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big, bad idea
November 30, 2002 3:34 PM   Subscribe

This post Shows why giving users control over font size is a bad idea.
posted by nyxxxx to Etiquette/Policy at 3:34 PM (51 comments total)

I second that. It makes the two posts look like one post. It is, on the other hand, always fruitful to actually read the posts.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:44 PM on November 30, 2002


It's a little long, but I like it.

Also, I think the small font makes it so it doesn't seem like two posts. As long as it's not overly ugly (read: huge picture *shudder*) or pages upon pages in length, a little spice is ok on the front page, at least in my books.
posted by The God Complex at 3:50 PM on November 30, 2002


It is a rather long-o, but wouldn't it just take up even more space with font non-change?
posted by robself at 3:55 PM on November 30, 2002


It is overly ugly. The first thing to cross my mind was, "I'm not reading that." It has no purpose. I know a lot of users use the small font tag, for asides mostly, but it serves no purpose to start a quote in a smaller font. Just like an aside, it says, "Don't read me." It's even worse that the post doubles up on the small tags. There is a blockquote tag that is more readable.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:57 PM on November 30, 2002


Just like an aside, it says, "Don't read me." It's even worse that the post doubles up on the small tags. There is a blockquote tag that is more readable.

I just read it as a form of blockquoting in that context.
posted by The God Complex at 4:01 PM on November 30, 2002


It's just badly-formated-post day.
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:09 PM on November 30, 2002


damn! Matt is fast.
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:10 PM on November 30, 2002


IMHO, it's not just the use of small fonts (which should be used sparingly, if at all) that makes this post troublesome. There seem to be too many links. I am interested in perusing them, but I'll have to shelve it and get back to it when I have more time, which will probably never happen. When you combine the small font blockquote AND the multiple links, I really think the reader is dicouraged from digging in to the post.

Slightly off topic: the nifty rollover text doesn't help much either, because it disappears too quickly. Is there a trick to reading it other than taking a speadreading course?
posted by samuelad at 4:19 PM on November 30, 2002


At first glance it looks like 3 or 4 posts with the first one being overly annoying because of it's small fancy font.

Once I realize it's all one giant spammy post it's doubly annoying.
posted by Eyegore at 4:29 PM on November 30, 2002


...speadreading course? I think I need a speedspelling course.
posted by samuelad at 4:34 PM on November 30, 2002


Soundbiet For Dummies Macht Frei, eh?

If I blockquoted, it would be much larger and longer. Of course, even with small tags, the text is comparable in size to that on this site. As for the title tags, well, I can read them...
posted by y2karl at 4:41 PM on November 30, 2002


If I blockquoted, it would be much larger and longer.

That's why it didn't bother me.
posted by The God Complex at 4:43 PM on November 30, 2002


I concur, small text is awful...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:49 PM on November 30, 2002


I recall being knocked about by some of you people for snarky Meta comments like this. I've actually decided to learn to like wierd formatting in FPP -- it adds variety.

So why can't we have pictures again?
posted by feelinglistless at 5:14 PM on November 30, 2002


Of course, even with small tags, the text is comparable in size to that on this site.

Not with my settings. I remember you making a similar statement before, another comparison that didn't follow with my generic browser settings (IE6.0). For me, the [small[small[italic is difficult to read, and I'm not positive it saves space over a single 'small' (it comes out looking double-spaced).

The assertion that users shouldn't have font control is evil, though.
posted by eddydamascene at 5:22 PM on November 30, 2002


I like the way the post begins with a quotation (which is in small type because it's not essential and as a space-saving courtesy) and then goes, Van Morrison-like, "into the gnostic". I abhor the way some people, perhaps unused or opposed to reading because they're too busy or too damn lazy to put in the necessary effort, complain when a well thought-out, well-built post such as y2karl's fails to grab their severely challenged attention spans fancy.

That said, I would personally prefer y2karl to abandon his complex system of mouse-overs and small tags and let loose, in a proper narrative sequence, in an extended "More Inside" which could be read straight through - or conveniently skipped. He's often managed this, with a decent-sized introduction on the front page. I guess he has to decide whether he wants to be wilfully and uncompromisingly elitist and off-putting or make some crowd-pleasing concessions. I'd advise the wilful elitism myself, since, within his posts, he generously goes out of his way to be as didactic as possible.

Personal preferences aside, I still love his posts exactly as they Billy Joel are and feel their graphical unfriendliness (which must require a hell of a lot of work) is due to his desire not to occupy too much space, hog the microphone, et caetera.

