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Re: Official lines Re: Using em or percent for properties that need to change

From: Andy Budd <andy@message.uk.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 11:27:03 +0100
Message-Id: <254B42B4-F101-11D8-888E-003065480AC6@message.uk.com>
To: W <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

>> I've discussed this issue on various accessibility, usability and web 
>> design forums/mailing lists and all I get is personal bias. What I'm 
>> interested in is hearing what the official WAI line is.
>
> Then you are on the wrong list. There is one place where WAI makes 
> decisions like this, the WCAG working group. (Although the Protocols 
> and Formats group smetimes works with them where there is overlap in 
> scope, this doesn't seem to be such a case).

Sorry, I'm probably not making myself clear.

I feel that the old WCAG recommendation was very unclear. In some 
respects then new technique is clearer (at least it talks about em's 
and % rather than just relative units), but I feel it still need 
clarification as it's open to a good deal on interpretation.

When I say that I'm interested in hearing the official WAI line, what I 
mean is that I'm interested in understanding the reasoning behind the 
checkpoint fully in order to make the technique less subjective.

> I interpret it as Tina, John and Patrick have suggested. The argument 
> that convinces me of the need for fluid layouts is the wide range of  
> actual screen sizes, which includes window sizes.

If the presentation information is held within the document, then I 
would agree. However CSS allows you to serve different stylesheets to 
different devices. As such you could quite happily create one fixed 
width layout that works on "screen" and another that works on 
"handheld" devices.

> I am familiar with users either squeezing everything into a small 
> space to cope with things like tunnel vision, expainding the page to 
> take up lots of space, so I can scan as much as possible of the 
> structure while maintaining the text at a readable size (my personal 
> requirements - based on relatively minor vision impairment and 
> extremely inor motor impairments), expanding the text to a very large 
> size (2 x 5 characters on the screen) through a wide variety of 
> magnification mechanisms (seems all have some problems and some 
> benefits).

Andy Budd

http://www.message.uk.com/
Received on Wednesday, 18 August 2004 10:27:15 UTC

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