Re: Multi column layout question.

Mike Meyer (mwm@contessa.phone.net)
Sat, 24 Jun 95 17:24:00 PST


Subject:  Re: Multi column layout question.
In-Reply-To: <Pine.BSF.3.91.950624164447.16186D-100000@shell1.best.com>
From: mwm@contessa.phone.net (Mike Meyer)
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 95 17:24:00 PST
Message-Id: <19950624.7588578.F55A@contessa.phone.net>
To: www-html@www10.w3.org

> Could there be a column tag that each individual can define in the
> preferences file?

This is basically a style sheet idea, which is the obvious way to deal
with it (# of columns is clearly a presentation style issue, and hence
belongs there).

> a two-colum format which is easier to read. I've been a typographer for
> 25 years, and the fact is that it is easier to read shorter lines of
> text.

I get
the
feel-
ing
that
this
could
be
taken
to ext-
remes.

While I can't claim 25 years experience, I can quote authorities who
give line lengths of 35 and 70 characters as the two ends of the range
for comfortable reading, and you only hit those extremes if everything
else (font, paper contrast, etc. margins, justification style) is
right.

Presumably, most people adjust there browser to give a standard
one-column line somewhere in those extremes. When you then split that
into two columns, even the longest readable line winds up as shorter
than the shortest readable line after you leave space for margins, etc.

As a user-configurable preference, going two double-column makes a lot
of sense. Especially if the browser handles long gives and <PRE>
properly across columns (my one attempt at setting up an HTML
presentation as double-column failed at this). Authors indicating that
they want a double-column style would either be ignored or generated
with ugly pages.

	<mike