[pmwiki-users] A question about skins

Andrew Standfield andy at scruffyco.com
Tue Aug 8 00:41:18 CDT 2006

This actually got me to thinking about the line length issue because  
it's been quite awhile (almost 10 years (eek)) since I actually  
learned about the effect of long lines. So I did a bit of digging  
around, and according to the latest study I could find about on- 
screen reading, longer lines (of about 95 character per line) are  
read *faster* (counter to what I had originally been taught). But 95  
cpl is about the limit. "Efficiency" was found to be optimized at the  
same length.

Here's the link to the study:

And here's a synopsis of it at the U.S Dept. of Health's usability site:

I believe that the origin of columnar text in newspapers has more to  
do with space issues than with legibility... although... obviously I  
could be wrong.

BTW, CSS3 will have columnar text (and text and image orientation).

I'm not sure if it's because of the browsers I'm using (Safari,  
Firefox, and Camino), but the arrows on SimpleBits only switch the  
style from wide (900px) fixed-width to narrow (760px) fixed-width. At  
any rate, i'm very much about giving the user a certain amount of  
control over layout, but more from an accessibility point of view  
than a "preference" point of view.

Andy Standfield

On Aug 7, 2006, at 5:29 PM, Clemens Gruber wrote:

> Andrew Standfield wrote:
>> 65 characters, or 10-15 words. When lines are longer, it takes a
>> greater amount of time for the brain to find the start of a new line
>> when your eyes snap back to the left.
> Hello,
> I'd like to say thats a case for columns, so you can put as much parts
> as you like side by side, with a pleasing reading wide. But I can't  
> find
> working CSS column definition in today's browsers ... and keep on
> dreaming ... ;-)
> A good basic approach is done by Dan Cederholm, auther of "Bulletproof
> Web Design", s.
> http://www.simplebits.com/publications/bulletproof/
> On this site you can switch from a fix width layout to a variable  
> -- the
> two "kissing" triangle next the navigation. I think for some cases  
> it's
> good to have as much space you can get, e.g. large maps, photos and so
> on. But the best approach is to let the user decide what to use, he or
> she is the real expert.
> Best regads
> Clemens
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