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Date:      Mon, 9 Apr 2012 21:17:33 +0200
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        Robert Bonomi <>
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD's backwards webdesign / corporate identity
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <>

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Allow me a few additions:

On Mon, 9 Apr 2012 13:58:43 -0500 (CDT), Robert Bonomi wrote:
>   2) Make sure *every* '<img >' tag has a "meaningful" "alt=' field.  (if it
>      is just a filler/spacer image, _still_ put an  'alt=" "' field on it.
>      This explicitly declares that the image has 'no content')

And also note the longdesc= parameter to img. It should be
used to give a meaningful (!) description of an image's

>   6) Try resizing the browser panel -- wide (side-to-side) and short (top-
>      to-bottom), and narrow (side-to-side) and tall (top-to-bottom).
>      Does it work _acceptably_ in a 640x480 window?  (why not?  There are 
>      users out there with VGA-only displays.)

Also note that following this "auto-resize" approach enables
a web page to be used in all its beauty on mobile devices,
such as tablets and smartphones. If done right, no separate
version is needed there.

>      *IDEALLY* the content should expand to fill whatever width there is
>      available (I have a display 1920 pixels wide, the current webpage
>      =refuses= to use more than about 1/2 of it.

Excellent idea for improving. Many web pages could learn from
that simple idea. The habit of being "optimized for 1024x768"
is very annoying, especially if you _have_ a large display
where you arrange non-fullscreen windows on. Pages that fail
to accomodate to the window's size are very annoying. In fact,
they are the majority.

>      Get this right, and you show you understand that HTML is -not-
>      a 'page layout' language, That one is merely providing 'hints'
>      for the browser to 'do with as it sees fit'.  Web layout *is*
>      a very different discipline from layout for the printed page.

Many web developers seem to be unable to see HTML as a markup
language that defines structure (indead of layout). If you
want to have pixel-precise 1:1 reproduction, use PDF.

With HTML5 (but also applies to HTML4), it's easy to use the
HTML tags to define what text _is_ instead of what it should
look like. A usable approach is to use CSS for styling, and
HTML for content-oriented structural description. That way,
from the HTML content one can determine what's a heading,
what's a paragraph, what's an address - instead of thinking
in terms like "this is in bold text" or "this is underlined
text with 18px in 'Comic Sans'". The idea of "semantic browsing"
can be utilized.

> Once you have -that- 100% functional with no errors, -then-, and *only*
> *then* is is appropriate to add *optional* (for the user) 'enhancements' 
> in addition to the basic functionality.

I think there _is_ potential to improve the FreeBSD website,
in layout, content and structure. But it should be done
carefully so it doesn't break anytime soon (such as "modern"
web pages do when a new version of some arbitrary extension
is out or when the underlying implementation language breaks
things due to updates).

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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