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Old 09-30-2010, 05:26 PM
Volker Armin Hemmann
 
Default ridiculously wide handbook pages

On Thursday 30 September 2010, Grant Edwards wrote:


>
> That has lines that average about 140 characters. That's still much
> longer than what I'd consider good practice.

I am counting 105.

>
> Do the extremely long lines in the handbook web pages bother anybody
> else?

not me. Not with konqueror.
 
Old 09-30-2010, 05:57 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default ridiculously wide handbook pages

On 2010-09-30, Volker Armin Hemmann <volkerarmin@googlemail.com> wrote:
> On Thursday 30 September 2010, Grant Edwards wrote:
>
>
>>
>> That has lines that average about 140 characters. That's still much
>> longer than what I'd consider good practice.
>
> I am counting 105.

>> Do the extremely long lines in the handbook web pages bother anybody
>> else?
>
> not me. Not with konqueror.

I'm using firefox, and it obviously varies somewhat depending on the
exact fonts used and the screen resolution. That said, the vast
majority of sites sites don't seem to have this problem.

--
Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! Finally, Zippy
at drives his 1958 RAMBLER
gmail.com METROPOLITAN into the
faculty dining room.
 
Old 09-30-2010, 05:59 PM
Darren Kirby
 
Default ridiculously wide handbook pages

On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 11:13 AM, Grant Edwards
<grant.b.edwards@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> I can understand that things like example code blocks or sample
> command input/output blocks might need to be wide enough to require
> horizontal scrolling of a browser window, but normal text paragraphs
> with 160 characters per line?

I'm not seeing a problem here. Sure, the lines are long but my screen
is large and my resolution is high. A quick play with firefox and konq
shows that the text reformats itself quite elegantly when you resize
your browser window to say, 2/3 of screen width. I think that's a
better solution than imposing some arbitrary line length on everyone
no matter their screen size and resolution.

D
--
Support the mob or mysteriously disappear...
I'm on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/badcomputer/
 
Old 09-30-2010, 06:11 PM
Al
 
Default ridiculously wide handbook pages

Hi Grant,

I can only confirm this. Long lines are difficult to focus, so they
are tiresome to read.

For this reason typical newspapers have small columns. Personally I
even prefer to read ebooks on the very small display of a mobile
phone.

Al
 
Old 09-30-2010, 06:18 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default ridiculously wide handbook pages

On 2010-09-30, Darren Kirby <bulliver@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 11:13 AM, Grant Edwards
><grant.b.edwards@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>
>> I can understand that things like example code blocks or sample
>> command input/output blocks might need to be wide enough to require
>> horizontal scrolling of a browser window, but normal text paragraphs
>> with 160 characters per line?
>
> I'm not seeing a problem here. Sure, the lines are long but my screen
> is large and my resolution is high. A quick play with firefox and konq
> shows that the text reformats itself quite elegantly when you resize
> your browser window to say, 2/3 of screen width.

I'm using firefox, and the text doesn't reformat for me. I just end
up with a change in the size of the horizontal scrollbar. Are you
sure you're looking at the same pages I was talking about?

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?full=1
http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/base/embedded/handbook/?part=1&chap=2

> I think that's a better solution than imposing some arbitrary line
> length on everyone no matter their screen size and resolution.

Yes, that would be fine if, in fact, it worked. But it doesn't.

--
Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! Wow! Look!! A stray
at meatball!! Let's interview
gmail.com it!
 
Old 09-30-2010, 06:19 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default ridiculously wide handbook pages

On 2010-09-30, Al <oss.elmar@googlemail.com> wrote:

> I can only confirm this. Long lines are difficult to focus, so they
> are tiresome to read.

And when you have to scroll the window back-and-forth for each line,
it makes you want to scream.

> For this reason typical newspapers have small columns. Personally I
> even prefer to read ebooks on the very small display of a mobile
> phone.

--
Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! How do I get HOME?
at
gmail.com
 
Old 09-30-2010, 06:23 PM
Nikos Chantziaras
 
Default ridiculously wide handbook pages

On 09/30/2010 08:13 PM, Grant Edwards wrote:

I've noticed recently that the Gentoo handbook web pages are
ridiculously wide. (It seems to me that they didn't used to be, but I
wouldn't swear to that).

