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RE: Font tag (was RE: Slashdot: How should Govt sites be designed?)

From: Ben Morris <bmorris@activematter.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 08:28:25 -0500
To: "Amanda Tunison" <amanda.tunison@SONOMA.EDU>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NEBBJJFGELAFJNCPAOABOEKOCBAA.bmorris@activematter.com>
I have gone through a great amount of work trying to find the best approach
to make web pages that are usable and accessible for the most
people/browsers.  I have found that using font tags (along with CSS) helps
more than it hinders.

There are several points here that I take issue with:

[Amanda Wrote]"1. If the font color is the same as the user's background
color, the
text disappears.  More commonly it may just be too low-contrast to be

[Response]If the user chooses a background color on thier own, then they are
assuming responsibility for the presentation of content.  If you are an
advanced enough user to set the background color, you can set your font
color and link colors as well, and override the settings on a page.

[Amanda Wrote]"2. The font size can render text unreadable because it's
simply too
small (I run into this one all the time actually, and it annoys me no
end) or so large that you end up with only a word or two at a time."

[Response]<font size="2"> is completely adjustable on the user's end;
certainly more so that using <p style="font-size: 12pt">.

[Amanda Wrote]"The main thing you accomplish by using the font tag instead
of style
sheets is to force your display preferences on certain users instead
of making them optional as they are with style sheets.  Given the
risk -- or guarantee, depending on what attributes you pick -- of
rendering the page unreadable for some users, this doesn't strike me
as a good option."

[Response] By not using font tags you face a risk as well, that the user
will have style sheets turned off or have an older browser.  In a
risk/reward context, I would rather make the site more palletable for those
(I believe 10% or so) who have an older browser, rather than the few
(probably less than 10%) who choose to change their default settings.
Received on Friday, 15 December 2000 08:26:17 UTC

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