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RE: [NH] Re: Font sizing that works . . . and doesn't

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  • Greg Chapman
    Hi John, ... Nor did I, but it s strange that in the circles I move in (news:uk.net.web.authoring) one mention of Verdana will get their pulses really racing
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 2, 2005
      Hi John,

      > > http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=309991
      >
      > Thanks for the link sister, I didn't digest every word of it

      Nor did I, but it's strange that in the circles I move in
      (news:uk.net.web.authoring) one mention of Verdana will get their pulses
      really racing and there's not one peep about it there.

      Intriguing that you use this:

      > a,body,dd,div,dl,dt,form,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,ol,p,td,th,ul{
      > font-family:"Verdana","Arial","Georgia","Helvetica","Times","Times
      > New Roman",sans-serif,serif;
      > font-size:100%
      > }

      which alternates between sans serif and serif faces and conflicts with the
      advice at:
      http://www.wpdfd.com/editorial/wpd0704news.htm
      (a lousy web page, by the way, though it may have looked good in print)
      which suggests this should be the pattern:

      font family: <ideal>, <alternative>, <common>, <generic>

      and translates into something like this for serif fonts:

      font family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif;

      and this for sans serif

      font family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

      I must admit, I do support the notion of the author deciding either to
      suggest serif or sans serif for a block of text, but switching between them
      seems silly.

      Surely, font design is all about whether you want the reader to see the
      piece as formal, legal, authorative, accessible, casual and so forth. Your
      list appears to me to be quite schizophrenic and the final "serif" is surely
      redundant, since the browser will have selected its generic sans serif font
      will never give itself the chance to select serif - or have I still
      misunderstood all this font business?

      Anyway, as for Verdana, the article above simply ignores the issue. The
      link below was the first I happened to encounter when googling for "verdana
      bad font" and explains as well as most the issue:
      http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/verdana.html

      Just a little more to think about fonts....

      Greg
    • John Zeman
      ... Blake I m not really qualified to answer this as my true programming experience isn t worth mentioning. I can do anything I want with the NoteTab clip
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 2, 2005
        --- In ntb-html@yahoogroups.com, blake mooney <mooney_rb@y...> wrote:
        >
        > John,
        > Your suggestion prompted me to send the following request to you and any others who care to reply. My grandson is about to enter college. They are telling him so many things about dgerees in computer coding and engineering and what they're worth, especially if he wants to graduate in 4 years and go out and make a good lifetime income.
        >
        > I read somewhere that programming was slipping into the doldrums. I also read that most companies farm out their heavy projects--even Microsoft. If some guy in Bangalore or Peking or Prague can do a better job in half the time for 1/3 less, then, of course, my grandson and a lot others won't be doing much work. But if there could be a future in computer engineering or a strong possibility that one could make a good living for many years in one aspect of the computer industry what area would that be in? I told him to learn Perl, C++, HTML, Unix, etc.--all the codes at the expert level and then and then only concentrate on Master's in EE. I don't know if this is all hogwash or not. It was true years back though. What do you think? If there is one sound approach for young people todat getting general BA degrees in business I can see that that will handicap them.
        >
        > But a career path in computers must almost certainly be in engineering tied to computers in some way. What do you think? Any others wanting to offer their ideas would also be appreciated.
        >
        > Blake Mooney
        > mooney_rb@y...
        >


        Blake I'm not really qualified to answer this as my true programming experience isn't worth mentioning. I can do anything I want with the NoteTab clip language, batch file scripts, 4NT scripts, html, and CSS but those are all pretty basic languages to learn. (Although none of them seemed simple at the time I was learning them). In other words I don't know that I would recommend html to your grandson, there's bigger fish out there to fry.

        I know a few programmers semi-personally, and most of them create their magic in one of the C languages. C C+ or C++ and all of them fall back on Perl now and then for other things. I can't be more specific than that because I know absolutely nothing about any of the C variations and while I have written a few Perl and PHP scripts, I'm still very much a novice at what those languages are capable of.

        The computer savvy youngsters I know personally who are making a very good living now, found their niche in pretty much one of two ways. 1, they had connections to get them the right job in the right place upon graduating from college or trade school, or 2, they developed something unique on their own that no one else had every done before and were able to sell that idea to a larger company.

