W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 2007

Re: W3C CSS Home Redesign RFC

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 11:45:13 +0200
Message-ID: <00a501c8276c$393c8d40$0500000a@DOCENDO>
To: <www-style@w3.org>

Richard Ishida wrote:

> I know font size is a very emotive and polarizing issue,

Actually it's a fairly simple issue, though admittedly the W3C guidelines on 
it might be _slightly_ too simplistic and extremistic. (I can't believe _I_ 
am writing this, but even I wouldn't normally express the sound principle 
"don't mess up with the font size that the user has chosen" so strongly as 
the W3C instruction quoted in this discussion.)

> The problem is that readability difficulties run both ways.

They run many ways. For example, using gray color for text, instead of 
black, makes them worse.

> The reason I wanted a smaller size is that I, myself, find it
> difficult to read the CSS page as it is currently.

Then you, yourself, should modify the settings in your browser. It it true 
that the dominant browser has poor control (just five different sizes) for 
font size in its normal menu, and that menu isn't readily visible by 
default, but any second-guesses by authors just make the situation worse. 
Besides, even IE can be tamed to use the exact font size you choose - by 
using a user style sheet.

Actually, the W3C CSS pages would be a good place for information on using 
user style sheets as well. Instead of offering a fancy collection of 
alternate page style sheets, which cannot be selected by most people (since 
they use IE and don't have an add-on for extended style sheet support) and 
cannot be selected except on a per-page basis (i.e., the choice does not 
stay in effect when moving to a new page), they could have some directly 
downloadable demo style sheets, with instructions on how to use them as user 
style sheets on popular browsers.

> I just wanted to put my hand up for those who personally prefer
> (slightly) smaller text.

Deciding font size on a web site by a show of hands is a completely wrong 
approach. It's comparable to deciding on the size of shoes by voting.

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/ 
Received on Thursday, 15 November 2007 09:43:40 GMT

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