W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 2009

Re: Redesign Styles Hypocritical

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 08:39:03 -0600
To: James Hopkins <james@idreamincode.co.uk>
Message-Id: <A8D56B90-DB2A-4735-A6D0-CD0F4C6B1787@w3.org>
Cc: Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>, "site-comments@w3.org" <site-comments@w3.org>

On 30 Nov 2009, at 2:19 AM, James Hopkins wrote:

>> I guess I must not have been subscribed to the right mailing list  
>> while the
>> redesign was going on.
> I would also say that www-style is probably the wrong mailing list  
> to bring this up on; site-comments seems a more appropriate mailing  
> list to use for these sorts of problems.
>> Apparently the fact that I noticed on
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/site-comments/2009Sep/0005.html  
>> didn't
>> get seen by the right people.
> I see from the email you linked to that Ian Jacobs replied (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/site-comments/2009Sep/0006.html 
> ) to your initial email, and a resolution was settled on.

Hi James and Felix,

Thanks for following up on this. It is my current understanding that  
the default font size is an area of debate.

I, too, had understood that the best practice was to leave the default  
font size up to user settings. However, after discussion with a number  
of designers, and from numerous articles on the topic, I realize it is  
not that straightforward.

Here's a summary of the approach we have taken:

  * We do set a default font size, but it's not as small as what the  
most common font size seems to be.

This choice will not satisfy all users, but I believe it is a  
reasonable compromise.

On the question of color contrast, we've stuck with a grey text for  
now, which I believe is WCAG 2.0 AAA compatible. That choice is purely  
stylistic, and again, I realize it will not satisfy all users.

Thanks for sending comments. I welcome the feedback,

  _ Ian

>> How on earth does the W3 reconcile the new styles' "body: font:  
>> 13px..." in
>> http://www.w3.org/2008/site/css/advanced with best practices as  
>> expressed on
>> http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/font-size ? How is 13px in the new better  
>> than user
>> default in the old? If not better, then why changed?
>> Quoting that URL:
>> 'Size: respect the users' preferences, avoid small size for content
>>  * As a base font size for a document, 1em (or 100%) is equivalent to
>> setting the font size to the user's preference. Use this as a basis  
>> for your
>> font sizes, and avoid setting a smaller base font size
>>  * Avoid sizes in em smaller than 1em for text body, except maybe for
>> copyright statements or other kinds of "fine print."'
>> How does this hypocrisy happen? Why does the W3 need to be as rude  
>> as most of
>> the rest of the web? Is it really possible to meet WCAG 2.0 while  
>> setting
>> font sizes in px? Even if technically allowable, does it meet the
>> accessibility spirit?
>> Is there some reason for not maximizing readability? Gray (#333)  
>> text on
>> white background, though technically meeting the luminosity  
>> threshhold,
>> really doesn't, since that standard presumes out-of-the-box  
>> settings on a
>> brand new LCD, not one that is correctly set for an environment  
>> that is not
>> as bright as a retail store shelf, or a faded older one whose  
>> brightness and
>> contrast are already maximized to insufficient effect.
>> -- 
>> The husband should fulfill his marital duty to
>> his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
>>          1 Corinthians 7:3 NIV
>> Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409
>> Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/

Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447
Received on Monday, 30 November 2009 14:39:13 UTC

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