Re: The Web has flexible presentation Re: (Nielsen article)

Comments inline:

On Sun, 22 Mar 2009 17:20:03 +0530, Luca Passani <> wrote:

> what you call SOME is 99% of companies creating professional websites.
> Anyway, by controlling the view, I did not mean "exactly pixel-perfect".  
> Content is still allowed to flow within small ranges inside a page.

I'd be interested to see data that supports the 99% figure (as it suggests  
an overwhelming majority).

Certainly, in my commercial experience of web design for three very large  
institutions in the UK, that was never a design goal. Quite the contrary:  
my brief was to enable content to be delivered to the consumer and then  
viewed however (s)he wishes. We retained copyright on the content, while  
deciding (for example) not to serve any CSS to users of archaic browsers  
like Netscape 4 or IE5.2/ Mac.

A tightly controlled user experience that merely allows reflow within  
"small ranges" is the territory of Flash and PDF, which are not HTML.

> So, are we discussing the fact that some users may want to change  the  
> font-size because they can't read properly with that stylish but tiny  
> font OR are we discussing transcoding, which takes a website, cuts it in  
> bits, removes parts and reshuffles the remaining parts according to  
> logics which are totally outside of author control?

Any browser that blocks pop-ups, or has ad blocking extensions also does  
this. I sympathise with the concern from content owners about the ads  
(I've run ad-supported sites myself) but it rather feels like locking the  
stable door after the horse has bolted (and I don't know of any  
ad-blocking extensions for mobile browsers).

>>> I have already repeated ad-nauseam that users are not in the position  
>>> to decide that the right of content owners can be ignored.

And I respect your point of view. But, if you are delivering content via  
HTML rather than Flash/PDF, then content owners are not in a technical  
position to decide that the right of users can be ignored.

>> In some cases (like Barclays), without asking anything, they said to the
>> people they expect as users, "We recommend you use Opera Mobile or Opera
>> Mini".
> You have a point here. Why a bank is OK with forfeiting it's end2end  
> secure connection between itself and its customers remains a mystery to  
> me.

perhaps they see an economic advantage in allowing Mini users to bank with  
them rather than not?

> The great majority (90% of more) of those who create content expect it  
> to be shown to users the way they have created it (maybe not pixel  
> perfect, but close). This is a basic fact. I am not sure how you can say  
> I have failed to demonstrate this. There is nothing to demonstrate. It's  
> a fact. It's all that publishing content is all about.

When I worked in the content pubishing industry, we believed that the  
content rather than the presentation was all that publishing content is  
all about.

Can you demonstrate the statistics that support this basic fact? It would  
be a very interesting  and valuable contribution to this discussion, but  
still needs to be weighed against the fact that users of Mini and other  
such distributed clients expect the websites to be rendered as close as  
their devices allow, and they prefer reformatting to no access or much  
slower and more expensive access.

Bruce Lawson
Web Evangelist (work) (personal)

Received on Monday, 23 March 2009 04:44:44 UTC