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DevEdge Redesign FAQ

Why did you ignore older browsers?

Actually, we didn't ignore them. We just decided that they were best served by getting the straight content, with no styling at all. This also allowed us to serve up the straight content to wireless Web devices, like cellphone browsers, without any extra work. By keeping the layout styles targeted at those browsers that could handle them, we serve all users with the content.

It is true that we might have changed our design approach so that older browsers got at least some styling, but in the end we decided that given our core audience (Web developers who typically use the latest versions of their favorite browser), that wasn't something that warranted the effort it would require.

I don't like the site's look in Netscape 4. How can we use standards and still present a nice design to older browsers?

That's a subject that could fill an entire article (or, heck, a whole book). The basic answer is to use a simple table to block out the main layout areas of a design, and use relatively simple CSS to style the contents of that table. Avoid getting too fancy with padding and margins, since older browsers had trouble with those sorts of things. A good example of this technique, which is known as "transitional design," is the Fox Searchlight Web site.

Why did you bother writing a text-sizing widget?

Because the most widespread Web browser on the market doesn't allow its users to resize pixel-sized text through its Text Size menu. Most other browsers available today allow either Text Zooming, which resizes any text no matter how it was sized; or Page Zooming, which resizes both text and images. The one exception is too popular to completely ignore.

Thus, in order to let users of that browser resize text, it was necessary to implement a resizing widget. For just about everyone else, you can use the features built into your browser to resize text if you desire.

Why are you using pixel-sized text?

It was judged to be the best way to meet our design requirements, which included specific parameters for the appearance of text. We considered a number of other approaches, but none of them offered any more benefit than the path we chose. Some offered a good deal less. Unfortunately, there is no perfect approach to text sizing on the Web today. We have hopes that this will one day change.

In the meantime, you can resize the text using the widget, your browser's built-in text/page zooming feature, or by overriding our CSS. The only place we actually set the text size in pixels is on the body element. All other elements' text is scaled from that baseline. If you wish, you can override our size with your own by means of a user stylesheet. We used this particular approach precisely because it's the easiest to override with user CSS, in fact.

How did you get URLs to show in the printouts?

It's the magic of print-medium styles and generated content! Explaining it would take more room than we really have, so we'll just point you to the article "Going to Print" on A List Apart. It's where we got the CSS we're using on DevEdge, actually.

What will you be adding to the site next?

To a large degree, that up to you, our readers. Let us know what you'd like to see next!