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Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Design, random musings, and the Web. Since 1977

Archive for April, 2003

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A New Post

Monday, April 14th, 2003

I’m pleased to announce the addi­tion of a new author to web-graphics.com: Me.

I made my first post this after­noon (regard­ing the new ver­sion of Safari), and I hope to become a wor­thy con­trib­u­tor to the site. Just to have my name on the short list of authors (some of the bright­est minds on the web today, in my opin­ion) is an hon­or, so I will do my darn­d­est to make it worthwhile.

If you’ve nev­er vis­it­ed, check it out today. I’ve also added the site to the list of links on the right.

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Safari Default Text Size

Sunday, April 13th, 2003

Dave Hyatt post­ed a query regard­ing the default text size in Safari, Apple’s new web brows­er (cur­rent­ly in beta). I post­ed my sug­ges­tions in the com­ments for his post, but I thought I would mir­ror them here for your read­ing pleasure:

It seems a lot of the com­ments post­ed thus far are per­son­al pref­er­ence, which is not (in my opin­ion) the issue at hand here. If a user wants to change the default font size set­ting, it should be easy to do so (in that regard, plac­ing the -/+ but­tons in the tool bar by default would be a ter­rif­ic idea), how­ev­er, a user’s per­son­al pref­er­ence should not nec­es­sar­i­ly be tak­en into account for the default setting.

From a devel­op­er’s point of view, I agree that adopt­ing the “stan­dard” used by oth­er major browsers on the Mac OS and oth­er plat­forms is a good idea. It makes life much eas­i­er for web devel­op­ers, since we can rest assured that we will not have to cre­ate a sep­a­rate set of CSS font rules just to acco­mo­date Safari users. Also, since many Mac-based web devel­op­ers are like­ly to use Safari as their pri­ma­ry brows­er, hav­ing the out­put mim­ic that of the oth­er tar­get browsers we devel­op for is a very use­ful feature.

From a user’s point of view, I have to view many sites every day which are devel­oped on oth­er plat­forms, and a high per­cent­age of those sites are built with a cer­tain tar­get font size in mind. Hence the num­ber of com­ments regard­ing very small text on cer­tain sites built with PC users in mind (read: WinIE). I applaud your team’s cur­rent efforts to mim­ic many of the func­tion­ing behav­iors of WinIE, since it would be naive of any­one to ign­or the strong hold WinIE has on the world­wide brows­er mar­ket. Many PC devel­op­ers will nev­er specif­i­cal­ly tar­get Safari, or any oth­er Mac brows­er, and oth­ers are not like­ly to go out of their way to test a site on Safari to make sure it is usable, leg­i­ble, read­able, etc., so a strong case can be built in favor of mak­ing the Mac/Safari brows­ing expe­ri­ence as good as pos­si­ble by reduc­ing the num­ber of ren­der­ing dif­fer­ences between WinIE and Safari.

Safari is already my brows­er of choice (except for a few of my fir­m’s sites that still have ren­der­ing prob­lems only on Safari — see http://evergladesgateway.com/ for a recent exam­ple) but there is always room for improve­ment, and improv­ing the over­all user and devel­op­er expe­ri­ence is the way to make Safari not just the best Mac brows­er, but the best brows­er on any platform.

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