Closed Bug 131236 Opened 18 years ago Closed 18 years ago

text zoom causes misinterpretation of CSS lengths

Categories

(Core :: CSS Parsing and Computation, defect, P3, major)

defect

Tracking

()

RESOLVED WONTFIX
Future

People

(Reporter: cpriest, Assigned: dbaron)

References

(Blocks 1 open bug, )

Details

From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:0.9.9) Gecko/20020311
BuildID:    2002031104

When a Style Sheet tells text to size itself using pixel dimensions, that font
should from there on out be the exact same size regardless of a person's browser
text size settings. This is the case in both IE and NS4, however in the latest
build of Mozilla, changing the browser's text size also increases fixed size
text, which can produce some grotesque results the web designer has no control over.

The URL I listed is just an example; it does this on every single site using
pixel based CSS font settings.

Reproducible: Always
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Visit the URL
2. Change your Text Zoom Level
3. Get angry.

Actual Results:  The text increased in size when it wasn't supposed to,
resulting in the page layout becoming completely shattered.

Expected Results:  Absolutely nothing. Changing the text zoom level shouldn't
affect pixel based text size levels at all, and therefore Mozilla shouldn't have
changed the page one iota.

I believe the older versions of Mozilla handled this properly, although my
memory isn't 100% clear so I could be wrong.
This would be nice, in theory, but the problem is that web designers think
they're cool and design pages with pixel sizes all over the place that are
illegible for most users.  If web designers were responsible and didn't try to
defeat the font size preferences of users, then we could implement "Text Zoom"
as just a changing of the default font size and have a full Zoom that zoomed
everything, including images.  However, if we did that, large numbers of pages
wouldn't change size, and the user would be annoyed that he can't read the page
and that text zoom doesn't work.  (I'd still like to get full zoom working one
of these days.)
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Closed: 18 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
Reopening after email discussion, although I don't think we really have the
option of fixing this until we have full zoom working (which does comply with
CSS).  There is a legitimate argument that text zoom is rather likely to break
pages, although those pages are generally (although not completely) poorly
designed ones and I'm still not convinced that we should care.

I think we'll want to leave the text zoom backend in, because embeddors who are
using TV displays will likely want to zoom text independently of images.
Status: RESOLVED → UNCONFIRMED
Resolution: WONTFIX → ---
Summary: Pixel based CSS font sizes ignored → text zoom causes misinterpretation of CSS lengths
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true
I strongly disagree with the proposal in this bug. Text zoom should zoom text.
Whence the name. If it breaks pages then that's the page's fault -- pages should
never use pixel-sized text.

              | Text zoom zooms pixel text.| Text zoom doesn't zoom pixel text.|
--------------+----------------------------+-----------------------------------+
Well written  | User happy.                | User happy.                       |
page with     | Author happy.              | Author happy.                     |
text sized in | Everybody happy.           | Everybody happy.                  |
'em' units    |                            |                                   |
--------------+----------------------------+-----------------------------------+
Badly written | User can read text, but    | User thinks font zoom is broken.  |
page with     | page looks ugly. User      | User very unhappy.                |
text sized in | not overly happy. Author   | Author happy.                     |
'px' units    | uphappy.                   |                                   |
--------------+----------------------------+-----------------------------------+
Happiness of  | 1.5                        | 1.0                               |
user:         |                            |                                   |
--------------+----------------------------+-----------------------------------+

The user is happiest when text zoom zooms all text, including pixel sized text.
I really couldn't care less how happy the author is.

Note that if he user finds that zooming breaks the page... he can just unzoom
it. Big deal.


I vote that this is a strong WONTFIX.
I think the default zoom would be better as a full zoom because a full zoom
would deal better with images holding (tiny) text.
Text Zoom is a "I want to ignore/modify what the page author intended" option,
as compared to the default font settings, which are "I want these font/size
settings if the page author doesn't specify" settings.

User Agents (and their Users) do not have to follow the request of the page
authors in all cases.

If I'm vision-impaired, and I want bigger fonts, I'm going to use them somehow.
 Full page zoom (while useful in it's own right) may not be what I want most of
the time, especially if I need to blow up fonts a lot (say 4x or more).

