Concept critique requested.
I actually have two website that contain the same content.
www.variablehtml.com is a fluid design site using nested tables
www.variablestyle.com is a series of fixed designs using CSS positioning.
The sites demonstrate how the page templates / designs can be altered as the browser width is changed.
The variable style site also changes templates as the font size (under the main navigation) is modified.
Most of the design is there to demonstrate the concept, not to represent the ultimate in web design. After all, who would want to break up the flow of text into two parallel columns where you have to scroll up and down to read the content?
The parallel sites were created with MySSI and the links at the bottom of each page are there to switch you between the fluid and fixed width designs.
Any comments would be appreciated.
On a brief scan, I don't see the point of implementing a special form of SSI and a JS browser width figure-outer, when this is would appear to be exactly the function of media queries. Is there something I'm missing?
Media Queries was not supported by Microsoft until IE9 in Feb 2011. There are still a large percentage of users who do not have the proper browsers to support Media Queries. To make things even worse, most of the Media Query sites are not written in a way to show a reasonable default page for older browsers.
Check out the page "Is this the same as Media Queries" on either site.
According to the latest browser stats, about 18% of all visitors to your site will have IE8 or lower. What will your site look like to about one customer in 5?
The advantage to this JS version is that it will work on just about every browser and it contains an exact default choice for the few browsers that do not support JS.
The script allows you to start working with alternate style sheet design now while supporting every visitor to your site. Most of the MQ sites are showing garbage to 18% of their visitors.
As the page I mentioned states, MQ is the way of the future, but due to MicroSoft's lack of early support, it's time is not now unless you only want to support the higher tech customers and are willing to turn away the rest.
Ok, I see your point then. But two thoughts:
1) Why not just advertise this as "want a media query-like solution that's backward compatible to older browsers? Here it is!" which would seem to present full disclosure.
2) Prior to media queries, most of us used "fluid layouts" to address this kind of issue, and they still work and can be integrated with MQ's today. True, a fluid layout doesn't have the flexibility of MQ or your solution, but it doesn't require JS.
I agree Dave,
As for fluid designs, yes, they do adapt to the width of the page, but when they do the actual column widths get either way too narrow or way too wide. Best column width for highest reading comprehension is somewhere between 8 and 15 words per line depending on who is writing the article. Most agree on somewhere between 10 to 12 words per line. Like I said, fluid design by themselves will give you line lengths from 3 or 4 words per line up to 20 or 25 words per line as you take the browser width to its extremes. The advantage of Media Queries and my script is that you can change the page layout as the browser width changes to keep the readability high.
Back to my being a software geek, I also wrote a server emulator, MySSI, which gives you all the advantages of server side include, without any of the disadvantages. I use it on this pair of websites to maintain the content of both sites in parallel.
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