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Re: [SLUG] Mandrake 7.1 Fonts, Web Browsing Problem

On Wed, May 23, 2001 at 07:59:14PM -0400, Jeremy Kerwin wrote:
> I have just recently installed Mandrake 7.1 on my Toshiba Laptop.
> I have a quibble with web browsing using Netscape and Konqueror.
> Netscape displays that fonts in an almost unreadable fashion, and
> Konqueror enlarges the font size and all elements of the web page so
> it too is very unreadable.
> Can somebody please help me to trying to figure this problem out. I
> want the web browsers to render web pages in almost the same way that
> the Windows browsers do.

There is no "good" font choice that will automatically look good in all
browsers on all platforms.  Many windows users are only using 640x480 or
800x600 because they don't know that you can change that, or how to
change that.  This means that smaller text is needed to avoid hugeness.
But there are some who will be running as high as 1600x1200 (in Linux or
Windows or Mac or whatever) and so a larger text size is needed, right?
More than that, some people change their default font setting in their
browser to match a desktop theme, and some people have their X servers
set to use 100dpi fonts, others to use 75dpi...

Basically, you can't win.  My advice is to *never* set the absolute font
size, but just leave the bulk of your text as the default size (i.e.
don't specify a size).  For things like headings (or footnotes), you can
specify those in percentages of the default size (or better yet for
headings: use <h1> and friends!) in the style-sheet.

This means your page will play nicely with web browsers which can
resize text conveniently, i.e. IE and Mozilla (and Galeon and other Moz
derivatives..).  Basically, that's the answer to the problem: *never*
set the absolute size, because you don't know enough about everywhere it
will be rendered to do it properly, and let the better browsers with a
View->Text Size menu option adjust it from there if the defaults aren't
set right.

Finally, I've found Mozilla to render pages quite similarly to IE (i.e.
correctly) for most things, so if you want to simulate an average
Windows web browser on Linux, put your screen resolution down to 800x600
and run Mozilla.  And of course, Netscape on Linux works very similarly
to Netscape on Windows, except there are less Netscape on Windows users
than 1024x768+ Windows users.

I hope my little rant has helped :)

Incidentally, my data regarding screen resolutions comes from my
workplace, whose main audience are home stock investors who, judging
from the support calls/emails, are rarely very computer-savvy.  It's
worth remembering just how little most people know about using their
computers.  Adjusting screen resolution is an advanced topic -- having
two Internet Explorer windows open at once is tricky enough ('You mean
your site lets us do that?').  It's easy to forget how hard these things
can be for normal people -- but luckily most people seem to understand
the View->Text Size menu in IE okay, once you point it out to them.

If your site is targetting a more technical audience, perhaps some of
what I said won't apply to you.