As dbaron implied, we have use for textzoom as well as full zoom.  With low
numbers of pixels and image scaling, we have to use at least a 150% text zoom
for things to be readable, but full zoom is not usable for most browsing, since
we don't have enough pixels (real estate) very much of pages with full zoom.

Both abilities have their place, and too many page authors assume HTML/CSS is a
page layout language and spend their time absolutely positioning and sizing
things.  This is bad for people like us, and it's bad for accessibility.

I agree with Hixie.

(adding aaronl)
Sorry for the repeat, was advised to post to Bugzilla instead of e-mail.

Designers need specific control over text because of all the other limitations 
we have to work around. Being able to force text to be a size we need is an 
absolutely essential feature for making websites look good while still 
functioning well. I know there are some techie types who don't care what 
websites look like, but we're not designing sites for them since they like to 
complain anyway. We're designing sites for the vast majority of users who DO 
care about a websites appearance and who do require a pleasant looking and 
highly functional UI with limited scrolling and maximum usability on a broad 
range of browsers, screen resolutions, OS's etc.

It comes down to the fact that Mozilla is priding itself as a "standards" 
browser, and I'm pretty shocked they're going to ignore this standard simply 
because the bull-headed minority of programmers don't like it. Maybe if they had 
a separate option to override CSS that would be better, but they don't, this is 
just a bold slap in the face to websites that either have already been made with 
fixed text size in mind, or who need to use this feature in the future. Most 
users don't want ALL text to be huge, and would be very upset if text vital to a 
sites layout suddenly destroyed the whole look of their site just because a 
couple of other websites require them to crank up the text size.

If websites don't look right in MZ, people will just pop open IE and I highly 
doubt AOL wants that when it packages this as NS 6.5 and mass distributes it. 
Microsoft isn't even going to have to do anything to win the browser war. The 
reality is that if the websites people go to don't look right, whether they are 
new or old, people will use another browser that actually works - they just 
will.

And if web designers can't make it look the way they need with HTML, they're 
going to be forced to use Flash. Do you really want to flood the web with pure 
Flash?

And not to be insensitive, but Windows already has many visibility enhancement 
features, not to mention lower screen resolutions. This feature doesn't need to 
be removed, and shouldn't be removed.

Curtis
> and would be very upset if text vital to a sites layout suddenly destroyed the
> whole look of their site just because a couple of other websites require them to
> crank up the text size.

This is why text zoom is not persisted across windows and sessions.  It's
supposed to be a temporary override only, for those cases when you are faced
with an utterly unreadable page because the author decided that everyone has
Windows running at 75dpi and claiming to be 96dpi.
That would be fine, but it's not directly treated that way by the UI. People are 
used to the text size options in IE and NS4, allowing them to turn up the 
general font sizes and then leave it there. Your average user probably won't use 
it as a temporary function, and also probably won't realize why so many websites 
don't fit together properly for them under MZ/NS6. Personally I would be willing 
to accept a separate function that can override styles that only your more 
advanced user will understand, thus negating the concern that your average 
laymen Internet user won't accidentally screw up websites and not understand 
why.
> That would be fine, but it's not directly treated that way by the UI.

Well... we could reset the zoom whenever the hostname in the location bar
changes (that way it would persist for one site once you set it but reset once
you leave the site).  As it is, we reset it when you open a new browser window.
We need a better way for low vision users to persist their magnification level.
Text zoom persistance across windows and sessions would be really useful for
these users. 

When was it decided that this was to be relegated as a temporary override? Some
users need to increase the size of all pages that they read. Using the prefs to
override the author's setting makes all the fonts on the page the same, which is
bad because low vision users need to have access to the same formatting and
emphasis via fonts/size as everyone else. Having to reset every time a new
window is opened is bad.
That's what the default font settings are for: setting your preferred font size.
I'd rather persist full zoom than text zoom.
Ian: font size settings in Mozilla have no effect on CSS styled fonts specified
in px, points, etc (which, BTW, makes them pretty useless).  There are several
open bugs on persisting text zoom setting, and merging the font size prefs with
text zoom in some manner.

