W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > March 1998

Re: browser, rez, OS issues

From: George Olsen <golsen@2lm.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 15:32:44 -0800
Message-Id: <v03110700b13361fe6733@[207.155.82.161]>
To: www-style@w3.org
Victoria Rosenfeld wrote:

>Using CSSes requires the web page developer to take into account which
>browser (but what doesn't), which OS and what the resolution of the
>monitor is. Right?
>I mean everything I'vedone with CSSes has required this hoop jumping.
>
>PLEASE - If I got it wrong, let me know! I'll stop putting JavaScript
>checking for browser & OS issues onto my pages, and annoying msgs saying,
>"This page best viewed at yyy x zzz resolution."

If you've designed *everything,* including images, with relative measures,
then yes your page can scale and you don't need to suggest a viewing
resolution. However, using relative sizes for images can cause undesired
results as the images are resized by the browser -- gifs in particular
don't scale well. (Which points out the crying need for a W3C standard for
vector-based graphics.)

Unfortunately, typographic sizes *are* still dependent on the OS (i.e.,
type on Windows will be about a third larger than on Mac -- don't know what
Unix does) unless you've specified the type size in pixels. However, even
though pixels would be the best choice for resolving the Mac/Windows
problem, using pixel dimensions causes even bigger problems because CSS-1
provides no way of specifying an implied resolution for different media.
Consequently, when 30-pixel high type is printed out on a 600 dpi printer,
it's a faction of a point high.

However, there is a relatively easy solution, at least for typography. Set
up duplicate site-wide style sheets for each OS and adjust the type size
accordingly. Then you can simply do an browser or OS check and call up the
appropriate style sheet. I suppose you could also do check for monitor size
and set up CSS-P style sheets based on that, but that's probably equivalent
to simply rebuilding the page.

Or you can simply stay within the 640x480 "safe area," which also solves
the problem and generally produces more readable line lengths anyway....

George Olsen
Design Director/Web Architect                          mailto:golsen@2lm.com
2-Lane Media                                              http://www.2lm.com
vox 310/473-3706 x2225                                      fax 310/473-6736
Received on Monday, 16 March 1998 18:31:06 GMT

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