[linux-elitists] A modest proposal to web designers of the world (was Re: Site feedback: fonts too small)

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Wed May 16 14:52:25 PDT 2001

begin  Aaron Sherman quotation:

> The font sizes on their home page range from the headlines
> (font face="verdana,geneva,arial,sans serif" size="+1"), which are
> fairly large to lead-ins for their lead articles (font
> face="verdana,geneva,arial,sans serif" size="-1") to the lead-ins for
> the rest of the articles (font face="verdana,geneva,arial,sans serif"
> size=-2).

That's certainly nowhere near the _most_ clue-deficient HTML I've seen
today.  But I'd like the ability to override it.  Suppose those typeface
names on my machine map to something inappropriate -- or that I simply 
don't like them, or prefer Lucida (which I do)?  Webmasters often decide
they know better than I, and it's becoming apparent that educating them
isn't the easiest / most-efficient way to fix that problem.

Navigator/Communicator, for all its bletcherousness generally, at least
let you say "Use my default fonts, overriding document-specified fonts".
We need this functionality restored in Mozilla & friends.

The other item on my feature wish-list, however, is more ambitious:
I'd like to be able to get access to an HTTP proxy's configuration
in real-time from within a rendered page.  I want to be able to
right-click on a rendered item, and specify either (1) proxy to oblivion
all objects from this IP, (2) proxy to oblivion all objects from this
FQDN, (3) proxy to oblivion all objects from a subdomain I specify,
(4) give me the ability to specify some regex substitution right now,
and implement it immediately, and (5) list all rules currently in effect
and let me inspect/edit any of them.

It's unreasonable to have to build a general-purpose HTTP proxy into
every Web browser, so what we should be looking for is a standard
software interface browsers can talk to, and that proxies can take
direction from.  I.e., a SWPI = Standard Web Proxy Interface.  If you're 
running the Apache proxy, you'd just also enable this in httpd.conf:

   LoadModule proxy_swpi_module /usr/lib/apache/1.3/libproxy_swpi.so

If you're running Junkbuster, you enable the SWPI extension.  And so on.

Smarter than waiting for webmasters to suddenly sprout common sense, in
my view.

Cheers,                              "Open your present...."
Rick Moen                            "No, you open your present...."
rick@linuxmafia.com                  Kaczinski Christmas.
               --  Unabomber Haiku Contest, CyberLaw mailing list

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