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"Stretchy" vs. Fixed-width

From: Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>
To: pgsql-www(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: "Stretchy" vs. Fixed-width
Date: 2004-11-20 20:16:44
Message-ID: (view raw or whole thread)
Lists: pgsql-www
Robert, Dave:

Hey, I wanted to settle -- or at least discuss -- the "stretchy" issue on 
website designs.    Aside from Omar's design, I think this is a useful issue 
to settle for a draft website spec, and *having* browsed the archives, I 
don't feel that it was ever discussed fully.  Tom, Robert and Dave have 
expressed that they *like* variable-width in the past, but I cannot find any 
discussion on the WWW list that lays out why we would, as a group, find it 
important to choose variable over fixed width.

So, some comparisons:
If you look at corporate websites, they tend to go for fixed-width:
... in fact, I've been trying this morning to find a large tech software or 
hardware manufacturer web site that uses variable-width, and cannot.   

The sites that go for variable width seem to be:
(a) News sites
... but not, interestingly,
(b) Open Source projects/companies

... actually, it's interesting how the web world is split; the big proprietary 
software/hardware companies seem to almost universally opt for fixed-width, 
and those centered around OSS projects are pretty much universally 
variable-width.    Partly the OSS projects are explainable because many (if 
not most) of them use community website packages which tend to be universally 

What this means, I don't know.   Thoughts?

What it seems to show me is that either format strategy is "valid" and 
"contemporary" and that our decision should be based on practical and 
aesthetic concerns, and not on what's "too 90's".

So, do people have reasons why one is better than the other?

Josh Berkus
Aglio Database Solutions
San Francisco

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Subject: Re: Vote on Omar Design
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