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Re: "Stretchy" vs. Fixed-width

From: "Dave Page" <dpage(at)vale-housing(dot)co(dot)uk>
To: "Josh Berkus" <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>, <pgsql-www(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: "Stretchy" vs. Fixed-width
Date: 2004-11-21 17:24:30
Message-ID: E7F85A1B5FF8D44C8A1AF6885BC9A0E407B44D@ratbert.vale-housing.co.uk (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-www
Hi Josh,

Add www.microsoft.com to the list of variable ones :-)

I originally designed the current fixed-width site, which at the time various people liked, however, the one complaint that I think many of us kept hearing was that it should be variable width so ppl could utilise their screen real estate if they wished. Originally, Robert worked on just that update to the current site iirc.

Personnally, I don't care which way it goes, but based on feedback I've heard over the last couple of years, stretchy is definately preferred by others.

/D


-----Original Message-----
From: pgsql-www-owner(at)postgresql(dot)org on behalf of Josh Berkus
Sent: Sat 11/20/2004 8:16 PM
To: pgsql-www(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: [pgsql-www] "Stretchy" vs. Fixed-width
 
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:
www.ibm.com
www.hp.com
www.redhat.com
www.ca.com
www.sun.com
http://www.novell.com/linux/suse/index.html
www.vmware.com
www.apple.com
www.harpercollins.com
... 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
www.the451.com
www.slashdot.org
www.theregister.co.uk
... but not, interestingly, www.cnn.com
(b) Open Source projects/companies
www.mozilla.org
www.mysql.com
http://www.jboss.org/products/index
www.kde.org
www.debian.org

... 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 
variable-width.

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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Next:From: Marc G. FournierDate: 2004-11-21 18:17:30
Subject: Re: "Stretchy" vs. Fixed-width
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Subject: Re: "Stretchy" vs. Fixed-width

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