AaronL is correct, some people absolutely need this functionality, and would far
_far_ prefer it to persist.  Also, to answer dbaron's suggestion,
visually-impaired users may not want to zoom images as often as they zoom text.
 Zooming entire pages (images + text) by the amounts many would have to zoom can
make many pages painful to view on many computers due to horizontal scrollbars.

We happen to absolutely need this feature for our own reasons (very fuzzy
display device and a small screen).  Currently we hack into our chrome a text
zoom of 150%.  We plan to provide a full-page zoom (bug 4821), but we know our
users could never use that for day-to-day browsing.

Are there competing interests here?  Absolutely.  Mr. Priest thinks web
designers should have the last say about how something looks on the user's
screen.  I think the user should be able to choose how they view the page - if
you can't read the font, the pretty layout the designer chose does you no good.
That was always the idea behind using a markup language and user-agents - the
user-agents could display the data in whatever way works best for the user. 
Even braille.  Or text-based (w3.el, lynx, etc).

Mozilla's goal (as opposed to distributors of mozilla) is to enable
functionality; the distributors choose what UI and features of mozilla to make
available, and add things as they wish.  This _is_ an important functionality,
whether or not Netscape decides to include it.  I think it's especially
important to visually-impaired people (Aaron, am I correct?)
Well, if we're all agreed (except Curtis) that we want users to be able to
change the font size regardless of how the author sets it, this bug is invalid,
right?

We should file specific bugs to address the enhancements suggested above.
Will users who increase their text zoom one day realize the next day that it's
what's messing up a number of the web pages they regularly visit?  Text zoom
does mess up a number of pages on the web today, and I think, because of that,
persisting text zoom (as opposed to full zoom) is dangerous.
Actually my primary concern is that your average Joe user will turn up the font 
size on his machine for a couple of site that he needs it for, and forget to 
turn it back and thus all websites meticulously designed won't look right and 
they'll have no idea why. Under special circumstances I agree users should have 
the final say if they absolutely need to read some really small text or have 
extreme vision problems, but I think these should be referred to as special 
features for that purpose under perhaps accessibility tools, and not made to 
appear like the current IE and NS4 text size settings which do NOT disturb the 
layout of a carefully crafted website. I know many people, myself included since 
I am a web user as much as I am a designer, who would not like to see website 
layouts destroyed simply because sometimes a little boost in text size is needed 
for certain text on that page that isn't critical to the design.

I should also point out that we're not designing stylish websites just for 
ourselves here. If that was the case we'd save ourselves the trouble and design 
something plain and simple. But our clients pay us to design websites that look 
good and can attract and keep new visitors. Study after study after study shows 
that unless they are seeking vital information (and even then there's a limit), 
people will not stick around on visually unappealing websites. They just won't… 
the vast majority of users do want good looking websites, so taking away tools 
that let us do that really isn't as in the best interest of the user as some of 
you are making it out to be.
Well the 5 of you may be agreed, but no offence you're only 5 people, and the 
vast majority of people I've talked to about this, from users to designers to 
people with visual impairments do no agree text zoom should be a permanent 
override for all fonts on a site unless that user separately chooses to override 
critical structural text. I have always designed my sites with the end user in 
mind, so I wouldn't be fighting for this unless I truly thought they would be 
negatively impacted by this decision. If I thought most ended users wanted sites 
that relied very little on visual appeal, I would just do that and make my job a 
WHOLE lot easier.
dbaron: I know of only a few reasons people turn up font sizes: they use high
resolutions on small monitors/laptops; they have poor sight; they have a special
use in mind (TV display whether direct or through a TV-out); they want to view
it from an longer distance than normal; or their default fonts look bad in small
sizes (a _classic_ problem in XFree86 distributions).  Or they just prefer how
larger fonts look - smoother curves, etc.

I don't usually see anyone increase the font size for a single site, except
maybe for the small-fonts-look-bad one.  More often, I see people use full zoom
for a specific site, when text in images is hard to read.  Your mileage may
vary, and someone with visual issues that aren't too bad might prefer to zoom
the whole page.

