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RE: [css3-multicol] How to avoid scrolling up for next column

From: Belov, Charles <Charles.Belov@sfmta.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2010 10:51:06 -0700
Message-ID: <E17F75B6E86AE842A57B4534F82D03769C2E48@MTAMAIL.muni.sfgov.org>
To: <www-style@w3.org>
Cc: "Peter Moulder" <peter.moulder@monash.edu>
Peter Moulder wrote on Sunday, August 22, 2010 1:41 AM
>
> Regarding column width, one could of course specify column 
> width in ems, but we found that it's best if there are an 
> integer number of columns per viewport: after all, there's 
> pretty much no value for just a partial column to be visible, 
> so rather than show N columns you might as well show N or N+1.
> 
> (snip) most 
> people who used keyboard for scrolling (which never ended 
> part way through a column) preferred column display (with horizontal
> scrolling) over standard vertical scrolling, whereas most 
> people who used the mouse (and especially if they dragged the 
> scroll bar, which our user interface always interpreted as 
> precise scrolling without any attempt to avoid cutting a
> column) preferred standard vertical display.
> 

First, a note about my work environment:  While I use dual 
widescreen monitors (1680 pixels each), I only allot 1135 pixels 
to my browser (or any other application) as it is uncomfortable 
for me to take in a whole widescreen at once for reading purposes 
(as opposed to a spreadsheet, which might span both monitors).  
Also, I allocate the remaining real estate to other applications.  
I rarely have only one application visible at a time. 

As for my browsing behavior, I do a mix of pointer and keyboard 
scrolling. I abhor horizontal scrolling, and I abhor having to 
scroll up and down.  Therefore, for columns to work for me as a 
site visitor, I would want:

1) columns to be in ems, such that the column width was comfortable 
for reading (I would of course want to be able to override the 
webmaster's decision in CSS without the page falling apart).
2) only whole columns shown.
3) when I get to the end of the last column that fits on my 
monitor, scrolling down would place my at the next column in the 
reading sequence.

for example, assuming that my viewport can be represented as:

-------
-------
-------
-------

(pretend the above is 1135 pixels wide minus the UI and minus 
any navigation columns)

then, with each column as a letter, we might have:

AAA BBB
AAA BBB
AAA BBB
AAA BBB
           (there needs to be a visual cue where one column ends 
           and the wrapped column below it begins)
CCC DDD
CCC DDD
CCC DDD
CCC DDD

etc.

On someone else's screen this same exact content might lay out as

AAA BBB CCC
AAA BBB CCC
AAA BBB CCC

DDD EEE
DDD EEE
DDD EEE

etc.
 
Obviously, I don't expect anyone to design specifically for 1135 
pixels; I expect a fluid layout, and if columns didn't support 
that, it would be a bust for me.

Hope this helps,
Charles Belov
SFMTA
Received on Monday, 23 August 2010 18:46:05 GMT

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