W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2010

Re: Making pt a non-physical unit

From: Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 06 Jan 2010 15:38:42 -0500
Message-ID: <4B44F4D2.5030504@earthlink.net>
CC: www-style@w3.org
On 2010/01/07 06:47 (GMT+1100) Alan Gresley composed:

> Felix Miata wrote:

>> Pixel perfection is an illusion in the eye of the stylist only. It's
>> irrelevant for normal web users and across user agents. The ability to size
>> for screen media in px for anything other than images should never have been
>> in the CSS spec in the first place, and should be deprecated yesterday if not
>> sooner.

> And why would you want px depreciated for anything other than images?


> I and other authors often using px on padding to space out elements or 
> px on borders.

If you think you need a 2px pad or border while using 96 actual DPI or
something close thereto, then a .125em pad or border _should_ result in close
enough to what you want, remembering that users are not comparing nits among
different browsers, something only designers do.

> If someone was to view a page with a font (text) size
> setting of 30px, then the page would break or cause much overflow which 
> needs to be scrolled too. People who need this font (text) setting's to 
> read, do not always have very large monitors.

Those who need bigger than average text should be using displays big enough
that their bigger text can be expected to fit, while designers should be, and
can be, designing to satisfy that expectation - without any need to know
specifics of any user's environment.

Designers should not be allowed to size for screen media globally without
regard to a unit (root em) suitably chosen by the visitor. Designer power
should be limited to sizing the relationships within the design envelope.
Designers should not have any need to know the display size, dot pitch,
DPI/PPI, or anything about a user's CSS or device pixels - at least not until
CSS pixels become a unit whose physical size is chosen by the user, if that
ever happens.

This is one major advantage, mostly in theory, as uncommon in practice, that
the web has over print - user choice over appropriate overall size, aka
resolution independence. Page zoom approximates this. Designing it in in the
first place is not only possible already, but also (automatically) works much
better than the user agent defense against poor (resolution dependent) design
called zoom, which generally is not automatic. Deprecation of px for sizing
would not be a panacea, just a nudge toward polite designer behavior and a
better overall web user experience.
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious
people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any
other."                      John Adams, 2nd US President

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/
Received on Wednesday, 6 January 2010 20:39:10 UTC

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