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Re: Aging Eye Reader's Gripe of the Day

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 22:30:47 +0100
Message-ID: <50009387.9090702@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: "GF Mueden@" <gfmueden@verizon.net>
CC: 'wai-ig list' <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
GF Mueden@ wrote:

> Here is an example of a page that uses word wrap well.
> http://blindness.growingstrong.org/eyes/lvres.htm
What they have done is actually to do very little, and let the web 
browser deal with formatting.  Unfortunately, they spoilt it a bit by 
using presentational markup, and, instead of marking up headings as 
headings, they marked them up as stressed paragraphs (using b, rather 
than strong).

In my view, the main reason that you don't see many pages that reflow is 
that designers really strive after a page description language, which 
gives them total control of the layout, rather than a markup language 
for text structure.  They try to make HTML work like PDF, because they 
put too much stress on the exact appearance.

You can often get something closer to your example, if you go to the 
browser's view menu and turn off styling.  Unfortunately, it is also 
possible to write web pages that even worse when you do that, but those 
pages generally don't pass many accessibility guidelines.

AFB's home page responds a little to this technique but it is basically 
done using table based design, which is a decade old hack used by 
designers to force the layout of their pages, and which results in the 
page still having a minimum width below which it disappears off the 
edges.  More modern designers try to use style sheets to do this, which 
means that they do tend to work better if you turn off all styling.  The 
disadvantage is that very few people know how to do this in a way where 
the design doesn't fall to pieces if you a slightly older version of the 
browser, or don't have a full screen window of a currently common size.

David Woolley
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Received on Friday, 13 July 2012 21:31:15 UTC

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