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August 14, 2006

Hard-won convenience
Posted by Patrick at 10:52 AM * 40 comments

Huge thanks to Making Light reader and Javascript pro Dori Smith, who spent quite some time last night fixing the stylesheet selector now featured on Making Light’s upper right.

It now appears to work with modern browsers. Predictably, Microsoft Internet Explorer is another matter. As far as I can tell, it works on the final Mac version of MSIE, but it doesn’t save the setting from session to session; whereas on MSIE 6.5 for Windows, it saves the setting, but the user has to set it separately for the front page and for archive pages. Your mileage may vary.

Fig. 1: The Dori Smith Monument in the Fluorosphere Picnic Grounds
The bronze plaque with her portrait plus the full text of her code fixes is on the other side of the pyramid, facing the picnic area. The photo was taken from this side to avoid having to include the freeway overpass and various billboards that are two fields away in the other direction.
Comments on Hard-won convenience:
#1 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:20 AM:

Dori's good. She and Tom Negrino wrote the best book on javascript for people learning it who want to actually use it, and the new edition talks about Ajax too.

Dori will JavaScript and Ajax for the Web be out by World Con?

#2 ::: Cathy ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:27 AM:

Hurray for Dori!

#3 ::: a.a.johnston ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:31 AM:

Much appreciation for Dori's expertise and for the compromise of the NielsenHayden team!

:::removes glasses::

#4 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:44 AM:

Thank you, Dori. Thank you thank you thank you.

Peace in our time!

#5 ::: L.N. Hammer ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:45 AM:

Um. What selector? Asks the man running Opera v8.54, who doesn't see one.

---L.

#6 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:51 AM:

L. N., look at the right hand column, at the top. There's a sentence which reads "Choose: smaller type (our default)or larger type." I clicked on "larger type" and behold, the text enlarged! Thank you, Dori! Thank you, Patrick and Teresa.

#7 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:59 AM:

Works like a charm. So little a thing to promote marital harmony and good ocular health!

#8 ::: marrije ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 12:04 PM:

Wow! Dori Smith! You guys know all the cool people. And I'm only 37, but I'm selecting the larger type option, so thank you for this additional functionality.

#9 ::: Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 12:26 PM:

Works beautifully in Opera 9.01

#10 ::: Dave Lartigue ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 12:37 PM:

The weblog aggregator Kinja (www.kinja.com) suddenly seems to think your site is called "Set Style".

Not sure what's acting up there.

#11 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 12:40 PM:

Works on Safari 2.0.4!

Thanks!

#12 ::: L.N. Hammer ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 12:59 PM:

Ah, there. Top of the column in a post page, but kida buried on the main. Thanks.

Yup -- works in Opera 8.54.

---L.

#13 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 01:00 PM:

It works with Konqueror 3.5.4, but -- to my considerable amusement -- my browser minimum font size is at least as large are your large font size, so it doesn't change the reading experience in any detectable way.

#14 ::: Deborah Roggie ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 01:07 PM:

Very nice! And it works for the comments, too. Less squinting all around. Thanks!

#15 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 01:08 PM:

Windows Firefox 1.5.0.4 - the first time I clicked on "larger type" it set large type for a few seconds, then reverted. I tried again and after that it stayed as I'd set it.

Is good.

#16 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 01:28 PM:

"The weblog aggregator Kinja (www.kinja.com) suddenly seems to think your site is called 'Set Style'."

So it does; how odd. I've written to them to see if they can fix it at their end.

#17 ::: Aaron Adams ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 01:35 PM:

Where did you get MSIE 6.5?

#18 ::: Tom Negrino ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 01:41 PM:

Lisa asked:

...will JavaScript and Ajax for the Web be out by World Con?

Probably not. Peachpit Press is amazingly fast at printing (for a computer book publisher), but the book just went off to the printer last Friday evening, just moments after we finished cutting out some silly choices made by the indexer. I think we'll get our hot-off-the-press copy around the 28th, right after Worldcon.

Oh, and hello. I don't think I've posted here before. I'm Dori's husband, her co-author on the JavaScript book, and the other lobe of Backup Brain, our shared blog.

#19 ::: Duncan J Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 01:42 PM:

Choice of font size test with M$ Internet Explorer 6.0.2800.1106CO, SP1 with Q833989;Q823353;Q903235

Click on homepage. Check.
Click on random comments. Auto-resize. Check.
Click on random Archive. Auto-resize. Check.
Click on random comments in random Archive. Auto-resize. Check.

Close Browser and re-open. Settings retained. Check.

Seems to work for me here at the office as designed. I'll check when I get home (I'm running IE 7.0 Beta there)

#20 ::: Betsey Langan ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 02:14 PM:

Thank you! Works like a charm, and much easier on the eyes!

#21 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 02:38 PM:

Ah — lovely! Many thanks to Dori for fixing the stylesheet.

#22 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 02:48 PM:

Thanks! Much easier to read.

Now if only Dori could do something about the slabs of gray everywhere.

#23 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 03:02 PM:

"Where did you get MSIE 6.5?"

Slip of the brain. I meant 6.0.

#24 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 04:24 PM:

Okay, the small text fans should testify for Teresa's sake. I do understand the love of having many words before you.

But Mr. Reading Glasses just says, "Thanks, Dori!"

#25 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 05:21 PM:

THANK YOU!

#26 ::: Mike Kozlowski ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 06:11 PM:

Your "light" page (/makinglight/content.html) has no styling at all now.

