Re: Multi column layout question.

kitblake (
Mon, 26 Jun 1995 15:16:53 +0100

>kitblake/lilley said:
>> 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.

Wrong assumption: I work on an Indy - 1280x1024. And I still find 800 pixel
line lengths hard to read. Two columns would help, and if the user only has
640, it would only be one column.

>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
>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.

If this is an option then I have yet to hear of it. Thanks for pointing its

>> Having some control mechanism to organize text in columns makes for better
>> communication. A caption can be under a picture. Or on a side.
>Ah. See the FIG element too for that. A caption is best in a <CAPTION> element.

The <CAPTION> element sounds hard to control.

>>Or linked footnotes can be on a wide margin.
>Or you could use the foonote feature in HTML 3.0.

Pop-up footnotes are one solution, but rather clicky.

>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?

I am not testing or writing Arena/HTML3, but a column element seems simple
to implement, and would provide many options in formatting a page. Options
that I don't see available in: