W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2004

RE: [css3-page] examples in 3.3.2 (page size) are 'US-centric'(?)

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2004 11:01:11 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200401241101.i0OB1B707882@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-style@w3.org

> is confusing.  Either the author will have access to the documentation

In which case they will also have access to the wrappers on the reams
of paper or a table of common paper sizes in the documentation.

> or he will using an authoring tool that hides that detail from him.

In which case the tool can just as easily use the actual size.

> Assuming that he is writing his own CSS by hand how would he know
> without consulting documentation that he needs to know to use:

(Most authors seem to do it by copying code from other pages, rather
than reading documentation.  Very few read source documents, as against
books claiming to make technology understandable to the masses.)

From my point of view, named paper sizes exist purely as a convenience
to authors, to allow them to use the terms they would use normally.
Authors in the UK say "A4".

One point that seems to have been overlooked here is that it is not just
the paper size but also the printable area that matters.  Paper size
is only important in as much as white margins on a document may allow
the document to be printed without exceeding the printable area (except
for professional book printing, but that is very much page description
territory, where printing is on oversized paper that is then cropped,
and for, more or less obsolete, fan fold paper with tear off sprockets).

Some batch mode typesetting programs actually define variant "paper
sizes" to allow for printers, e.g. HP DeskJet, that have significant
non-printable areas.

With WYSIWYG programs, named paper sizes are not really absolute
but represent the printable area on the currently selected printer.
That can actually have quite unfortunate results when Word users fix up
their awkward page breaks by adding blank lines, or hard page breaks,
rather than careful use of "keep with next", etc.  The WYSIWYG paradigm
breaks down when the recipient of a document prints it on a different
printer model than the one for which it was layed out.
Received on Saturday, 24 January 2004 06:05:05 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 2 May 2016 14:27:11 UTC