Mr Priest writes:
>Actually my primary concern is that your average Joe user will turn up the
>font size on his machine for a couple of site that he needs it for, and
>forget to turn it back and thus all websites meticulously designed won't
>look right

Honestly, I think that's up to Joe User.  This feature was in browsers from
almost day one, since they were cross-platform, used different fonts, users used
different font sizes, etc.  Before CSS, this worked wonderfully.  If you read
the design documents and interviews, etc about HTML and the WWW, you'll see that
such user-agent flexibility (and user choice) was a design goal.  The user could
even override the font name/family requested by the website.  After CSS,
suddenly the user's font size preferences started getting ignored on some sites,
but not on others.

>I know many people, myself included since 
>I am a web user as much as I am a designer, who would not like to see website 
>layouts destroyed simply because sometimes a little boost in text size is
>needed for certain text on that page that isn't critical to the design.

Most users don't care about this unless the website starts breaking (things
start overwriting, or become hard to get the information from the page).  For
example, sites that mix absolute positioning of stuff on top of tables/etc, and
assume the text won't run under their overlay (ESPN makes this mistake).

Quite honestly, the more we move to absolute layout ("This page only looks good
in 1600x1200 with standard MS fonts installed") the worse things get for anyone
who needs or prefers anything else.  Right now, carefully-chosen font sizes in
pixels look horrendus on systems that don't have good-looking bitmap fonts in
those pixel sizes in that font.  I keep hitting sites that specify fonts that I
have to generate by scaling, and scaling in XFree86/etc sucks rocks at small
sizes (because Apple has a patent on the hinting algorithm for TrueType).

Also, I have a lot of real usage data for systems that use larger fonts.  Our
current browser (based on Spyglass) uses fonts that are roughly 50% bigger in
pixels at a given size (via <font size=N>, since this is a non-CSS browser). 
Most sites work absolutely fine.  WebTV, UltimateTV, many information appliances
(Audry, etc), etc do similarly.  The worst problem we have is with horizontal
scrollbars, which is why we stay away from zooming images by default.

Well-designed sites can and do adapt moderately well to mildly (50%) larger
fonts.  This is good, since font sizes across systems aren't consistent (unless
the designer assumes everyone uses MS fonts on WinXX at 1024x768, which some
webmasters absolutely do).  My parents eyes aren't great (ok), and they find
that with a 17" monitor at 1Kx768 the default font sizes are too small unless
they grab their reading glasses, and even then they don't like them - they
prefer larger text.  I have two choices: change resolution to 800x600 (implicit
zoom), or up the font size settings for _all_ fonts.
Status: NEW → ASSIGNED
OS: Windows 2000 → All
Priority: -- → P3
Hardware: PC → All
Target Milestone: --- → Future
Blocks: 153699
I think purposefully breaking sites by forcing a text zoom that overrides the 
authors design is kind of like slicing off your nose to spite your face. It’s 
overkill and irresponsible and I’m glad I came across this thread because this 
issue has raised a lot of hell in some large web design forums.

Furthermore, I think this speaks for itself
http://www.geocities.com/mark_easterbrook/ns6.jpg

I know both AOL and Netscape have been made aware of this and aren't happy 
about it at all.
Mark, I think designing a page that uses a tiny font that people cannot read is
like licing off your nose to spite your face.  The particular screenshot you
post is a perfect example -- the fonts in that screenshot are at the very low
end of what I can read on this monitor.  Anything smaller would be completely
unreadable, and so in fact I would want to zoom the text to a larger size on
that page.
So then make it an accessibility option for people who are obviously as 
visually impaired as you are (and for some reason refuse to lower their screen 
resolution if it’s such a problem). Don’t call it Text Zoom (or in Netscape, 
Text Size) and put it in a spot that makes it look like the IE Text Size 
option, then make it constant for an entire session. That’s just begging for 
confusion and the breaking of innocent sites!!!

I know you guys want to turn the Internet into some bland tedium of text and 
boredom with no style whatsoever (at least that’s how I interpreted many of the 
replies to this thread), but you’re programming (or bug reporting) a browser 
for people out here in the real world who quickly leave sites if they don’t 
look good. A designer has to have absolute control over how it’s displayed or 
as someone else mentioned, they’re going to use bloated technologies like Flash 
just to get around the problem and to spite you. If the text is too small, 
they’ll leave and the web designer will quickly get the message.

