A couple of reactionary items to feedback on the Garden.
The URL csszengarden.com forwards you to mezzoblue.com/zengarden, which effectively breaks the back button. I didn’t realize this was happening! I definitely wouldn’t have chosen that way on purpose; when I figure out what to do about hosting, I’m hoping the domain will be the final URL instead of a forward.
The issue of font scaling has popped up a few times now.
For me, some of the designs that are posted are hard to use because I normally scale fonts up. arch4.20 and Stormweather suffer when this is done to them. I hope that font scaling and different user base fonts will be considered ‘normal’ uses that designers are expected to take into account.
— Michael Croft
I think I screwed up on that point. I’m so used to coding font sizes as pixels (and since IE6/Win doesn’t allow you to resize hard pixel values) that in my testing I never think to fool around with font size and see what breaks.
Part of the problem in a project like this is that while text can scale gracefully, images can’t. It’s inconsequential to tell a box with only a background colour to grow as text scales, but it gets a whole lot harder when that box has to fit inside another box that only has so much room.
This is one of the problems with CSS as a design language — it’s either all or nothing where fonts are concerned. It’s a perfectly valid design requirement to constrain text within a certain area; if CSS provided a way to say “resize all fonts but these ones” then the problem is eliminated. Short of serving all your text as an image, there just isn’t a way to do this right now.
Any designer worth his or her salt will agree with that point; font scaling needs to be taken into account. But it’s a give–and–take process, and you can’t expect him or her to cater to every contingency. There’s no way I’m going to be able to make my pixel–value background images work if someone chooses to browse at text–size 300%.
The wonderful thing about style sheets is that if my entire design is done with them, I can provide an alternative. If someone chooses to surf at 300%, they’ll have the option of a different stylesheet which doesn’t break. It may not be as pretty, but at least they can get to my content.
This is probably the best of both worlds. I will give you what I think is my most effective design by default. If you have problems with it, I will give you an alternative or two to chose from that will hopefully clear up those problems. It’s tough being all things to everyone; it’s substantially easier when there’s a choice involved.