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Liquid Layouts not always appropriate ?

 
 
Synapse Syndrome
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      01-21-2008

I would say that there is always a case for using absolute positioning on
webpages rather than liquid layouts. Absolute positioning is used on most
big websites.

For example, I cannot see how The Guardian news site would be as clear when
using liquid layouts. www.guardian.co.uk

Would anybody say that liquid layouts are always what is most desirable, and
that when that they are not used it is due to the incompetence of the
designer?

Cheers

ss.


 
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Neredbojias
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      01-21-2008
Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Mon, 21 Jan 2008 18:36:07
GMT Synapse Syndrome scribed:

>
> I would say that there is always a case for using absolute positioning
> on webpages rather than liquid layouts. Absolute positioning is used
> on most big websites.


You would be wrong.

> For example, I cannot see how The Guardian news site would be as clear
> when using liquid layouts. www.guardian.co.uk


Actually, the site is somewhat successfully liquid via javascript. This
demonstrates that the site _could have_ been completely liquid had the
creator been less inept.

> Would anybody say that liquid layouts are always what is most
> desirable, and that when that they are not used it is due to the
> incompetence of the designer?


Not I, but those using fixed layouts almost never have to.

--
Neredbojias
Riches are their own reward.
 
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Synapse Syndrome
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      01-21-2008
"Neredbojias" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:Xns9A2C8E8EB5DCCnanopandaneredbojias@194.177. 96.78...
>
>> For example, I cannot see how The Guardian news site would be as clear
>> when using liquid layouts. www.guardian.co.uk

>
> Actually, the site is somewhat successfully liquid via javascript. This
> demonstrates that the site _could have_ been completely liquid had the
> creator been less inept.


Inept? I'd have to disregard what else you've said in that case. That site
is often used as an example of good design in the UK. Could you find a
better designed news site? I really doubt it. Making that site with a
liquid layout would bring a lot of formatting problems to the people making
the content. It'd just be a mess.

ss.


 
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Nik Coughlin
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      01-21-2008

"Synapse Syndrome" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Making that site with a liquid layout would bring a lot of formatting
> problems to the people making the content. It'd just be a mess.


Um, that's simply not true. This statement makes me think that you don't
really understand the concept of liquid layouts. This site would be quite
easy to make fluid. It wouldn't make any different whatsoever to the people
generating the content. My belief that you don't understand is reinforced
by your use of the term absolute positioning instead of fixed width.
Absolute positioning means something quite different -- I use absolute
positioning in my liquid layouts.

 
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dorayme
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      01-21-2008
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
"Synapse Syndrome" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

> "Neredbojias" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:Xns9A2C8E8EB5DCCnanopandaneredbojias@194.177. 96.78...
> >
> >> For example, I cannot see how The Guardian news site would be as clear
> >> when using liquid layouts. www.guardian.co.uk

> >
> > Actually, the site is somewhat successfully liquid via javascript. This
> > demonstrates that the site _could have_ been completely liquid had the
> > creator been less inept.

>
> Inept? I'd have to disregard what else you've said in that case. That site
> is often used as an example of good design in the UK. Could you find a
> better designed news site? I really doubt it. Making that site with a
> liquid layout would bring a lot of formatting problems to the people making
> the content. It'd just be a mess.
>



OK lets look at a typical page:

<http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2244122,00.html>

It uses a transitional doctype. Perhaps this is ok. Some people
will wonder what it is transitioning from. But still it has lots
of errors. I saw a count above 80.

There are some css ones too. Perhaps these latter things are not
that important and due to various hacks to ward off greater
dangers...

But there are some nasty looking things like body {font-size:
small...} which do not auger well. It is not a good thing to
start the day with. The authors actually admit (in a comment on
body):

"For most browsers we want to default to font-size small, but for
IE 5 PC we want to use x-small, as it's font sizes are one size
out"

Now, I am not saying that a table layout is a terrible crime - it
is not - but you cannot have a table layout like this site uses
these days for non tabular material and trumpet too loudly its
good design, much less hold it up as an example.

Not saying the site is incompetent. It is not.

--
dorayme
 
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Andrew
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      01-21-2008
Synapse Syndrome wrote:
> I would say that there is always a case for using absolute positioning on
> webpages rather than liquid layouts.


I think you're confused here - it's not a "rather than". A web page can
use absolute positioning and still be liquid. Presumably you mean fixed
layout using absolute positioning.

> Absolute positioning is used on most big websites.


Which ones did you check, and by what criteria did you decide if they
counted as big? Or is that one of those made up claims convenient to
your argument? And do you mean fixed layout here?

> For example, I cannot see how The Guardian news site would be as clear when
> using liquid layouts. www.guardian.co.uk


It's not very clear if your browser canvas is narrower than the page's
width - scrolling in both directions is required to see everything. It
also fell to bits in Internet Explorer 6.

It does degrade well with CSS disabled (apart from the slightly strange
double-link lists.) It's certainly perfectly clear that way, perhaps
just less visually appealing.

Mostly I quite like the design, but it's another of these sites that,
for me, crams too much information into every available space, as if
it's desirable to match newspaper layout on the web. I'd prefer more
white space and a design that gradually leads me from the most important
information to the finer details.