At the VERY least the text size should reset back to normal after the user 
leaves the domain, so other sites aren’t inadvertently affected by a novice 
user who doesn’t fully understand what it does.
I am in fact not visually impaired (once I'm wearing my glasses ;) ).  However I
do have a high resolution screen and I do work that _does_ require the high
resolution.  Web browsing is not my primary occupation and therefore does not
dictate the resolution i use.

A site that the designer has absolute control over does not look good in my
experience.  It looks like what the designer designed, which may be totally
inappropriate to the medium it's actually being viewed in.  Would you also
suggest that we print white-on-black pages as white-on-black?  That would, after
all, give the designer absolute control...

I agree that having text zoom revert on leaving the domain may be a good idea,
however.
Actually, if a designer wants to print white or silver etc. on black to avoid 
the fine resolution issues of dropping white out of black, that's their 
decision to do so, there aren't really many printing constrictions with regards 
to that; I'm afraid your reference is inaccurate and not even really relevant. 
I'll also take it a step further and point out that if I send artwork to the 
printer to print for me, they're definitely not going to enlarge the text in my 
work if they happen to think it's too small for a minute portion of the 
population to see. It's not their place to do so as it's my design and they 
have absolutely no right to modify it – that would be horribly arrogant.

Wow, a website looking the way a designer designed it… what a novel idea! If 
the web was as bad as you seem to think I don’t think it would be as successful 
as it is.

Just so I'm clear, are you really saying that you think the entire browser 
community should conform to what a very small percentage of people like 
yourself feel is necessary because you're working in unusually high resolutions 
and don’t seem to like what most other people like? I don't think that's 
practical at all, but I'm glad to see you're at least willing to make it a more 
temporary function, which is more than the others here seem to be willing to 
do. To me that would be an acceptable compromise.

But I feel compelled to point out that I run high resolutions too and have 
absolutely no problem reading the text on Netscape’s site at its regular size. 
And if I did, I would prefer not to break apart the site with a text zoom but 
instead use a page zoom function (like those built right into many OS’s) since 
I know web designers have a difficult enough job already juggling all the 
different system configs out there.

In any event, I sincerely hope that AOL\Netscape won’t be releasing a browser 
that's capable of breaking their own site now that they know about this problem.
The analogies in comment 23 to print media are ignorant of the nature of the
web, which is that things can and will appear very differently to different
users (even without Text Zoom).
> there aren't really many printing constrictions

Yes there are.  The fact that most people don't want to waste toner printing a
full page of black is such a constriction...  This is why browsers tend to not
print black backgrounds, if you noticed...  We're talking about users selecting
"print" from a web browser here, not professional printers, btw.

> if I send artwork to the printer to print for me

Yes. The web does not work like professional printing companies, apparently... 

> the entire browser community should conform

I'm saying that the browser user community should not be forced to conform to
anything.  You're saying that the web page designer community should be able to
force browser users to see everything exactly as it would look on an 8x11 sheet
of paper (or some other fixed-size medium).  Unfortunately that is not the way
the whole setup works.  Users still have ultimate control over what they see
(they can uninstall fonts, disallow certain font faces, disallow font scaling,
use a different browser, etc.)  You mention some sort of "juggling" that has to
happen;  said juggling is only necessary if you insist on to-the-pixel
positioning of everything on the page.  I agree that this goal is very difficult
to achieve, possibly even impossible.  I disagree that this goal is desirable.

Finally, I frankly could not care less what Netscape/AOL release as a web
browser.  What I care about is what mozilla.org releases.
Ummm actually no, not if you design the site correctly. You can make a site 
look identical to 95% of the active users on the web if you put in the effort 
and aren't battling things like a text zoom.

The problem with the Mozilla project is its being designed by programmers for 
programmers, who obviously have zero comprehension of the very fine intricacies 
of web design and user interfaces. If you want to design a browser that ignores 
the human psyche and attraction to design, fine, just watch as IE continues to 
take over. This is ridiculous I can’t even believe what I’m reading.
> I agree that this goal is very difficult to achieve, possibly even 
impossible.  I disagree that this goal is desirable.

