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AOL compatability issue

 
 
Kathleen Coyne
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      07-25-2003
I just dicovered that AOL has inadvertantly thrown in it's own
loophole to browser compatability.

The nice rule of thumb is to design for 800x600, right? Because,
surprisingly, a lot of people still use 800x600. I thought it was
just the hard of sight and laptop users that used that setting, but I
have discovered TONS of people use that setting on a regular basis. I
guess people just like things big...

Anywho, also, a lot of people use AOL. Sadly, a big chunk of my
target audience. That means, a big chunk of my target audience uses
AOL at a screen resolution of 800x600.

This is a problem. AOL's in system browser automatically decreases
the the width of the browser by around an inch on both sides!
Meaning... they see a lot less width than 800 pixels...

This is causing a big problem in how my site is viewed. I used CSS to
line it up (it is arranged with a left navigation bar, body, and
footer), and when viewed at a smaller than 800 px width, the body goes
below the navigation bar.

This is a portfolio site, so it needs to look "pretty" at all times...
especially to that big chunk of my target audience!

I could use tables, which would automatically resize the width to the
smallest alowable, but I don't think this will entirely fix my
problem. Since it is a portfolio site, it's filled with thumbnail
images with a fixed width... and thus with the navigation bar at the
thinnest possible and the columns of three thumbnails, it comes to
exactly 800 px wide. Meaning... even if I did switch to tables, AOL
users will have to resize their window or scroll to view the entire
page.

I am perplexed. Any ideas on how to fix this problem?

I have a particular issue with this site I'm designing, as the person
I'm designing it for does not want any scrolling on the site. He says
he never realizes that he has to scroll on a website, and always
misses information. He has told me in these blunt terms that I have
to design this for "a complete and utter idiot."

No scrolling at all? PLUS, he views the web via AOL at 800x600. Any
ideas on how to design something like that? What I did was compromise
and made it fit width wise for 800x600 and height wise for 1000x800.
But when viewed at a much larger resolution (which is again a valuable
part of my target audience), it's just a small box in the middle of
the screen. He doesn't like that at all.

Any ideas?
 
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Leif K-Brooks
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      07-25-2003
Kathleen Coyne wrote:

> The nice rule of thumb is to design for 800x600, right?

No, the nice rule of thumb is to desgin for *every* window size.
> I am perplexed. Any ideas on how to fix this problem?

Don't specify exact pixel sizes for anythig but images, use percents.
> He has told me in these blunt terms that I have
> to design this for "a complete and utter idiot."

That's exactly what you should do for every page.


 
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Isofarro
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      07-25-2003
Kathleen Coyne wrote:

> Any ideas?


What you describe is symptomatic of the problems associated with a
fixed-width design. So the solution is quite obvious - don't use fixed
width designs.

http://www.allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?AnySizeDesign


As to fitting everything in a page without horizontal or vertical scrolling,
just reduce the amount of content per page until it fits regardless, or
better would be to teach the client how to use a browser properly. Gently
remind him the World Wide Web doesn't revolve around him.

--
Iso.
FAQs: http://html-faq.com http://alt-html.org http://allmyfaqs.com/
Recommended Hosting: http://www.affordablehost.com/
Web Standards: http://www.webstandards.org/
 
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Kathleen Coyne
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      07-26-2003
From: Isofarro http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
Date: 7/25/2003 5:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time
>> Any ideas?

>
>What you describe is symptomatic of the problems associated with a
>fixed-width design. So the solution is quite obvious - don't use fixed
>width designs.
>
>http://www.allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?AnySizeDesign
>
>
>As to fitting everything in a page without horizontal or vertical scrolling,
>just reduce the amount of content per page until it fits regardless, or
>better would be to teach the client how to use a browser properly. Gently
>remind him the World Wide Web doesn't revolve around him.
>



But... in the end, it still won't fit. I have the navigation bar and three
columns of thumbnails. That adds up to just under 700px wide - no matter how
dynamic I make it, it won't go smaller than that. If I make smaller
thumbnails, then it will be impossible to see on the larger resolutions.

Is there any way to make the images themselves dynamically change size?

I tried to let the guy know that the average person realizes and expects to
have to scroll down on a site, but he is quite insistant to never scroll down.

He then gave me a 15 page paper to put on it... and expected me to make 30
pages of html and force the person to keep hitting "next". We finally
compromised with a pop up of the entire text where it's expected to scroll
down. He's still not happy, but he says he'll live with it.

I've attempted ideas... I could have the entire website based on percentages,
but I still come down to those images that won't dynamically change on their
own. Also, the height attribute is not validated. Why not?

I'll keep looking. There's got to be a solution or compromise to this
situation somewhere.

-Kathleen Coyne
"you've got to know when it's time to turn the page"
--
Artistic Trinity: architecture art philosophy
http://www.artistictrinity.com/
 
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brucie
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      07-26-2003
In post <(E-Mail Removed) >
Kathleen Coyne said...

> The nice rule of thumb is to design for 800x600, right?


no.

> a lot of people use AOL.


not really. the global internet population is about 550-650 million.
AOL only has about 36 million members globally.

or another way to look at it is at a minimum almost twice that number
have JS disabled. it may be even as high as 100 million.

it makes me wonder why so many people are concerned with AOL but
couldn't care less about people without JS.

--
brucie a. blackford. 26/July/2003 10:09:44 am kilo.
http://loser.brucies.com/
 
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brucie
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      07-26-2003
In post <(E-Mail Removed)>
Kathleen Coyne said...

> But... in the end, it still won't fit.


URI?