        Best of luck to your grandson.

        John
      • John Zeman
        ... Greg I ll certainly concede that my actual choice of fonts is probably not the best. I have the luxury of basically knowing the target audience for my web
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 2, 2005
          --- In ntb-html@yahoogroups.com, "Greg Chapman" <greg@e...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi John,
          >
          > > > http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=309991
          > >
          > > Thanks for the link sister, I didn't digest every word of it
          >
          > Nor did I, but it's strange that in the circles I move in
          > (news:uk.net.web.authoring) one mention of Verdana will get their pulses
          > really racing and there's not one peep about it there.
          >
          > Intriguing that you use this:
          >
          > > a,body,dd,div,dl,dt,form,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,ol,p,td,th,ul{
          > > font-family:"Verdana","Arial","Georgia","Helvetica","Times","Times
          > > New Roman",sans-serif,serif;
          > > font-size:100%
          > > }
          >
          > which alternates between sans serif and serif faces and conflicts with the
          > advice at:
          > http://www.wpdfd.com/editorial/wpd0704news.htm
          > (a lousy web page, by the way, though it may have looked good in print)
          > which suggests this should be the pattern:
          >
          > font family: <ideal>, <alternative>, <common>, <generic>
          >
          > and translates into something like this for serif fonts:
          >
          > font family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif;
          >
          > and this for sans serif
          >
          > font family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
          >
          > I must admit, I do support the notion of the author deciding either to
          > suggest serif or sans serif for a block of text, but switching between them
          > seems silly.
          >
          > Surely, font design is all about whether you want the reader to see the
          > piece as formal, legal, authorative, accessible, casual and so forth. Your
          > list appears to me to be quite schizophrenic and the final "serif" is surely
          > redundant, since the browser will have selected its generic sans serif font
          > will never give itself the chance to select serif - or have I still
          > misunderstood all this font business?
          >
          > Anyway, as for Verdana, the article above simply ignores the issue. The
          > link below was the first I happened to encounter when googling for "verdana
          > bad font" and explains as well as most the issue:
          > http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/verdana.html
          >
          > Just a little more to think about fonts....
          >
          > Greg
          >



          Greg I'll certainly concede that my actual choice of fonts is probably not the best. I have the luxury of basically knowing the target audience for my web sites. They're all local, 99.999% Windows based, and over 90% of the people use the Internet Explorer with the vast majority of the remaining using either Firefox or Netscape. That gives me an advantage over most webmasters because I rarely have to take into consideration other browsers and operating systems. (All of my clients are local churches, schools, small towns, or something else only of interest to locals). I know I should reevaluate my choice of fonts and one of these days I will (it's probably been 7-8 years since I last did so).

          The point I was attempting to make was in regards to the font size as the text is rendered by the various browsers. That was the main thrust of what I gathered from the page Sister posted, that the discussion was about the size of the fonts, not the actual fonts used. However I know since I did not read everything in the thread Sister posted that I may have missed a few things cussed and discussed there.

          About two or three years ago when I was making the transition to em units for text, I came to the conclusion that setting the initial size (shown in my last message) to a percentage, leaving the rest of the stylesheet to deal with the "relatively sized to that percentage" em units, gave me the best, smoothest scaling overall. By doing that and using em units a person viewing the web site can increase or decrease the text size at will with no drastic results.

          John
        • blake mooney
          John, Thanks very much. Your answer is helpful. I ll focus on several books as a gift to him at graduation. I know he ll read them and try out many things in
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 2, 2005
            John,
            Thanks very much. Your answer is helpful. I'll focus on several books as a gift to him at graduation. I know he'll read them and try out many things in them. The world is so competitive and there are so many people worldwide to draw talent from that it kind of frightens young people who have spent maybe 4-plus years getting undergrad and grad. degrees. Worse, schooling at the really good schools is insanely expensive.
            Blake


            John Zeman <john041650@...> wrote:
            --- In ntb-html@yahoogroups.com, blake mooney <mooney_rb@y...> wrote:
            >
            > John,
            > Your suggestion prompted me to send the following request to you and any others who care to reply. My grandson is about to enter college. They are telling him so many things about dgerees in computer coding and engineering and what they're worth, especially if he wants to graduate in 4 years and go out and make a good lifetime income.