And there we have it, our obvious differences. You have no sense of style, and 
everyone else does – I’m sorry to hear that. Myself and the absolute vast 
majority of users on the Internet agree that is it desirable, because it’s the 
only way to control major pet peeves on the internet, such as lots of 
scrolling. So I suppose you just want websites to be endless bunches of text? 
Ok good for you then, have fun with that.

Personally I don’t care what Mozilla releases because very very few people use 
it, my only concern is what gets unleashed on the mass public and what web 
designers have to care about designing for. But we’ll see how far Mozilla gets 
without Netscape\AOL’s check book. 
> "for people who are obviously as visually impaired as you are"

Thank you. Now we can clearly see your personal agenda.
page zoom is a feature we should have but don't, yet.
font zoom is a per-session feature.
font size is a permanent feature.

The web is in control of the users, not the authors. If you don't understand
that, you are missing the point of the web and should author in Flash or PDF,
and not in web languages designed for high accessibility.

INVALID.
Status: ASSIGNED → RESOLVED
Closed: 18 years ago18 years ago
Resolution: --- → INVALID
Now *why* on *Earth* would you want to unleash a cesspool of bloated Flash **** 
on the web when fixing this *ONE* problem in your browser can prevent that? I 
don’t *want* to use Flash otherwise I would be. WHY are you forcing designers 
to make certain things images or Flash when they can so easily be simple fast 
loading text locked in place???? This doesn’t make any sense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I make Flash “style” sites in HTML without the downside of horribly slow 
loading times and the inability to bookmark. A lot of designers do that because 
they know many people don’t particularly like Flash sites but do require highly 
structured user interfaces. Otherwise they LEAVE! In case you hadn’t noticed, 
leaving the web in control of all the users would in many cases be like letting 
a 2 year old drive a car. Text Zoom should be *domain* based because *people 
aren’t going to understand*.

But the fact is that the major browsers for the past several years have 
supported this function, therefore your argument holds absolutely no water 
since I am therefore programming for a medium that already supports this and 
does so *for good reason*!  Are you really that arrogant to think suddenly you 
know best for the web when hundreds of programmers before you decided something 
different? Seriously, think about it!

If you don’t understand that half of the Internet is a marketing based medium 
and requires highly advanced design in order to keep people interested, then 
maybe you should be programming for another medium yourself.

VALID
Status: RESOLVED → REOPENED
Resolution: INVALID → ---
Mark, man you have to give it up, these guys are completely clueless you’re
never going to get it through to them no matter how hard you try. Save yourself
the stress! Check your e-mail.
WHY are you forcing users to be unable to read certain pieces of text when they
can so easily use a font zoom feature to get around bad page design???? This
doesn't make any sense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


> In case you hadn't noticed, leaving the web in control of all the
> users would in many cases be like letting a 2 year old drive a car.

Are you really that arrogant to think suddenly you know best for the web when
hundreds of users would like to decide something different? Seriously, think
about it!


> Text Zoom should be *domain* based because *people aren't going to
> understand*.

Then file a bug to suggest this. That is not what this bug is proposing.


If you don't understand that the Internet is a dynamic, user-controlled medium
and requires only simple design in order to keep people interested, then maybe
you should be programming for another medium yourself.

It is _not hard_ to get the effects you want while allowing users to
zoom pages as they wish.
> > Text Zoom should be *domain* based because *people aren't going to
> > understand*.
> 
> Then file a bug to suggest this. That is not what this bug is proposing.

Well, as the owner of this bug, I can say that it's what I was thinking one of
the solutions to the problem would be.  Nevertheless, it might not be a bad idea
to file it as a separate bug and mark it as blocking this one (i.e., this one
depending on it).

Status: REOPENED → ASSIGNED
Mark, if you want to prevent browsers from implementing a text zoom that
overrides your styles, you're already too late-- the horse left the barn so long
ago, it's had time to sire new horses.  IE5/Mac has had that functionality for
two years now, and Mozilla's behavior is very very close to IE5/Mac's (so in a
sense we DO emulate Explorer in this regard).  Opera implements a page zoom,
where text and images are scaled, and as Hixie has pointed out Mozilla doesn't
yet do the same.  I think it would be a good idea for it to do so, but that's
another bug somewhere else.