#27 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 06:48 PM:

I never minded the little text, but marital harmony is always a good thing, so add my kudos to the pile.

#28 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 07:05 PM:

While you're changing templates, do you think you could add the link to the alternate for your atom feed:
http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/atom.xml
as well as the truncated RSS one?
http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/index.rdf
It would make Technorati's task of indexing you much easier

Put
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Atom" href="http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/atom.xml" />

in the <head> (this will also make discovering your full-posts feed easier for other tools).

#29 ::: Duncan J Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 07:48 PM:

As promised, from home:

Choice of font size test with M$ Internet Explorer 7.0.5112 Update Version Beta 1
Click on homepage. Check.
Click on random comments. Auto-resize. Check.
Click on random Archive. Auto-resize. Check.
Click on random comments in random Archive. Auto-resize. Check.

Close Browser and re-open. Settings retained. Check.

The Archives for Electrolyte do not, however, respond.

Just an an aside, at my resolution (1280 x 1024)the difference in font size is negligible. Since I'm of Teresa's opinion when it comes to screen real-estate, I vote for keeping the smaller font. Now, I just need to get the powers that be to change to a serif font ...

#30 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 07:57 PM:

I have IE 6.0 (sorry, but the others I've tried just irritate me with the organization of their toolbars -- though Firefox is less irritating than the others), and I have retention of preference and I have the larger font in archive pages too. Did you do something new to it since this morning?

It's really lovely. Thank you.

#31 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 08:44 PM:

I love you, Dori Smith! My eyes love you! My monitor loves you! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou.

#32 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 09:33 PM:

Hmmm. I'm seeing an anomaly in the comments with the Large Type option on.

* Set "Large"
* Return to home page
* Click on a "recent comments" link
* Browser goes to selected comment showing small type
* Broswer resizes font but does not reposition
* Selected comment is now way, below where the window is, often requiring scrolling

Using Windows XP SP2 (Tablet)
IE 7.0.5346.5 (Beta)

#33 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 10:55 PM:

Hmmm - I have the exact same problem with Mac OS X 10.4.7 and Firefox 1.5.0.6.

I don't know anything about web programming, but perhaps the font size should change before moving down to the tag for the comment?

#34 ::: Steven Gould ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:05 PM:

51 years and counting likes large type.

Thanks, Dori.

#35 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:55 PM:

To all above who said thanks: you're very welcome!

For those who are wondering about the book being referred to, it's this one. Sadly, it should be out just after WorldCon, so I won't have any copies with me there. [P&T, if including that link is out of line, feel free to delete it or to add affiliate info.]

marrije: I don't think that I've been referred to before as one of "the cool people" -- yikes! But actually, I don't know P or T, so for compensation I asked Patrick if we could meet at Worldcon. [If I can find my copy of Making Book, maybe getting it signed might also be possible? After all, Teresa did say "Thank you" four times...].

Dave Lartigue: that bad title is because for a bit there yesterday while Patrick was trying to make it work, there were two title tags. I fixed that along with my other changes, but I'm not surprised that it confused other systems.

Greg Ioannou: I posted the B on W bookmarklet in the other thread, but here it is again for you.

will shetterly: My name is Dori, and I'm a small text fan... Actually, that's how I ended up writing the original text changer we have over on our blog. I like small sans but Tom likes large serif -- a style changer means a happy household.

Mike Kozlowski: it looks like the template for that page needs to be updated. Patrick, you'll want to change:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/newstyle2.css" type="text/css" />

in the <head> area to:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="/makinglight/common/newstyle1.css" type="text/css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/makinglight/common/newstyle2.css" type="text/css" />

unless you want to add the style switcher in as well, in which case you want to make the last change:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="/makinglight/common/newstyle1.css" type="text/css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/makinglight/common/newstyle2.css" type="text/css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/makinglight/common/newstyle3.css" type="text/css" />

plus add this somewhere on the page:

Choose: <a href="#" onclick="setActiveStylesheet('smaller');return false;">smaller type (our default)</a>, or <a href="#" onclick="setActiveStylesheet('larger');return false;">larger type</a>

Duncan: I'm not sure about the Electrolite archives. Patrick may have to add the above there, also.

Larry: Hmmm. That's a good question -- the page goes to its correct place on the screen and the fonts then get resized. I suspect that if you reload the page you'd end up at the right place, but that's not really a long term solution, is it? The scrolling-down part is handled by the browser so I can't change when that happens via JavaScript. I'll have to think about this, but I'm not sure there's a good answer (although it should appear to improve once the styles are cached, in theory).

#36 ::: Danny Yee ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 03:13 AM:

Thanks, that's much better! Even your "large" option, however, is much smaller than ideal for me - it's maybe two font sizes smaller than my default font. Could we have an "extra large" option for those of us with big high resolution monitors?

#37 ::: Stephan Brun ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 07:34 AM:

I just wanted to inform the hosts that the "view all by" search also produces a title of "Set Style." There may be others, 'grep' will tell you which ones.

And I am a small-text fan myself, who actually reduces tnh's default by one step (firefox).

#38 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 08:17 AM:

The single-column page has been fixed.

#39 ::: marrije ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 10:46 AM:

Dori: you're a WaSP! Of course you're cool!

#40 ::: Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 03:52 PM:

Awesome. Rad. Kewl. Ods bodkins. Increasing the font size myself had always worked OK, but not messing up the layout works even better. Thanks. Soon we were going to have to rename Whisperado the Blind Boys of Brooklyn.

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