200%", meaning that it would be set as 24 point
> if the user preferred 12 point for body text and 20 point if the user
> preferred 10 point for body text. Whether people prefer large or small
> fonts depends on a variety of questions, including the size and resolution
> of their monitors and the user's eyesight. It is somewhat annoying to visit
> a website where the text is too small for comfortable reading under my
> circumstances, but it is very annoying to click on the "make text bigger"
> button and have nothing happen because the font sizes were defined as an
> absolute number of points.
> unquote
> i hope that this helps to solve your problem, or at least get eTrade's
> coders to think a bit more about defining absolute font sizes...

Thanks for your advice. I have sent eTrade a copy of this message and hope
they are interested in correcting the problem. I mailed before on the issue.
I pointed them to the w3 site but not to any specific document.  Here is an
edited excerpt of a message I received on the issue:

Case #: 000312-1105

What you may want to try is modifying your fonts on your browser.
If you are using Netscape you can click on Edit and select Preferences.
From there you can click on Fonts and change the font size.
With Internet Explorer you will click on View and then select Fonts to
change the size.

But otherwise we would not change the web site and the issue is with your
browser settings. 

For further assistance, please contact us at 1-800-786-2575, 24 hours a day,
7 days a week, or go to http://www.etrade.com and visit our Help Center.

A follow up eMail message attempting to explain that, in my opinion, the
problem did not lie with the browser I was using the issue was responded by
a different support person with the following (edited excerpt):
For further assistance, please contact us at 1-800-786-2575, 24 hours a day,
7 days a week, or go to http://www.etrade.com and visit our Help Center.

> and, since none of what i've written may help you, as i'm using a Windows
> 95B machine upon which i'm running MSIE 5.01 (version 5.00.2919.6307 --
> update versions: ;q246094;q251109;q240808;) in conjunction with the screen
> reader JAWS for Windows, version 3.5, please respond to all recipients
> (and/or the WAI-IG list) if what i've advised fails to work on a Mac
> running IE 4.5

Your response was very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to provide
such a comprehensive response. I suspect the coders at eTrade may not have
access to a mac. So does anyone know for sure if changing the dpi to 72 in
the monitors control panel would help them duplicate the problem for sure. I
think it should but I am not 100% sure.

on 3/16/00 9:13 AM, wrote:

> What model Mac are you using?  The temporary solution could be as easy as
> going to your control panel, opening up "Monitors and Sound", and changing
> the resolution from 1024x768 or 800x600 to 640x480.  You can change it back
> once you are off the page in question.

I am using a G3 upgraded 8600 connected to a NEC 5FGp monitor. The
resolution is set to 1024 by 768. I tried your suggestion, and when I set
the resolution to 640 by 480 the text on the page becomes just barely

on 3/16/00 3:26 AM, wrote:

> I haven't tried this on a Mac but -
> Under tools - Internet Options - Accessibility - set it to ignore the font
> sizes on the page.
> Please let me know if this helps.

Unfortunately, I did not find this option in MS IE 4.5 or Navigator 4.0.8

on 3/15/00 11:52 PM, Charles McCathieNevile at charles@w3.org wrote:

> To make the relative links work in your downloaded version you could add a
> base element in the head, to tell it what to assume the relative links are
> starting from.

Thanks. This option would be a bit time consuming however as it would
require I edit the doument time each time I visit the page.

> As an alternative, you could write a User stylesheet that says small is
> font-size: 95% or something. (or 125%) But I am not sure without thinking
> abut it for aa while what kind of stylesheet you need - there are all kinds
> of styling approaches used here.

> The real issue just has to do with poor design. In my humble opinion.

I agree with you 100%.

So in conclusion. Disabling support for Style Sheets in MS IE for the Mac
make the page viewable now. The same soulution should work in Navigator.

Mark Andrew Nassy, <URI:mailto:nassy@mac.com>
Received on Sunday, 19 March 2000 11:26:16 UTC

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