Besides, in any recent browser-- including IE/Win from at least 4.0 onward-- any
user can choose to ignore your font sizes with a preference setting, or to set
up a user stylesheet that will override your styles.  All I need is a file on my
hard drive that states:

   body {font-size: 18px !important;}

...add some scaling to it (maybe copying the values from the HTML4 stylesheet in
CSS2, appendix A [http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/sample.html]), and surf without
having to tolerate any author-imposed font sizing.  Or colors, backgrounds,
margins, or anything else, for that matter.  Opera, IE5/Mac, IE4+/Win, and even
Mozilla offer this ability, although Mozilla's method is a lot less convenient
to use at the moment.

So, in short, I'm sorry, but you can't stop the user from overriding your
CSS-based design in any recent browser no matter what you do.  Text zoom doesn't
change that fact.  Even if we "fixed" it to go away in Mozilla, that wouldn't
change.

Now-- as to whether text zooming should be domain-specific, I agree that should
be filed as a new bug.  It isn't a bad idea at all, as I do sometimes find
myself resetting the zoom as I move from site to site:  bump up a couple of
levels to read a teenytext site, bump the size back down when I move to a
normal-size site, up, down-- it gets to be annoying.

Meantime, we should probably send this particular bug back to INVALID/WONTFIX,
or whatever it was resolved to before it got reopened and the broiler element
kicked on.
okie, WONTFIX.
Status: ASSIGNED → RESOLVED
Closed: 18 years ago18 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
Have you filed the bug on persistence of text zoom?
We also need a bug on full zoom if we don't have one already (although I think
we have one).
bug 155448 and bug 4821 respectively.
*** Bug 190727 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I read the whole discussion and I fully agree with Curtis and Mark. I do not 
understand what you build a new browser for, if you want to take the control 
about the looks of a page away from the designer. That was the case with HTML 
version 3. CSS were added to give the designer some control over the look. We 
spend _lots_ of time to make our designs accessible for non-css browsers, text-
only browsers, speech browsers. So _please_ do not make our work entirely 
impossible!

Everybody can disable CSS in his browser, choose a screen resolution. So if I 
design a page that does not fit the user's needs, It is my choice to design a 
bad page and it is not your problem. Why do you want to tell me how I have to 
do my work? It is reality that most contemporary web sites are sophisticatedly 
designed, you can't turn time back.

So all you leave me to do is to sniff the Mozilla user agent and give it the 
non-css version provided for netscape 4 users, along with the appropriate 
suggestion for the user to install a browser that interprets contemporarily 
designed pages correctly. Is that what you want? Your oppinion about this issue 
is just a boost for the Microsoft browser.
Markus, where are we telling you how to do your work?  You are free to design
your website as you see fit; the user is free to override any or all of your CSS
(with text zoom, user stylesheets, etc).  The user has final control -- this is
why user-level !important rules override all author rules.

I guess I'm not sure what the first two paragraphs of your comment are saying...
(the last paragraph is pretty clear, but I'm not sure why you feel that you need
to threaten anyone....)
Authors should only very rarely use non-relative CSS size units for fonts (i.e.,
units other than % or em or en).  Since authors have abused CSS by overusing
these units, users need a workaround.
Curtis and Mark and Markus don't understand that web pages aren't usually
displayed on paper. <http://www.westciv.com/style_master/house/good_oil/not_paper/>

The web is foremost about access to information. Since the advent of css and its
great power to control presentation, page design has gotten in the way of
information access, with "designers" preferring design to usability and pretty
appearance to accessibility, insistent on cramming much information into little
space via tiny text, with the result that far too many people can read the
content only with discomfort, if at all.
<http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20020819.html>

We need more page "designers" in the business who have poor eyesight, since the
business now seems to be overpopulated by those with better than average
eyesight who think reading 11px text on a 1600x1200 display is something most
can do as well as they (they can't). Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen.
Next best is having a *user* agent (not designer agent) that places the needs of
the user ahead of the page designer, making it as easy as possible for the user
to work past tyranical page design that gets in the way of information access. 
That is what Mozilla is and intends to stay, about the user, not the designer. 

