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Web page layout and localisation, according to Microsoft

From http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/05/07/WebQA/default.aspx

"There was one case here at Microsoft in which a site had to be localized to work with 31 different languages. The site was originally written for English only and had absolute/relative positioning all over the place. Once all the strings were translated, the site looked really horrendous because everything was positioned based on the length of strings in English. To fix the problem, all the HTML had to be rewritten to use table layouts to produce a consistent look across languages."

Surely there's a better solution?
cja Send private email
Friday, July 22, 2005
 
 
CSS / CSS 2

Not well enough supported by IE, though ....
Ori Berger
Friday, July 22, 2005
 
 
It's a safe bet that the site looked horrible in non-IE browsers or when users changed the browser's font size too.

Rule #1 of web design is that you can never control or even know how much space a given chunk of text will take up in a user's browser. Different screen resolutions, different interpretations of HTML/CSS font sizes, and availability/non-availability of the specified font can all throw things off. Anybody who hasn't learned that lesson has absolutely no business charging money for web design services.

The better solution in this case is to fire the person responsible for the page and have it redesigned by someone who has two clues to bang together.
comp.lang.c refugee
Friday, July 22, 2005
 
 
"Rule #1 of web design is that you can never control or even know how much space a given chunk of text will take up in a user's browser"

Unless that text is embedded into an image ...
Anonymous Drooling Troll
Friday, July 22, 2005
 
 
The better solution is called "liquid design" or "fluid design". The problem arises when graphic designers, who are used to GUIs, are assigned to do web design. Since they must have the absolute control of pixels in a GUI, they assume the same thing for the web. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

You will also be told to use the table element for table data and not layout. While this is desirable, it is not always possible for two reasons:

1) Older browsers do not correctly understand the CSS layout.

2) Newer browsers do not correctly understand the CSS layout.

For now, I use tables for layout and await the day of change.
Mr. Shawn H. Corey, B.Sc. Send private email
Sunday, July 24, 2005
 
 
IE doesn't support CSS2 adequately?  I'll have to tell my clients that their websites are broken.  They'll be surprised.

This sounds like a poorly structured site that was broken in all browsers/configs except for the one the designer used.  I've been guilty of this in the past.  The problem is typically easy enough to remedy.  That it required this much work makes me think the designer doesn't understand the tools at hand.

And if you're waiting for CSS2 to be widely supported, wake up - this isn't 1999.
Lou Send private email
Monday, July 25, 2005
 
 
<< The problem arises when graphic designers, who are used to GUIs, are assigned to do web design. Since they must have the absolute control of pixels in a GUI, they assume the same thing for the web >>

Well, I do not see why GUI designing should be done with absolute pixel, if by GUI you mean graphical applicaitons. Just like for a web site, you must take into account that a modern app might be translated into different language, might have low vision user using bigger fonts (like my father), might be read on a left-to-right language (arabic, hebrew, some indian dialects) and so on.

The only excuse to do pixel by pixel gui positionning is the absence of widget layout management in the MFC. That mistake of Microsoft is responsible of a lot of crippled software.
Philippe Fremy Send private email
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
 
 
"Anybody who hasn't learned that lesson has absolutely no business charging money for web design services."

Except maybe the client insisted when the site was designed, "don't worry about other languages, this is an English-only site. Just make it look really good in IE as quick as you can. We'll worry about i18n later."

And sure, CSS and liquid layout can go a long way in accomodating different languages, who knows who make that page? Was it created by a CSS expert, or someone who just needed to make a web page, and maybe used a WYSIWYG editor?
andrew
Monday, August 01, 2005
 
 

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