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Multi-column layout with CSS

 
 
rf
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      09-21-2009

"Dave Boland" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:h97pph$8ub$(E-Mail Removed)...
> dorayme wrote:
>> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
>> David Segall <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>> Dave Boland <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I find that when web sites of fixed size are coded from the left (not
>>>> centered), I can just decrease the size of the browser window and life
>>>> is fine.
>>> I don't understand this. Once you adjust your browser window to be the
>>> same size as the web page what difference does it make to you how the
>>> author justified the page in the window?

>>
>> OP is perhaps *imagining* that if he came across a fixed width site
>> centred, he would be left with an unremovable left wasted space whereas,
>> of course, as you know, the centring bit via margin: auto (or text-align:
>> center in some cases for IE) *is* the only fluid bit that conveniently is
>> user controllable.
>>

>
> I'm not imagining anything. I simply find centered pages annoying and
> amateurish. You don't see that with professional pages. Also, if your
> spelling is indicative of your web page prowess,


And which particular spelling mistake might this be?

> then you really should find another job.


Strawman argument alert.


 
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David Segall
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      09-21-2009
dorayme <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>The main thing to be aware of is something very simple really. If a user
>can make his text bigger or smaller independent of the pixel-sized
>element box it is "in", then it cannot be guaranteed to stay inside that
>box. One way the webpage maker can guarantee that text does always stay
>in element boxes is to either
>
>1. not specify the box in pixels,


Of course your statement is correct but I don't think that it is
necessarily wrong to specify a box in pixels. For example, the height
of the heading of <http://films.profectus.com.au> is specified in
pixels. I think it ensures that the heading makes sense over the range
of browser windows that I am targeting. I don't think that this is
possible using a different unit with the constraints I have explained
below.
>

[snip]
>3. specify it in em units. em units are the language of font size. So,
>if you specify a box as 20em wide, there is little chance that "Never
>give a sucker an even break" won't fit in.


True, but it means that you must also use the browser to resize your
images. There is currently a convention that favours a fixed image
size because it loads faster. Do you think that the "average user" now
has the bandwidth needed to resize the images without a perceptible
delay.
 
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David Segall
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      09-21-2009
Dave Boland <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>David Segall wrote:
>> Dave Boland <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>> I find that when web sites
>>> of fixed size are coded from the left (not centered), I can just
>>> decrease the size of the browser window and life is fine.

>>
>> I don't understand this. Once you adjust your browser window to be the
>> same size as the web page what difference does it make to you how the
>> author justified the page in the window?

>
>Some are centered in the page with both right and left borders for no
>apparent reason. I see this on hobby pages, but all professional pages
>(at least that I have seen) are left justified.


You lead a fortunate and sheltered life. Most professional web page
developers are obliged to periodically visit Microsoft's "hobby pages"
<http://www.microsoft.com/>.

> So I don't need to
>adjust both sides of the browser window. Simple enough?


Yes, but I can make it even simpler. The Firefox Web Developer Add On
provides a "Resize to 1024 x nnnn" menu choice with a couple of clicks
and no adjustment. You can specify "nnnn" to match the height of your
viewport. 1024 is the current "standard" for a fixed width page. If
you don't use Firefox I am reasonably confident that someone here can
tell you how to add this functionality to your preferred browser.
 
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nice.guy.nige
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      09-21-2009
Dave Boland wrote:
> I'm not imagining anything. I simply find centered pages annoying and
> amateurish. You don't see that with professional pages.

[...]

So, centered pages are only produced by amateurs and are not used on
professional pages?

A quick survey;

http://www.bbc.co.uk
http://www.microsoft.com
http://www.ubuntu.com
http://www.ibm.com
http://www.rolls-royce.com
http://www.number10.gov.uk
http://www.angloamerican.co.uk
http://www.ferrari.com

.... what a bunch of amateurs!

Cheers,
Nige

--
Nigel Moss
http://www.nigenet.org.uk
Replace "spamfree" in email address with "nigel" to reply
"Your mother ate my dog!", "Not all of him"
 
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dorayme
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      09-21-2009
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
David Segall <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Dave Boland <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >David Segall wrote:
> >> Dave Boland <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >>
> >>> I find that when web sites
> >>> of fixed size are coded from the left (not centered), I can just
> >>> decrease the size of the browser window and life is fine.
> >>
> >> I don't understand this. Once you adjust your browser window to be the
> >> same size as the web page what difference does it make to you how the
> >> author justified the page in the window?

> >

....
> > So I don't need to
> >adjust both sides of the browser window. Simple enough?

>


I found your puzzlement perfectly unpuzzling and shared it. This
delightful reply by the OP deepens the mystery. But I have the solution.
He is a disembodied spirit with no actual practical experience.

The OP seems to think that when a box is fixed in the centre of a screen
in a browser on a wide enough monitor, a user keen to be rid of the two
useless sides must somehow perform two window resize operations. One to
get rid of the left unwanted and another to get rid of the right! He
perhaps thinks that just as there is a right bottom corner handle on
browsers, there must be a left.

Now, it is excusable for a disembodied spirit not to know about such
practical bodily things like mouse operations (it is a muscular affair,
it's lightness still way beyond the capabilities of a being with no
muscle at all). But there seems to be a misunderstanding about how
centring works in CSS. This is more serious!

--
dorayme
 
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Eric Bednarz
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      09-21-2009
Dave Boland <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> […] a web page that looks like one you armatures created it.

^of ^r
You are welcome.

