Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Jan 2010 11:03 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces "Imagine that you are a super-successful movie director, who's been given hundreds of millions of dollars and lots of whiz-bang technology to make a cinematic epic. Sounds good? Not once you are told that people will have to watch it on fuzzy old black and white television sets. Something similar happens to the text that appears on your computer screen whenever you log on to a Web site. The site's owner has so little control over the fine details of what you will see that the typeface in which the text appears is bound to be distorted. Pity the poor designer who struggled to perfect it."
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Another font article...
by Tuishimi on Tue 12th Jan 2010 15:32 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yay! ;) Well, I can safely say that the differences between font rendering in Windows and Mac OS X are frustrating enough when designing a web page. So many wonderful fonts available to both that are not available to each other or readily available for users... besides you don't want to force users to install a font just to view your website.

It would be nice if there was a consortium (maybe there is) that could sit down and put forth some suite of fonts for the web (I know there are "web-safe fonts") that are easy to read yet have variety and elegance.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Another font article...
by Tuishimi on Tue 12th Jan 2010 15:34 UTC in reply to "Another font article..."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Regarding font rendering... and monitor resolution, etc. I don't know what can be done. Different monitors with different specifications coupled with proprietary font handling and different rendering philosophies make it virtually impossible to ever achieve true consistency. I think acceptable deviation could be realized.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Another font article...
by Doc Pain on Tue 12th Jan 2010 19:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Another font article..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Regarding font rendering... and monitor resolution, etc. I don't know what can be done. Different monitors with different specifications coupled with proprietary font handling and different rendering philosophies make it virtually impossible to ever achieve true consistency.


Maybe it's true that "the web isn't typesetting-capable" (or at least "compatible")... :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Another font article...
by Tjebbe on Wed 13th Jan 2010 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Another font article..."
Tjebbe Member since:
2007-05-17

Like HTML was originally designed to do. Maybe web designers should stop trying to hammer their specific fixed-form design and fonts into all possible targets (I'm also looking at you, fixed-width websites!), and instead focus on the flexibility that we get. In this case, let the renderer or user decide on what typeface is best for the current environment.

I know a lot of them actually do, but this rant reminds me of how many there are that see flexibility as a problem instead of a feature.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Another font article...
by renox on Wed 13th Jan 2010 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Another font article..."
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Well if WindowsXP had an acceptable 'high resolution' display mode then LCD makers could have started competing on the screen resolution..

Then font rendering on screen wouldn't be such a big issue anymore..

Vista was supposed to be able to use an high-resolution display, does anyone know if MS have achieved it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Another font article...
by nimble on Wed 13th Jan 2010 21:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Another font article..."
nimble Member since:
2005-07-06

Vista was supposed to be able to use an high-resolution display, does anyone know if MS have achieved it?


Nah, same old 96dpi default with the dpi setting buried somewhere in the control panel and icons and layouts going wonky if you do set it higher. Result: users running their LCDs screens at fuzzy non-native resolutions instead.

There's the "Windows Presentation Foundation" (formerly known as Avalon), which does allow doing things the right way, but of course most programs don't use that yet.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Another font article...
by smashIt on Thu 14th Jan 2010 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Another font article..."
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Well if WindowsXP had an acceptable 'high resolution' display mode then LCD makers could have started competing on the screen resolution..


it's funny how everything is microsofts fault
don't you think there are other problems involved? like manufactoring or the connection between pc and display?
even udp with it's maximum of 10mpx @ 60hz wouldn't be sufficient

Reply Score: 2

RE: Another font article...
by smashIt on Tue 12th Jan 2010 23:04 UTC in reply to "Another font article..."
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

what i think of fonts?
i have all set to arial ;)

Edited 2010-01-12 23:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Another font article...
by kelvin on Wed 13th Jan 2010 08:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Another font article..."
kelvin Member since:
2005-07-06

what i think of fonts?
i have all set to arial ;)

When the revolution comes, you will be first up against the wall.

