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thepineapplehead's picture
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Not sure where to put this, we don't have a sort of general web dev discussion sub forum.

Following the #aea hashtga over the last few days was very educational.

Found this via twitter:


Raises some very interesting points. I've always avoided pixel-based layouts but Luke's post is right - browsers now "zoom" instead of just resizing text, so layout-breakage is no longer really an issue.

Thoughts? On any of it?

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Tyssen's picture
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Just because browsers zoom doesn't mean everyone uses it

The argument that because browsers now zoom, the text sizing problem has gone away assumes that all people use the zoom feature. But I don't think you can guarantee that is the case, and I haven't seen any studies to indicate whether everyone has abandoned using the view menu in favour of zoom. And the fact is, all versions of IE, including 9, will not resize text if you use the older text resizing method (which is still available).

What if people continue to use the method they were used to using from when they first started using a web browser, i.e. choosing View / Text Size / Smallest - Largest? I would think this behaviour would be particularly prevalent among older users who are often more resistant to change or stick with something they know how to do. And older people would typically be the ones who might have poorer eyesight and therefore need to resize your text.

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Hugo's picture
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also surely the issue is

also surely the issue is peppering your styles with fixed sizes means you have lost the ability to simply reset the body size or a parent and have all the sizes below gracefully re-size relative to that main statement.

I also have noticed an increased prevalence in using fixed px sizes simply dropped onto rulesets where required, but have noticed it tends to go hand in hand with authors that are not really experienced with writing frontend code or who come from an app / cms background so I tend to find the justification arguments a little specious- as obviously using px dotted around is far easier than understanding relative values and compound issues and generally how to specify your sizing for a layout.

lastly I would add if there's one aspect I hate about layouts it's font-sizing Smile so any real winning argument for a simple approach would interest me.

Reading that link actually does highlight some good points such as the danger of specificity of using descendent selectors. With the increasing number of CMS themes stylesheets written by people that do not really understand or have too little real experience with layouts the rulesets rapidly become unworkable, impossible to follow the specificity, to understand what rules are going to be applied.

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