> Would anybody say that liquid layouts are always what is most desirable, and
> that when that they are not used it is due to the incompetence of the
> designer?


"Always" would be a bit strong, but liquid layouts are a major strength
of the web that most visual media just don't have. There could be
conceivably be situations where the requirements of a design outweigh
the benefits of a liquid layout and demand a fixed layout instead, but I
can't think of one right now. Outwith such situations, why remove the
ability to cater for wide-ranging user needs or preferences?

I've never seen the idea better expressed than by the late Alan J. Flavell:

"As if a tailor would make a suit to fit only one ideal customer,
rather than for the actual customers who want to buy one. *But* in
the case of the web, the web "tailor" only has to make one suit,
provided he knows how to make it so that it adapts /itself/ to the
client requirements."

Andrew
 
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Ben C
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      01-21-2008
On 2008-01-21, dorayme <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> "Synapse Syndrome" <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
>> "Neredbojias" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:Xns9A2C8E8EB5DCCnanopandaneredbojias@194.177. 96.78...
>> >
>> >> For example, I cannot see how The Guardian news site would be as clear
>> >> when using liquid layouts. www.guardian.co.uk
>> >
>> > Actually, the site is somewhat successfully liquid via javascript. This
>> > demonstrates that the site _could have_ been completely liquid had the
>> > creator been less inept.

>>
>> Inept? I'd have to disregard what else you've said in that case. That site
>> is often used as an example of good design in the UK. Could you find a
>> better designed news site? I really doubt it. Making that site with a
>> liquid layout would bring a lot of formatting problems to the people making
>> the content. It'd just be a mess.
>>

>
>
> OK lets look at a typical page:
>
><http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2244122,00.html>


You're right that is a typical page, and they've been like that for
years. They recently (a few months ago) redid the main front page and
some other bits, which is more likely to be what the OP is saying is an
example of good design.

> It uses a transitional doctype. Perhaps this is ok. Some people
> will wonder what it is transitioning from. But still it has lots
> of errors. I saw a count above 80.


It's awful. The way they've done those headings ("Home", "UK", etc.)
across the top is particularly horrific.

One table nested inside another, for no apparent reason, all in a center
element. The inner table is set to 'width="1"' so any heading with
spaces in it has them substituted with &nbsp;.

Lots of missing tags and tags in the wrong places.

[...]
> Not saying the site is incompetent. It is not.


It's very old and perhaps some of the bizarre ways of doing things in
there are there because they were the only things that "worked" in those
days.

No excuse for the broken tag structure though.
 
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Synapse Syndrome
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      01-21-2008
"Nik Coughlin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:fn33ic$589$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Making that site with a liquid layout would bring a lot of formatting
>> problems to the people making the content. It'd just be a mess.

>
> Um, that's simply not true. This statement makes me think that you don't
> really understand the concept of liquid layouts. This site would be quite
> easy to make fluid. It wouldn't make any different whatsoever to the
> people generating the content.


Like how would they keep everything in sections, without it fragmenting too
much? If it could easily be made liquid, why didn't they then? I /think/ I
understand the concept of liquid layouts. I don't think there is much to
understand, is there?

> My belief that you don't understand is reinforced by your use of the term
> absolute positioning instead of fixed width. Absolute positioning means
> something quite different -- I use absolute positioning in my liquid
> layouts.


Yes, excuse me. I actually knew that, but as you suspect, I do not know
that much at this stage. I did mean fixed width, but I did not know that
you could use AP Divs with liquid layouts. My personal experience is
limited to centralised fixed width divs so far.

ss.


 
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Synapse Syndrome
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-21-2008
"dorayme" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> OK lets look at a typical page:
>
> <http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2244122,00.html>
>
> It uses a transitional doctype. Perhaps this is ok. Some people
> will wonder what it is transitioning from. But still it has lots
> of errors. I saw a count above 80.
>
> There are some css ones too. Perhaps these latter things are not
> that important and due to various hacks to ward off greater
> dangers...
>
> But there are some nasty looking things like body {font-size:
> small...} which do not auger well. It is not a good thing to
> start the day with. The authors actually admit (in a comment on
> body):
>
> "For most browsers we want to default to font-size small, but for
> IE 5 PC we want to use x-small, as it's font sizes are one size
> out"
>
> Now, I am not saying that a table layout is a terrible crime - it
> is not - but you cannot have a table layout like this site uses
> these days for non tabular material and trumpet too loudly its
> good design, much less hold it up as an example.
>
> Not saying the site is incompetent. It is not.


The basic template for that page is actually pretty old, and it was a while
ago that I saw the site being used as an example. It is the main front page
that has recently been redesigned (and made to fit a 1024 screen width, from
800).

ss.


 
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dorayme
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      01-21-2008
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
"Synapse Syndrome" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

> I /think/ I
> understand the concept of liquid layouts. I don't think there is much to
> understand, is there?


It depends. Most authors don't understand it. So the problem may
be finding this "not very much to understand" animal in the
jungle. Once caught, it might well be a grey thing that you are
severely disappointed with or are very impressed with. What did
you catch?

--
dorayme
 
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