[linux-elitists] Take back the net! CSS for the user

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Fri Dec 7 15:32:42 PST 2001


I'm working on a CSS that results in a largely readable, presentable,
workable Web experience for users, primarially of GNU/Linux, but ideally
of any platform.

Results for me right now are pretty good, I'm working on smoothing some
edges, generalizing the stylesheet further, and simplifying it if
possible.

Its main aims are to:

  - Standardize font faces and sizes.  It largely leaves you with your
    default selected serif, sans-serif, and monotype, as specified by
    your font preferences, with minimal extremes of size and face acress
    sites.  A uniform, user-controlled, environment is IMO a Very Good
    Thing®.

  - Allow UI flexibility by respecting font face / size preferences
    selected by the user through font dialogs.  This is not fully
    achieved, we're working on it.  That is:  the values being specified
    here are _derived from the user's own preferences_, to the extent
    possible.  This isn't the case for all styles specified, but I'm
    trying to root out the exceptions.

  - Minimize the hardcoded font size range delta, while allowing a
    slight degree of size hinting.  These are the <font size="value">
    and <font size="+/-delta"> tags, and the absolute and relative size
    hints in CSS.  Currently this is resolved by zeroing the scaling
    factor:  all base text is presented at the same size, regardless of
    sizing hints.  Given the rampant abuse of these features, this may
    not be a bad thing.  Anyone with information as to how these scaling
    ranges can be modified through CSS is encouraged to give me a shout.

  - Make link appearance more uniform and/or more apparent.  Overzealous
    web designers are making links fade into the page, frankly, the
    damned things are more useful when visible.  This is accomplished
    right now by specifying a color preference for the old standards
    (blue link, purple visited), and by producing a highlight on hover,
    with more emphasis on selection.  This makes links stand out without
    making them too obnoxious.  Unfortunately, many sites use dark or
    blue backgrounds, making the non-hover color selection somewhat
    troublesome.  I'm investigating a HSC (hue/sat/contr) color CSS
    configuration to be used for background elements.

  - A few other odds'n'ends, most of which tend to improve readability
    in my experience.  Specification of H1-H6 presentation, largely for
    cleaner scaling and readability.  Addition of a slight margin (2px
    top/bottom, 3 px sides), for cleaner visual seperation of page from
    window frame.  Specific encoding of input and textarea font and
    size.  I'm trying to get a viewsource wrap option set but it doesn't
    appear to work.

Input, suggestions, critiques welcomed.  Work in progress, subject to
change.

Attached are 

  - userContent.css:  Stylesheet.  This goes in the "chrome" directory
    of your Mozilla or Galeon user configuration directory.  For Galeon,
    that's ~/.galeon/mozilla/galeon/chrome.  For mozilla the path varies,
    but it's usually ~/.mozilla/$USER/*/chrome.

  - test.html:  a sample HTML page with various style elements to
    illustrate use of the sheet.

I'm also checking against the following websites.  Note that the
emphasis isn't to _match_ rendering without the stylesheet, but to
_improve rendering_ to the point of creating an more readable page.  For
the news sites listed, look at a few story posts as well.

    http://slashdot.org/
    http://linuxtoday.com/
    http://news.yahoo.com/
    http://www.sfgate.com/
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/
    http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/docs/mozpref.php
    http://www.embedded.com/story/OEG20011130S0034
    http://www.webreview.com/1998/06_26/webauthors/06_26_98_7.shtml

I'm using Galeon.  I've specified Garamon 16pt as my default serif and
sans-serif font (I don't like sans-serif body text), and Courier New
12pt for monotype.  I've *NOT* selected the "use own fonts" preference.

Peace.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>       http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?             Home of the brave
  http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/                   Land of the free
   Free Dmitry! Boycott Adobe! Repeal the DMCA! http://www.freesklyarov.org
Geek for Hire                     http://kmself.home.netcom.com/resume.html
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