Re: Multi column layout question.

lilley (
Fri, 23 Jun 1995 15:45:50 +0100 (BST)

kitblake said:

> We really need the otion to place HTML text somewhere on a page, not either
> left or center. Or right.

That is not clearly shown.

> This discussion began with the observation that many companies, with fast
> links and nice monitors, are making very wide pages. Check out
> It's at least 700 pixels.

Heh. Never even occured to me that page was a problem. Then again on my
1280x1024 screen my browser comes up 780 wide by 892 high.

You see that as a problem because your lower resolution screen uses less
pixels to make the same point size of text.

Of course, I see the converse problem with image horizontal rules that are 500
or whatever pixels across, and tiny (from my perspective) inline images.

The problem is not with the text, which is nice and independent of platform and
browser. It is the images. All existing browsers that I know of use a 1:1
mapping between image pixels and device pixels. So the image looks small on a
high resolution screen and large on a low resolution screen.

This problem is particularly acute with the partially sighted, who may be
reading text set to like an inch or so high. The images do not scale with
the text so they cannot see them.

This problem is being adressed in the following areas:

- HTML 3.0 FIG which take width and height in real world units
- stylesheets, which can magnify everything with a lens mapping

Of course, if you happen to like multi-column text for wide screens then
fair enough. Use a stylesheet which triggers multiple column layout for <P>
whien the browser window is wider than some value you specify.

> Having some control mechanism to organize text in columns makes for better
> communication. A caption can be under a picture.

Ah. See the FIG element too for that. A caption is best in a <CAPTION> element.

> Things to be skimmed, as in a newspaper, can be in narrow columns.

That is purely a style issue.

>Or linked footnotes can be on a wide margin.

Or you could use the foonote feature in HTML 3.0.

I assume people on this list, which is a technical discussion forum, have at
least skimmed the archives and familiarised themselves with existing HTML
features and proposals before proposing new HTML features. Could you then
explain how your proposed overloaded use of columns is an improvement on
these HTML 3.0 proposals?

Chris Lilley, Technical Author
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