            Blake Mooney
            mooney_rb@...
            www.whereismydoctor.org
            www.altitude-rated-places.com
            www.mycrazylegs.com
            www.drgeorgeburch.org
            P. 225-612-4605
            F. 985-651-6147







            ---------------------------------
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          • Greg Chapman
            Hi John, ... I accept your general thrust, and don t take my comments as a personal attack (If it was one then I would suffer some self inflicted wounds,
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 2, 2005
              Hi John,

              > I came to the conclusion that setting the
              > initial size (shown in my last message) to a percentage, leaving
              > the rest of the stylesheet to deal with the "relatively sized to
              > that percentage" em units, gave me the best, smoothest scaling
              > overall.

              I accept your general thrust, and don't take my comments as a personal
              attack (If it was one then I would suffer some self inflicted wounds,
              because I confess to using Verdana as my body text font on a number of my
              sites).

              The only point I would stand by, the one which you concede to some extent,
              was that mixing serif and sans serif fonts in the cascade does not make
              sense artistically, as the two generic styles (whatever ideal or preferred
              font you name) do set the tone of a piece of writing. (Personally, I find
              that Times New Roman is a visually appalling mess of jaggies when used as
              body text at Internet Explorer's default setting.

              As I said - just a little more to think about!

              Greg
            • sisterscape
              ... I totally agree that Times New Roman doesn t work well on a webpage for any number of reasons. After all, it is a font meant for paper not a monitor! I
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 2, 2005
                --- Greg Chapman <greg@...> wrote:

                >
                > The only point I would stand by, the one which you concede to some
                > extent,
                > was that mixing serif and sans serif fonts in the cascade does not
                > make
                > sense artistically, as the two generic styles (whatever ideal or
                > preferred
                > font you name) do set the tone of a piece of writing. (Personally, I
                > find
                > that Times New Roman is a visually appalling mess of jaggies when
                > used as
                > body text at Internet Explorer's default setting.
                >
                > As I said - just a little more to think about!
                >
                > Greg
                >

                I totally agree that Times New Roman doesn't work well on a webpage for
                any number of reasons. After all, it is a font meant for paper not a
                monitor! I use san serif fonts on all my sites. The one time I had a
                client who insusted on Times New Roman, I compromised by not setting
                any font and leaving it up to the user - I couldn't bear to design the
                site looking at TNR!

                When I first started designing, I used Arial a lot but over time, have
                become very attached to the open letter spacing of Verdana - it is so
                much easier to read.

                John, I usually set my base font size anywhere between 76 - 82% and
                then the main content font at 100% (or 1em). Headers of course are
                sized up and footers etc. are sized down. This system has not failed
                me yet in my extensive testing.




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              • LEE CRESSWELL
                I agree with you about Verdana being the nicest. I use it for my Assignments at College and they seem to like it. It may seem extraordinary for such a minor
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 3, 2005
                  I agree with you about Verdana being the nicest. I use
                  it for my Assignments at College and they seem to like
                  it. It may seem extraordinary for such a minor issue
                  (+/- 5% on font size) to become the subject of such
                  heated argument. It did eventually fizzle out
                  though....

                  Regards,
                  Lee.
                • John Zeman
                  ... I think we re basically on the same page there Sister. I set my base font size at 100% and then down size to .85em (give or take a few em s) to get what I
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 4, 2005
                    --- In ntb-html@yahoogroups.com, sisterscape <sisterscape@y...> wrote:
                    >
                    > John, I usually set my base font size anywhere between 76 - 82% and
                    > then the main content font at 100% (or 1em). Headers of course are
                    > sized up and footers etc. are sized down. This system has not failed
                    > me yet in my extensive testing.
                    >
                    >


                    I think we're basically on the same page there Sister. I set my base font size at 100% and then down size to .85em (give or take a few em's) to get what I want and I've had excellent results doing it that way over the years too.

                    Thanks to your and Greg's comments I've revised my list of fonts and removed Times New Roman, Times, and serif from my TopStyle CSS template. I should have done this a long time ago, however since those were near the end of my chain of fonts, it's not likely to make any difference to the people viewing my pages.

                    John
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