> On Sep 8, 2005, at 20:22 , Richard A. O'Keefe wrote:
> > My first comment is that I found it very difficult to read.
> > In two senses. I normally browse with an old Netscape, and
> > basically all I saw was a sea of black with a few dots of
> > colour here and there.
> This isn't a valid complaint. Although the page needs some minor changes to comply > with the standard it's claiming, it's more or less what one would expect on any modern > web site. If your browser is ten years old (a really dark time for the web), you
> shouldn't expect things to work well
I disagree - it *is* a valid comment - and it is a statement of fact
Richard said "I found it difficult to read" - the consequence of this will be
that he presumably not read the page unless he is not well motivated to do so.
Now the best thing to is to install a favelet (or bookmarklet) such as,
In firefox you save the bookmark "Disable Stylesheets" in your favourites and
enable your bookmarks toolbar - then when you see an unreadable page click on
disable bookmarks and the CSS will be disassociated from the page - and the
page magically becomes readable.
IMHO all blogging/forum software should allow the *reader* of a page to decide the
color scheme and layout etc - very few bloggers work this way.
The stupid thing is that browsers allow the reader to change font sizes etc.
but NOT color schemes - and I like Richard find certain color schemes very off-putting
so I just don't bother to read these pages.
When I author a web page I don't think "I know I'll choose a color scheme that
makes my page totally unreadable - I'll but a purple background image, and make my
text bright orange - and just in case I have any color-blind readers I'll make
some nice green text on a red background. Oh and when you click on a link
it will change to the background color, so you can never find it again"
This has nothing to do with standards, nor the age of the browser - but everything
to do with usability.
As Richard said - "read Nielson" - not just the on-line stuff - buy the book.
If you disagree with what I've said then please can you do one thing? - read the
book Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity (Nielsen)
Oh and read
The Humane Interface - Rankin
The Mythical man Month - Brooks
The Elements of programming style - Kernigan and Plauger
<< aside - I just assume that everybody on this list has read these
books - if you are programmer or software project manager or IT manager then not
reading K&P, Brooks and Nielsen should be viewed as
profession misconduct and lead to instant dismissal >>
I always use it to read web pages with dark background or
insufficient contrast. Other useful features of this extension
fonts, popups and referrer http header - everything with one or two
clicks (one click if it is used as toolbar, two clicks if used as
On Sep 12, 2005, at 1:52 , Joe Armstrong (AL/EAB) wrote:
> I disagree - it *is* a valid comment - and it is a statement of fact
> Richard said "I found it difficult to read" - the consequence of
> this will be
> that he presumably not read the page unless he is not well
> motivated to do so.
First, let me apologize for perpetuating this thread digression,
but there's a subtlety that was missed in here:
1) He said it's hard to read, but didn't give much of an
indication as to how it was difficult to read.
2) In a private message, he described what the page looked like
to him, and it was not what was specified (``In this year's Mozilla,
it prints as pale grey on white.'').
For #1, I don't believe it's constructive to tell people that
something is bad and point them off at endless volumes of information
about what is good hoping they'll spend time absorbing all of it and
realize what small mistake was made. It's just not that hard to say,
``I have trouble reading this because of the low contrast between the
grey text and the white background.'' At that point, it would've
been obvious that something wasn't working correctly.
For #2, this sounds like user error. The web page specifically
called for a black background, which is how it was rendered on my
screen. In order to get the background to be white, one would have
to either be using a browser that doesn't understand web standards,
or one would've had to have partially overridden what the designer
had requested. Perhaps there are other possibilities, but I don't
know what they were, because no further information was given.
So, in summary, when I said it's not a valid complaint, perhaps
I should've said it's not a constructive complaint. From what I've
been able to gather after the initial complaint, it sounds more like
user-error, which (I would say) would make it a completely invalid
Sorry again for dragging this along. The java discussion was
somewhat interesting at the beginning, at least.
SPY My girlfriend asked me which one I like better.
pub 1024/3CAE01D5 1994/11/03 Dustin Sallings <dustin>
| Key fingerprint = 87 02 57 08 02 D0 DA D6 C8 0F 3E 65 51 98 D8 BE
L_______________________ I hope the answer won't upset her. ____________