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

Re: Printing Backgrounds

From: Brad Kemper <brkemper@comcast.net>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2007 22:46:40 -0700
Message-Id: <75C65BAC-B0BA-4A90-8184-442BD3AE5230@comcast.net>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>

I understand the reasoning, even if I don't agree with it. I would  
certainly keep the option of letting users turn off the background  
printing if they wished, and even making it more obvious. Perhaps  
even advising them when estimated ink usage or coverage would be  
high. I think the first couple times people printed something with a  
black background, they would quickly learn to use that setting (or  
complain to the Web site owners, prompting the inclusion of a print  
media style sheet). As it is now, my sense is that most people have  
no idea why the print out doesn't contain the pictures or design that  
the screen does, and it just seems to them as though something is  

I think that your idea about the stylesheets could be an OK  
compromise (not my first choice) if you turned it around a little bit  
and said that backgrounds would only be suppressed from printing if  
the only style sheets were for media="screen" (or "handheld" or  
something other than print), or if no media type was specified  
(unless the user explicitly disabled background image/background  
color printing). Maybe it amounts to the same thing. But media="all'  
should mean "all" (including print devices), and that and  
media="print" should at the very least be respected, so I think that  
is a good start.

On Oct 5, 2007, at 10:12 PM, fantasai wrote:

> Brad Kemper wrote:
>> On Oct 5, 2007, at 2:42 PM, fantasai wrote:
>>> Although they have an option to do so, by default most browsers  
>>> don't print backgrounds.
>>> I'd like to change that so that we print backgrounds for authors  
>>> who have thought about
>>> print and have set up their style sheets accordingly.
>> If you have any sway over how browser publishers implement  
>> features, how about you just get them to print what is specified?  
>> I really hate that they think they know better than me what vital  
>> design elements should print or not, and break the default  
>> printing of that design according to their own blanket  
>> presuppositions about my  designs. The average browser user  
>> usually has no idea that setting is even there. Why stop there? As  
>> long as they are deciding to chop out my background images in a  
>> way that neither the designer or end user would appreciate, they  
>> might as well chop out my foreground images yoo, and then why not  
>> my border and font specifications as well?
>> Sorry. Touchy subject. You did ask for comments.
> Heh, yeah. Turning on background printing by default is another  
> option.
> We're just afraid the users won't appreciate us wasting ink on  
> pages that
> didn't think about how much ink gets wasted when you print deep space
> backgrounds or what-have-you. Because while we'd be happy to print  
> your
> designs as specified, there are a lot of clueless people out there  
> we need
> to deal with, too. Ten years ago not printing backgrounds was  
> almost certainly
> the right answer. Right now, I'm not sure what the right answer is.
> ~fantasai
Received on Saturday, 6 October 2007 05:46:55 UTC

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