[WSG] directory structures

2003-12-12 Thread Ben Boyle

It's more to do with usability than accessibility, as it affects all
users IMHO. But as a start, a logical directory structure is important,
so long as it's logical to the user not the owner.

Well, I agree and disagree.

I think logical to the user not the owner is spot in for the website

But the actual directory structure, where you put your content, you need to
own that. And the #1 rule I aim for is that you don't want to change your
directory structure (whereas you quite likely will want to adapt your
website navigation).

Because the directories will be reflected in the URL, you want it to be
stable because you don't want the URLs to change. I'm not going to list all
the reasons why here... this article by TBL on the topic is excellent.

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[WSG] Re: px em pt ???

2003-12-11 Thread Ben Boyle

Why doesn't anyone push the barrow saying Font sizes should be LARGE by
default, and designers should MAKE THE FONT SMALLER if/when they don't like
it. Why do we aim to please designers and expect users to make the
adjustments? I don't get it. But then, I skipped all the subjects on
typography at uni!

Hoping the average Joe will fiddle with their browser environment is way out
of line, from a usability perspective. You want users to focus on their task
and working in that domain - simple and direct feedback as they accomplish
what they set out to achieve. Having to stop and figure out computer stuff
(yet again) is distracting at least, confusing and frustrating for many. Ah
but reality never quite reaches Utopia does it? :)

But I'm heartened to see that CSS3 looks to include more font keywords.
CSS2 gave us menu, icon, caption, etc. These use the fonts (sizes and
styles) as specified in the desktop settings of the computer. You would
hope, at least, that the user has their computer configured to their
personal preference. (Sorry... doesn't help with the netcafe scenario, does
it). Does make you wonder why IE (in particular) doesn't pick up any of the
desktop settings for use as a default font size. Why is that?

I was disappointed CSS2 never had a font keyword for standard window text.
Perhaps CSS3 will help us finally put the font issue to rest - or at least
down a very deep pit where I don't have to listen to it anymore. Sorry but
I've copped almost a years worth of discussion on this at work, directly and
indirectly. Fonts. Grrr. Perhaps it's time to render all text as images once
more! *ducks*

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[WSG] OT: Opening documents in _blank window

2003-12-11 Thread Ben Boyle

I wouldn't classify this as off topic, it's all part of the web environment
and standards (or lack thereof) of real practical cases are all part of the

I have heard it is possible to configure a webserver in a way that when
someone accesses a PDF/DOC (whatever file types have been configured) the
browser will spawn an application instance to open the file, rather than
opening in the browser window. I dunno if this is true and if it is, how it
can be done. I would *like* to know. I've been meaning to find out for some
time ... thanks for raising the topic!

Having a quick look around on the web it seems this is related to the
Content-Disposition: HTTP header. (There you go: HTTP is a web standard

Anyone know how to use this properly?
Any known pitfalls?

FYI, on windows there are a couple of file types settings which control
the local behaviour for opening documents / spawning windows.

Open up windows explorer, and choose Folder options... from the Tools
menu, then select the File Types tab. Select the desired file/document
type from the list. Press the Advanced button.

You should see a window that lists Actions associated with this file type.
Below this are a couple of checkboxes. The Confirm open after download and
Browse in the same window controls the behaviour when you click on a link
in IE for a matching file/document type.


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RE: [WSG] The 5th pillar - was Fixed Width Design

2003-12-11 Thread Ben Boyle

Anyway what I am talking about includes all the little things that give a
site real polish, things like:
  - guessable/memorable URLs,
- site structure (logical connection of content),
- use of hyperlinks in the text,
- googlability or search engine friendliness
- tabbing between elements
- font  colour use (beyond just % based fonts)
- using http status properly*
- lots of other stuff

I think Information Architecture is a term that could cover a lot of those

Standards play a part in this domain (particularly if you get into metadata,
classification systems, thesauri, etc). Things like RDF, perhaps RSS, Dublin

Still, I feel that IA is largely part of the design process, rather than an
aspect of  web standards - more a part of web design practices. Still,
highly relevant! :)

Incidentally if you're looking for a good classification system to use on
the web (or with computers in general), dewey decimal works really well.
It's number based so fast for computers to process, and the way it works
allows you to do narrow/widen searching really easily by
decreasing/increasing the number range searched.


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[WSG] :hover accessibility

2003-12-02 Thread Ben Boyle

does anyone else feel that :hover is a little too enticing and likely to
lead to some accessibility issues? depends on what you're using it for of
course, rollover images is a non-issue, but for things like rollover menus,
where's the keyboard support?

just a random thought.

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[WSG] Re: relative positioning of nested lists

2003-11-18 Thread Ben Boyle

The extra linebreak vanishes if you specify padding-bottom or border-bottom.
I've opted for border-bottom. It's not ideal but it works.


Anyone see any other problems?

Russ, I tried stripping out all the whitespace with no success.
Worth a shot tho!

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[WSG] relative positioning of nested lists

2003-11-15 Thread Ben Boyle

Anyone have any thoughts on why IE6 keeps shoving in a linebreak in this

It appears to put the line break in at each point where there is a nested
list (UL) being repositioned.


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[WSG] Targeting IE5

2003-10-09 Thread Ben Boyle
I would have thought the best way to target a browser (be it IE5 or other)
was content negotiation. Detect the browser and serve content in the
appropriate format. Does anyone else get the feeling this technique is
rarely used whilst cruder methods proliferate?

IMHO, web servers can do a lot more than just serve files and should be
exploited for all they are worth - and that's plenty. I feel this
cornerstone of the web is oft overlooked, much to the detriment of the
online experience when cruder technologies are called on to compensate.

Maybe it's just too difficult for developers to get access to webserver
configuration, or too tedious to produce content in multiple formats? Gotta
weight that against the time and effort we've all invested in workarounds
and hacks though ... The right tool for the job. One can't solve every
problem with a hammer.


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