As more people find out about Mozilla and it's derivatives, it will become more
popular, not less, and at the expense of M$IE, the most widespread user handicap
to web information access that exists.
Your arguments sound like designers are the users' enemies (and yours above 
all). Extremist positions have never been a good guide, and I am afraid aren't 
in this issue either. Web standards have been built to make it easier for 
everybody - the authors and the users. 

If you do not try at least a _little_ bit to understand the authors' needs, you 
make the author's work even more difficult than it has been until now, and, 
sorry, in my oppinion you're just the wrong people to define a browser's 
specification and you will run the Mozilla project over the edge, and not to 
the top. I am very sorry to say this as I believe it is very important to have 
a valuable alternative to Microsoft products.

BTW, Mozilla is said to be the most standards-compliant web browser. So, why 
don't you just accept the standard definition of a pixel, which is one hardware 
screen dot?

BTW 2, you always write about bad page design. Whatever may be "bad" or not: 
you will never be able to prevent anybody to make a bad design. Why do you make 
it your problem? There have been bad web pages since the web exists, and there 
will always be bad design, Mozilla or not. I think your job is to build the 
best browser ever, and you can let us designers do our job which is to design 
what we (or our customers) think is the best design ever. 
> So, why don't you just accept the standard definition of a pixel, which is one
> hardware screen dot?

That's not the definition of a pixel in the CSS standard....

Markus, we are not saying that web designers are enemies (Felix Miata apparently
excluded, but he's not making decisions about the direction of this project,
last I checked).  We're not automatically changing page layouts, as you seem to
intimate.  We are not even providing the user with any special functionality
that is not available via CSS user stylesheets.  All we're doing is providing
some UI for a user to quickly and temporarily (did you note that it does not
persist over startups or when you open new windows?) override font sizes so that
they can read the text.

Hopefully the user never has to use this because the text is readable, and
everyone is happy.  When the text is not readable, the user can either never
visit the site again or zoom it to see whether that helps.  If the user zooms
and it does _not_ help, they are no worse off than they were when they just
couldn't read the text.  The web designer is no better or worse off either --
they still have someone who will never visit that site again.

So it seems to me that this is a win for the designer, since it allows some
number of users who would otherwise never use that site to use it (and
presumably the designer's goal is to reach as wide an audience as possible).

What am I missing?
Designers sizing text using pixels are enemies. Mozilla displays designers'
pages using pixels when that's how things are sized by the markup and css. It
simply allows users to overcome the usability impediment too-small text imposes,
ranging from text zoom to minimum text size to user stylesheet override.

Markus, I'm not a programmer, but I am a Mozilla tester frustrated with page
designers' tyranical insistence on using pixels to size text smaller than the
default, ignoring the needs of the users as defined by their text size
preference settings, and ignoring the recommendations of usability experts to
not use pixels to size text. I'm doing my best to help web users and Mozilla
programmers overcome the tyranny and reach the page content. See
http://members.ij.net/mrmazda/shame.html
Okay, I see this, and when page zoom will be implemented the discussion will be 
obsolete anyway.

The main motivation of using a pixel font size definition is to achieve a 
specific relation of images, element dimensions, and text. For example, a 400 
pixel wide text column needs more line spacing than a 200 pixel wide one, or a 
1500 pixel wide text column on a 1600 pixel wide screen is not legible at all 
even if the font size is reasonable. Or, if I make a title gif in the 
customer's CI typeface, this must fit with the rest of the text on a 800x600 
monitor the same as on a 1600x1200 one, text zoom or not. 

Maybe it would be a good idea to make text zoom "sniffable", so column widths 
could be dynamically changed according to the zoom factor, or separate images 
could be provided where it is necessary for the design. But anyway page zoom 
seems to be a more practicable solution (if you arrive to zoom pixel graphics 
in an appropriate way).

I am sorry if some of my words may have been inaproppriately strong. Some of 
the words I read about designers in the discussion just made me really angry 
because I missed the respect for my job. I am sure you Mozilla people do a 
great and important job anyway, I respect that, and if something I wrote made 
you think I don't, I apologize.
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