# Table problem - Page 3

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## Re: Table problem

I fail to understand.  It must be something in the details.  I thought
he was saying "columns too narrow don't work and have never worked".
That in itself makes sense to me, and I didn't think you were
disagreeing that columns too narrow don't work.  It must be something
else that you found irksome beyond bearing.  Or perhaps there is more
history involved than I have been around to follow.  Life's a wonder,
all kinds of things going on hither and yon, yet sweetpea continues to
crawl from girder to girder never realizing any of it.  Go figure.

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## Re: Table problem

hug wrote:

I believe it is quite clear that Paul advocates a maximum line length of
39 characters.

I don't know what Paul's background is, but I personally find the trend
to narrow strips of text annoying. I believe most of the web masters
advise using maximum, available width most of the time.  I don't recall
threads recommending limiting width, although there have been posts
advising how one could limit lines to a character length.

--
Wayne
With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things
and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil
things, that takes religion.
—Steven Weinberg

## Re: Table problem

Well see there, stupid me, I didn't realize he was advocating a
*maximum* line length of 39 characters, I misunderstood based on his
post with really short lines and thought he was advocating just the
opposite.  I personally find line lengths less than perhaps 3" to be
annoying.  So from this it appears that I disagree with Paul's
standpoint, but that's okay, I'm not required to spend all day reading
sites with a maximum width of 39 characters.

I tend to agree with you for the most part.  A browser screen is not a
newspaper.  With newspapers you have a wide print area, often well
over 12", and lines that wide would be difficult to read, so splitting
it into narrower columns makes sense.

Otoh as the baby-boom generation reaches geriatricity perhaps our
failing eyesight will cause newspapers to be printed with larger
letters instead of narrow columns, who knows? <g>

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## Re: Table problem

On Sat, 04 Mar 2006 17:35:20 -0700, hug

I'm not advocating 39 characters as a maximum OR a minimum, but as an
ideal. I don't deny that it's hard to design a page for horizontal
monitors that are based on a relatively narrow column, but too-wide
columns are a killer, so it's a constant struggle to balance the two
needs.

Anyone who does either doesn't read, or have never seen 10-point type
stretching across the full width of a 1200x1600 monitor.

High traffic news sites tend to use columns narrower than most
low-traffic blogs. Don't you imagine it's because CNN, MSNBC, Fox
News, etc. know a little more about usability studies?

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## Re: Table problem

Fleeing from the madness of the  jungle
and said:

could be - I always thought it was so they could squeeze in one more

--
William Tasso

whither a trophy?

## Re: Table problem

39 sounds too low.

If lines are very long, people lose the anchor points on the rhs. Also a
reason why text shouldn't be fully justified.

IIRC monospaced text reads a bit harder. AND ALL CAPS CERTAINLY DOES.

--
John
Sig-o-matic says:
OMG, lolzzz (c)... brb

## Re: Table problem

I disagree; all columns in a row have the same height, which is the
height of the tallest column.

[If I'm mistaken, it won't be the first time.]

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## Re: Table problem

On Wed, 01 Mar 2006 14:14:14 -0700, hug

We're not disagreeing, hug. Let's rephrase the problem another way.

Let's say you have text which is 9 column inches in length. You have a
picture that is 2 columns wide and 3 inchdes tall. You want the
picture in the lower right corner of a 3-column spread, so you run 5
inches of the story in the first column, and 2 inches in each other
other columns, with the picture beneath it. Everything lines up at the
bottom of the three columns.

View that same page in a different browser, and you'll find that it
breaks lines a little differently, and the left column might be a
little long, or it might be a little short.

View that page on a computer without the font you specified, and it's
almost certain not to line up at the bottom. If the average letter
width is wider, you may have 10 or 11 column of story, and if it is
narrower, you may have only 7 or 8 inches - and the change in fonts
will affect the left column 3 times as much as the other two columns.

You might be able to make adjustments based on whether it's a Mac or a
PC, and might be able to make adjustments based on whether it's
Firefox or MSIE, but you can't tell what fonts are installed on the
user's system, turning the problem from being incredibly difficult
into being impossible.

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## Re: Table problem

It sounds like we were looking at different problems to be solved.  If
you require a fixed-size picture to end up at a specific place, then
certainly fonts are a major issue.

Personally I favor ways of presenting a text/image mix that aren't
quite so picky as to results... a picture on the right at the start of
a long paragraph lets the text flow around/beyond the pic for example.

As to the question of font, the answer is *always* courier-new-10, and
the meaning of life is "43". <g>

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## Re: Table problem

On Thu, 02 Mar 2006 06:24:38 -0700, hug

43?

Inflation, eh?

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