For example, look at this page:

http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/base/embedded/handbook/?part=1&chap=2

The normal text paragraphs have lines that average over 160 characters
per line. The generally accepted guideline for line length in order to
maintain good readability is 40-80. The above page's lines are 2-4
times as long as recommended for good readability, and they are in
fact so long that I can't make my browser wide enough to see an entire
line.


Same problem here. The text is not able to reformat below a certain
point, and that point is still too wide. Reading such wide lines of
text is not very comfortable.
 
Old 09-30-2010, 06:31 PM
Darren Kirby
 
Default ridiculously wide handbook pages

On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 12:18 PM, Grant Edwards
<grant.b.edwards@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> I'm using firefox, and the text doesn't reformat for me. *I just end
> up with a change in the size of the horizontal scrollbar. *Are you
> sure you're looking at the same pages I was talking about?
>
> *http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?full=1
> *http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/base/embedded/handbook/?part=1&chap=2
>

We must have some different settings going on somewhere Grant, I
checked both pages with both firefox and konq and they reformat just
fine for me.

Do you have some custom css stylesheets that override the default or something?

-D
--
Support the mob or mysteriously disappear...
I'm on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/badcomputer/
 
Old 09-30-2010, 06:34 PM
Mark Knecht
 
Default ridiculously wide handbook pages

On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 10:13 AM, Grant Edwards
<grant.b.edwards@gmail.com> wrote:
> I've noticed recently that the Gentoo handbook web pages are
> ridiculously wide. (It seems to me that they didn't used to be, but I
> wouldn't swear to that).
>
> For example, look at this page:
>
> *http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/base/embedded/handbook/?part=1&chap=2
>

I'll admit that a couple of times I've found this frustrating but not
enough that I'd ask anyone to change things.

I think the frustration, candidly, is that the web page programming
doesn't allow me to narrow the page as much as I might like and still
read the text. Sometimes I just want the browser to cover 1/2 the
screen, so that might be 600 pixels or so. Or maybe this is a Firefox
thing, not sure.

Anyway, I understand your point.

- Mark
 
Old 09-30-2010, 06:35 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default ridiculously wide handbook pages

On 2010-09-30, Grant Edwards <grant.b.edwards@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 2010-09-30, Darren Kirby <bulliver@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 11:13 AM, Grant Edwards
>><grant.b.edwards@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> I can understand that things like example code blocks or sample
>>> command input/output blocks might need to be wide enough to require
>>> horizontal scrolling of a browser window, but normal text paragraphs
>>> with 160 characters per line?
>>
>> I'm not seeing a problem here. Sure, the lines are long but my screen
>> is large and my resolution is high. A quick play with firefox and konq
>> shows that the text reformats itself quite elegantly when you resize
>> your browser window to say, 2/3 of screen width.
>
> I'm using firefox, and the text doesn't reformat for me. I just end
> up with a change in the size of the horizontal scrollbar. Are you
> sure you're looking at the same pages I was talking about?
>
> http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?full=1
> http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/base/embedded/handbook/?part=1&chap=2

OK, I think the problem is caused by "literal" blocks (the ones
containing command-line examples with the light-blue background where
nothing ever wraps). The _minimum_ line-wrap length for normal text
paragraphs is determined by the _maximum_ line length in a literal
block. Resizing the browser window horizontally only reformats text
_if_ the window is wider than the longest literal block line. For
many of the pages that requires more screen width than I, for one,
have.

IOW, for any pages with long command line examples (or program output
examples), you end up with very unweildy text paragraphs.

I'm not sure what formatting system the manual pages use (to me the
pages look way too clean, consistent, and neat to be hand-coded).
Using asciidoc, for example, you avoid this problem by specifying a
maxmimum width for normal text blocks so that they won't end up being
arbitrarily long depending on what command line examples you happen to
have in the document. I find 40em to be a nice max width:

asciidoc -a data-uri -a toc -a max-width=40em <input-file>

>> I think that's a better solution than imposing some arbitrary line
>> length on everyone no matter their screen size and resolution.

No, I wouldn't want to impose an arbitrary line lenth on everybody,
but that's exactly what we have now. The arbitrary line length that's
imposed is (length >= max(lengths-of-lines-in-literal-blocks)).

For pages without any wide literal blocks, it's not an issue, and the
normal paragaphs reflow as they should. For most of the manual pages
that I look at, it is an issue.

I'd prefer to have the line lengths determined by the browser window,
and that's not what we have now for much of the manual.

--
Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! Edwin Meese made me
at wear CORDOVANS!!
gmail.com
 

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