 
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dorayme
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      09-21-2009
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
David Segall <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> dorayme <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >The main thing to be aware of is something very simple really. If a user
> >can make his text bigger or smaller independent of the pixel-sized
> >element box it is "in", then it cannot be guaranteed to stay inside that
> >box. One way the webpage maker can guarantee that text does always stay
> >in element boxes is to either
> >
> >1. not specify the box in pixels,

>
> Of course your statement is correct but I don't think that it is
> necessarily wrong to specify a box in pixels.


I agree and was not meaning to imply otherwise. Indeed, it is sometimes
quite sensible to have a navigation col fixed. The downside of fixed is
that text can break out. The downside of em is that more screen space
than is strictly needed is taken up when text is big. It can also be
said that fixed width that has a built in buffer for text size
enlargement (e.g. 200px for links that are short and snappy, "About us")
is wasting space at small text sizes! It is all a matter of judgement in
the particular circumstances.

Now this needs to be understood right. If an author makes the words in
the links in the left navigation column reasonable short ones, he can be
more confident that none of them will break out except at *highly*
unlikely text sizes, they will wrap instead. And they may or may not
look good when wrapped. This is where the judgement comes in. If the
design and details don't lend to wrapping, then em is the way to go.

> For example, the height
> of the heading of <http://films.profectus.com.au> is specified in
> pixels. I think it ensures that the heading makes sense over the range
> of browser windows that I am targeting. I don't think that this is
> possible using a different unit with the constraints I have explained
> below.
> >


Sure, I see it as sensible to have your #headerRight {...; height:
160px; ...} but here you have a rock solid argument, you need it to show
the nice background image! I don't quite see the justification for your
#headerLeft {...; height: 160px; ...} but I have not looked deeply.

[I was distracted by the material and started to muse about what would
have to have been the case for a film like I've loved you for so long"
which totally mesmerized me, to get 5 stars. I would happily give it
these! Thank you for attributing 4 stars on my behalf to Poppy, that is
about right! <g>

I have a criterion for judgement that I do not think is quite universal
among critics and it is a hard one to apply after only one viewing: how
well does the film stand up to repeated viewings? I doubt I could
actually watch Poppy more than a few times. I seemed to have no trouble
watching Witness over 25 times, or Big Country over 15 times or
Unforgiven more than I can count...]


> [snip]
> >3. specify it in em units. em units are the language of font size. So,
> >if you specify a box as 20em wide, there is little chance that "Never
> >give a sucker an even break" won't fit in.

>
> True, but it means that you must also use the browser to resize your
> images. There is currently a convention that favours a fixed image
> size because it loads faster. Do you think that the "average user" now
> has the bandwidth needed to resize the images without a perceptible
> delay.


I was mainly thinking of text. Not sure what you are referring to in
respect to images, bandwidth etc?

Sounds trite but I think one should only specify widths and heights when
needed! It is much less needed than might be thought.

--
dorayme
 
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Doug Miller
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-22-2009
In article <h97pph$8ub$(E-Mail Removed)>, Dave Boland <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>dorayme wrote:


>> OP is perhaps *imagining* that if he came across a fixed width site
>> centred, he would be left with an unremovable left wasted space whereas,
>> of course, as you know, the centring bit via margin: auto (or
>> text-align: center in some cases for IE) *is* the only fluid bit that
>> conveniently is user controllable.
>>

>I'm not imagining anything. I simply find centered pages annoying and
>amateurish. You don't see that with professional pages.


You're certainly imagining that you have even the remotest semblance of a clue
regarding what a "professional page" is. ALL of the following are centered:

microsoft.com
ibm.com
dell.com
google.com
foxnews.com
cnn.com
whitehouse.gov
bbc.co.uk
toyota.com
pfizer.com

> Also, if your
>spelling is indicative of your web page prowess, then you really should
>find another job.


My, but you truly do enjoy displaying your ignorance, don't you? Even a brief
glance at dorayme's email address would show you that she's posting from
Australia. This may come as a shock to you, but most parts of the
English-speaking world use British, not American, spellings, such as centre,
theatre, colour, flavour, etc.
 
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Doug Miller
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-22-2009
In article <h97psj$8ub$(E-Mail Removed)>, Dave Boland <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Neredbojias wrote:
>> On 19 Sep 2009, David Segall <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>> Dave Boland <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I find that when web sites
>>>> of fixed size are coded from the left (not centered), I can just
>>>> decrease the size of the browser window and life is fine.
>>> I don't understand this. Once you adjust your browser window to be the
>>> same size as the web page what difference does it make to you how the
>>> author justified the page in the window?

>>
>> Perhaps the centering-reposition affect as the page width is reduced
>> causes him vertigo.
>>

>
>No vertigo, just don't want to do a web page that looks like one you
>armatures created it.


<snort>
This, from the guy who flamed dorayme for spelling which was actually correct.
 
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Kevin Scholl
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      09-22-2009
On Sep 21, 8:00*am, Dave Boland <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> ... centered pages annoying and amateurish ... don't see that with professional pages.


Really? I'd say that's the single most common page orientation on the
Web. Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Dell, Sun Microsystems, most of the
prominent news portals, etc. are all centered. Some sites are fluid,
expanding and collapsing dynamically to fit the browser width.

Adobe is one that is left-justified, but is clearly an exception to
the norm.

> all professional pages (at least that I have seen) are left justified. So I don't
> need to adjust both sides of the browser window.


(see above)

Why would you need to adjust both sides of the browser window? A
centered layout will remain centered as you collapse the browser width
from either side (unless the author has done something really, really
wonky with their code).


 
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