How can I stop XP 'Large Fonts' affecting web page? - Page 3

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Re: How can I stop XP 'Large Fonts' affecting web page?

Chris Tomlinson wrote:

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Using presentation HTML (e.g. FONT elements, table-based layout) and using
semantic HTML plus CSS are two totally different processes.

A semantically marked up document has more information in it than a
presentationally marked up document. For example:


tells us that "Foo" is a heading for the content below it. "Foo" will
probably continue to be the general topic of all other text until another
H1 element is encountered. Any H2, H3, etc elements further down the page
are probably sub-topics of "Foo".

On the other hand:

    <font size=6><b>Foo</b></font><br><br>

tells us far less. It just says that the author wanted the browser to
display "Foo" in some big, bold text; but with no explanation of why this
was desired.

So going from semantic HTML to presentational HTML means that you're
losing information. Conversely, to go from presentational HTML to semantic
HTML means you have to add in some information -- e.g. specify in the
document which parts are headings, which parts are paragraphs, etc. Adding
in that information requires human input; which might be why there are no
tools that can simply transform presentation markup to semantic markup.

Going the other way -- converting semantic markup with CSS into
presentational markup -- might be possible to automate with some tool like
what you describe, but it's not clear why anyone would want to do so.

Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me  ~

Re: How can I stop XP 'Large Fonts' affecting web page?

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Yes, well said, Toby. Consider what looks like a problem of
lesser magnitude, for machines to make pictures bigger and be of
equally good quality when you don't have the rich informational
base of a negative. It is well known to be quite hard to enlarge
a digital pic well beyond it's natural size through simple
algorithms. Reducing them in size is quite a different problem
and quite tractable.


Re: How can I stop XP 'Large Fonts' affecting web page?

[f'ups narrowed]

On Sun, 28 May 2006, Chris Tomlinson wrote:

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That doesn't really make much sense.  Browser support for HTML/3.2-ish
stuff isn't going to go away any time soon, so if you've got a
quantity of that legacy stuff you might as well leave it that way. At
least until you're ready to radically rebuild it.

Properly-engineered HTML "Strict", marked up for its logical content
(such markup will mostly be missing from presentationally-composed
HTML/3.2) really should be built from the ground up.  Trying to hack
existing presentational stuff into some kind of "equivalent" with CSS
isn't going to produce an improved product, really.

As spotted in another place recently:

|| Momentan leidet Dein Code arg an Divitis und verkapptem
|| Präsentationalismus...

(approx) "Currently your code is suffering seriously from divitis
and disguised presentationalism".

And that would be what you'd get, from any automated conversion.

It needs additional information input to supply the logical structure,
and get substantial benefit out of the separation.

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On the contrary: I'd be inclined to compare it with trying to turn
cheese into fresh whipped cream.  Both of them are milk products, it's
true: but if you want whipped cream then I'd suggest using fresh
starting materials, not trying to start from another end-product.  
That's not so far from what you'd be trying in the attempt to turn
presentational HTML/3.2 into logical "strict" HTML with CSS

Re: How can I stop XP 'Large Fonts' affecting web page?

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Thanks, I think you're right.  It looks right and works right in the most
popular browsers, so I may as well leave it as it is.  I have seen far worse
sites from far bigger companies than my mere mortal self.

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And with 4 million pus cells per glass of milk, who'd want either!


I recommend Finds anything or they pay for it!

Re: How can I stop XP 'Large Fonts' affecting web page?

Chris Tomlinson wrote:

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Without looking at the source code, the most likely reason is that the BBC
people know what they do, and therefore they do not use `pt' as unit of
length for displaying fonts on the screen.  Because that unit, designed
for printouts instead of the screen, is dependent on the font resolution;
with "Large Fonts" on Windows it is 120 ppi instead of the (1024x786)
default 96 ppi.  And the (default) font resolution differs on display
resolutions and window frameworks (Macs have a default of 72 ppi, for

With regard to the source code, I simply trust David Dorward's observation
and see this confirmed (they use `em' instead).

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"The browser" must be Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or older, because these
UAs are the only ones (to my knowledge) that are unable to scale _px_-sized
fonts.  (In that case, it should be possible to scale the fonts on the BBC
Web site because they do not use `px'.  Another possibility is to use `%'
instead of `em'.)  IE 7 is going to fix at least this issue by allowing for
an Opera-style zoom of the display of Web resources.

This has nothing to do with client-side scripting.  Please stop crossposting
from alt.* into Usenet, and please stop crossposting off topic.

F'up2 alt.html

When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then
whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
  -- Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's
     "The Blanched Soldier"

Re: How can I stop XP 'Large Fonts' affecting web page?

Chris Tomlinson wrote:
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This is a complicated Windows / IE bug that I've no real intention of
explaining at this time  (archives of c.i.w.a.s have it, along with the
best fix I know, from Martin Geisler)

In general though, read the archives of c.i.w.a.h and follow the
recommendations in there.
Never use <font>
Always set font-size for <body> to be 1em / 100%
Never set any size less than 2/3rd of this

Always set font-size with em or % units
Use pixel sizes for font-size _rarely_, only when fitting into a
graphical design is more important than usability.

There are still issues with Firefox (pixel sizes are scalable) and with
IE (base font size is influenced by the Control Panel | Display

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