Reply Score: 4

The real problem
by deathshadow on Wed 13th Jan 2010 11:09 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Stems not from the variety of font styles, faces, etc - it stems from alleged "designers" who know nothing more of web design than drawing pretty pictures in some goof-assed paint program and have never even HEARD of things like separation of presentation from content, device independence, graceful degradation, or the WCAG! (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)

They get it in their head they can draw any pretty picture they want and make it into a website - that they can do it for their one golden browser and one system metric at a specific screen size is proof to them they know what they are doing - COMPLETELY forgetting that "What you see is NOT what the user gets" given the wide variety of screen sizes, font rendering methods, available fonts, screen metrics (like the traditional Windows 8514/Large fonts/120dpi or the x-Large/144dpi option on 7)

... much less that the entire POINT of HTML was to have content automatically adjust to the best capabilities of the device it's displayed on. Web design is about getting content to the user, NOT the goof-assed pictures you hang around that content.

It's part of why the ***** who draw a picture in photoshop as their first step of web design IMHO have the entire process back-assward and usually don't know what they are doing. You see it time and time again where some 'artist' drew a pretty fixed height background image, so the text blows out the bottom of it as a rendering error; They designed to a fixed size so that users expecting auto-enlarging fonts dive for the zoom when they land on the page, or just go someplace else where they don't have to... Shoehorning content into a picture layout is NOT web design.

Mark up the content using semantic markup to say what things are (heading, list, paragraph), NOT how they are going to appear - then bend the markup to your will creating the layout in CSS. Then and ONLY then do you bring in the art *** to make images to hang on the layout.

For fonts it's the same thing. From the moment you start designing just assume that nobody is going to see fonts at the exact same size you are. Large font/120dpi users are going to see it 25% larger, Mac and Linsux have different rendering engines and font lists... Hell, it's why in CSS you are supposed to include a fallback list.

Edited 2010-01-13 11:11 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: The real problem
by Doc Pain on Wed 13th Jan 2010 21:17 UTC in reply to "The real problem"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

[...] never even HEARD of things like separation of presentation from content, device independence, graceful degradation, or the WCAG! (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)


Except WCAG, this is exactly how typesetting systems like LaTeX, and correctly used word processors like OpenOffice (using templates and style definitions) do: You describe what something IS, and not what it LOOKS LIKE, where "looks like" is so very dependent on what YOU use (in terms of hardware and software). You gave excellent examples for this.

They get it in their head they can draw any pretty picture they want and make it into a website [...]


That reminds me to a "professional web designer" who "programmed internet pages", meaning he filled the whole HTML document - using some "professional" designer tool program - with pictures, and ONLY with pictures. Text was presented in pictures, too, without the presence of alt= and longdesc= so no blind person could read it. :-)


... much less that the entire POINT of HTML was to have content automatically adjust to the best capabilities of the device it's displayed on.


You can still see web pages that utilize the basic concepts of HTML, where tags are used to define the kind of text, instead of its look. But they are very old pages. Some "modern" web pages can be made look readable by switching off CSS elements (e. g. in Opera: user mode vs. author mode).

Web design is about getting content to the user, NOT the goof-assed pictures you hang around that content. [...] Shoehorning content into a picture layout is NOT web design.


Ask "professional web designers" what they think about this statement. :-)

Mark up the content using semantic markup to say what things are (heading, list, paragraph), NOT how they are going to appear - then bend the markup to your will creating the layout in CSS. Then and ONLY then do you bring in the art *** to make images to hang on the layout.


Just as I suggested. But that's not "modern", it's "old-fashioned", so no "professional web designer" will use this approach.

Why not? Because they just can't understand such a concept. To most of them, function and style are the same thing. They often even fail to determine the function of a content element, they just think within the style paradigma, e. g. "this is big text" instead of "this is a page heading".

For fonts it's the same thing. From the moment you start designing just assume that nobody is going to see fonts at the exact same size you are. [...] Hell, it's why in CSS you are supposed to include a fallback list.


Or just code a certain font family and let the browser (user) decide which exact font is used for best display.

In my opinion, content and form should be treated equivalently. Both of them matter. It's just about using the right tools to implement each one of them in a matter that it gets to the reader - as intended. It's just the question what you intend; if you put emphasize on pictural elements instead of text content, your choice will be completely different to the goal of presenting textual content to as many users as possible - yes, I'm looking especially at web pages that intendedly (!) exclude blind users (who require things being as much text as possible to feed their Braille or voice sythesis output subsystem).

Reply Score: 4

Printing?
by Phase Angle on Wed 13th Jan 2010 21:25 UTC
Phase Angle
Member since:
2006-06-28

If you really want trouble how about when a page needs to be printed?
I avoid printing from windows (any version) because of the inconsistencies in what's on screen to printed in all Microsoft products.

Reply Score: 2