--
brucie a. blackford. 26/July/2003 10:24:38 am kilo.
http://loser.brucies.com/
 
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Leif K-Brooks
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      07-26-2003
Kathleen Coyne wrote:

> Is there any way to make the images themselves dynamically change size?

No, but you can make the number of images per line change dynamically.
http://realworldstyle.com/thumb_float.html


 
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Dexter J
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      07-26-2003
Salutations

brucie wrote:
>
> Kathleen Coyne said...
>
> > The nice rule of thumb is to design for 800x600, right?

>
> no.
>
> > a lot of people use AOL.

>
> not really. the global internet population is about 550-650 million.
> AOL only has about 36 million members globally.
>
> or another way to look at it is at a minimum almost twice that number
> have JS disabled. it may be even as high as 100 million.
>
> it makes me wonder why so many people are concerned with AOL but
> couldn't care less about people without JS.
>
> --
> brucie a. blackford. 26/July/2003 10:09:44 am kilo.
> http://loser.brucies.com/


You have a good point and one that I picked up on a couple of years ago -
then pulled all the active JS off my site(s)..

I still keep a remote file hooked up just in case, but I'm afraid I've
given up on it and started using embedded object and server side includes
and scripts exclusively.. Not that more folks have, say, a Flash plug
installed, but because I can more reliably assure the visitor that if they
have Flash 4 installed - whatever I'm shaking will work exactly as
described..

Thank you once again MicroSoft J-Script development/marketing *evangelist*
who somehow got it embedded in the OS when no one was looking.. Hope you
are enjoying the Barbados and all it has to offer - ya yutz..

--

J Dexter - webmaster - http://www.dexterdyne.org/
all tunes - no cookies no subscription no weather no ads
no news no phone in - RealAudio 8+ Required - all the Time

Radio Free Dexterdyne Top Tune o'be-do-da-day
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http://www.dexterdyne.org/888/021.RAM
 
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Beauregard T. Shagnasty
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      07-26-2003
Kathleen Coyne pounced upon this pigeonhole and pronounced:

<snip>

> But... in the end, it still won't fit. I have the navigation bar and three
> columns of thumbnails. That adds up to just under 700px wide - no matter how
> dynamic I make it, it won't go smaller than that. If I make smaller
> thumbnails, then it will be impossible to see on the larger resolutions.


Maybe something like this would help? My thumbs are 80x55.

HTML sample:

<h2>Monument Valley</h2>
<div>
<span class="thumb">
<a href="./az/mvearly.jpg">
<img src="./az/mvearly_t.jpg" alt="Dawn Breaks at Monument Valley"
title="Dawn Breaks at Monument Valley" width="80" height="55" />
<br />Crack of Dawn</a>

</span>
<span class="thumb">
<a href="./az/mvsunrise1.jpg">
<img src="./az/mvsunrise1_t.jpg" alt="The Sun Rises into the Thumb"
title="The Sun Rises into the Thumb" width="80" height="55" />
<br />Sunrise</a>
</span>
....

CSS on page:
<style type="text/css">
h2, p { clear: both; }
..thumb {
border: 0px solid;
float: left;
font-size: 90%;
font-style: italic;
margin: 1em;
padding: 0;
text-align: center;
}
..thumb a, a:hover { border-bottom: none; }
..thumb img { border: none; }
</style>

I had to hack the first group for IE because I have the menu on the right
and the thumbs were on top of it. Bad IE™.
See <URL:http://www.fingerlakesbmw.org/visual/flaz.asp>
...if you have nothing on the right, you would not have to hack. Make your
browser window narrow, and scroll down to Meteor Crater.


> Is there any way to make the images themselves dynamically change size?
>
> I tried to let the guy know that the average person realizes and expects to
> have to scroll down on a site, but he is quite insistant to never scroll down.
>
> He then gave me a 15 page paper to put on it... and expected me to make 30
> pages of html and force the person to keep hitting "next". We finally
> compromised with a pop up of the entire text where it's expected to scroll
> down. He's still not happy, but he says he'll live with it.


A popup? Not in my browser. This guy needs some training... <g> Oh,
wait. AOLer...

--
-bts
-This space intentionally left blank.
 
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Kris
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      07-26-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
(E-Mail Removed)ntispam (Kathleen Coyne) wrote:

> But... in the end, it still won't fit. I have the navigation bar and three
> columns of thumbnails. That adds up to just under 700px wide - no matter how
> dynamic I make it, it won't go smaller than that. If I make smaller
> thumbnails, then it will be impossible to see on the larger resolutions.
>
> Is there any way to make the images themselves dynamically change size?


Put images on one line, not separated by table cells. Now, the images
will wrap to a new line if necessary.

>
> I tried to let the guy know that the average person realizes and expects to
> have to scroll down on a site, but he is quite insistant to never scroll down.


All idiots can scroll. Not all idiots read. Nor do most web users. Make
is to visitors don't have to scroll down to the middle of a document to
find the most important information. Make it so that info is at the top.

> He then gave me a 15 page paper to put on it... and expected me to make 30
> pages of html and force the person to keep hitting "next".


Cannot force. You can either bribe or make a system that makes the user
desire to engage some more.

> We finally
> compromised with a pop up of the entire text where it's expected to scroll
> down. He's still not happy, but he says he'll live with it.


Does your client actually uses the web himself?

>
> I've attempted ideas... I could have the entire website based on percentages,
> but I still come down to those images that won't dynamically change on their
> own. Also, the height attribute is not validated. Why not?


You can apply height to any element by using CSS. Whether you should is
a different matter. Elements should be able to have their content wrap
and therefore grow taller. A reason for this is resizing a window or
scaling font size.

--
Kris
(E-Mail Removed)erlands (nl)
"We called him Tortoise because he taught us" said the Mock Turtle.
 
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