Forgive me, for I too have tried to be brief. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:19 PM on November 30, 2002


This post Shows ... how irritable some folk can be.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:51 PM on November 30, 2002


desire not to occupy too much space, hog the microphone, et caetera.

I disagree. I believe it to be the opposite. Otherwise, a "more inside..." lead would have been used.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:04 PM on November 30, 2002


Hey, nyxxx--I guess bitching about it over here wasn't enough for you. But you never know, it might not hurt to really, really make your point about how important your opinion is and take another whack at it in the blue. If you want to take another piss on the thread, be my guest, big boy--if it makes you feel better.

Well, keep those snappy comebacks and community standards up and thanks for sharing!
posted by y2karl at 8:06 PM on November 30, 2002


Of course, even with small tags, the text is comparable in size to that on this site.

Cheap. Even for you y2karl. nyxxx isn't referring to any posts made on his site. He is referring to the one on the front page of MetaFilter that I can hardly read with my monitor set at 1024 * 768
posted by eyeballkid at 8:08 PM on November 30, 2002


I'll bet you something - if a newbie had done the same both Miguel and y2k would jump on his arse. Anyone with eyes can see that that post does not work. If you want to quote something on the front page why not just put quotation marks around it? Regardless, no where does it say that the best, or even an acceptable way to quote something is to halve the font and putting it in italics. Miguel, I'm surprised that you would support such brutality.
posted by RobertLoch at 8:16 PM on November 30, 2002


Clueless. Even for you, eyeballkid. I would have been happy to have not posted it that way I did, and would if I could do it over--my point was why did he have to pee on the thread after bringing it up here?

What is so hard to get about that? Or am I supposed to stay home and watch this screen so I can instantly respond to every important opinion you all have to share like I don't have a life in the real world?

Did you even bother to click on the link to the thread?

If it's cool to complain about this shit here and in the 'Filter, why do we even have a fucking MetaTalk? So, let's just crap all over each other's threads in the blue on stylistic points, Mr. Morally Superior, and dispense with the gray altogether--it would save on bandwidth, that's for sure.

That's the cultivated and elegant way to enforce community standards, huh? I guess I missed that memo... Thanks for straightening me out.
posted by y2karl at 8:29 PM on November 30, 2002


Now this certainly demonstrates how we're all in this together.
posted by y2karl at 8:38 PM on November 30, 2002


I would have been happy to have not posted it that way I did, and would if I could do it over--

A few people have commented that the small small type is difficult to read; take it as constructive criticism.

nyxxx, wtf are you spamming metafilter after starting a meta thread?
posted by eddydamascene at 8:51 PM on November 30, 2002


I'm sorry y2k. I forgot about how touchy you get when someone criticizes you.

And whiny.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:14 PM on November 30, 2002


Sorry I fucked up or something. I swear I was in the grey when I wrote it and then it ended up in the blue.

Maybe I screwed it up or something. But it was really strange, I *know* I was in the grey and then when I hit post it was on the blue.

I'm sorry. It really wasn't intentional.
posted by nyxxxx at 9:17 PM on November 30, 2002


eyeballkid and y2karl, c'mon, take it outside. You guys are spoiling my good times.
posted by ashbury at 9:20 PM on November 30, 2002


And whiny.

On this topic, I bow to your expertise, Cheapshot King.
posted by y2karl at 9:54 PM on November 30, 2002


Metafilter: Home of 8-year-old little boys.
posted by cyniczny at 10:29 PM on November 30, 2002


1. y2karl's post is great.
2. y2karl's formatting is unfortunate.

Look, let's keep the issues separate, formatting vs. content. In fact, even the formatting discussion is getting hazy, as people bring in old complaints about too-long, too-linky FPP's and the like.

y2karl, there seems to be general, if not universal agreement, that the small type is annoyingly hard to read, and makes it confusing to figure out what type block goes with what FPP.

The small type on the www.sxxxy.org site you linked to is much more readable because:

1. The lines are shorter.
2. The line spacing is tighter, and closer to what we are used to reading.
3. The contrast, dark brown on white, is greater than than the white on medium blue of MeFi.

Short lines are easier to read, because they can be read at a glance. Lines in small type which span the page can't. BTW, non-italic is also easier to read. Yes, the sxxxy copy would be easier to read it were not all italics.

As for blockquoting, hasn't mathowie disabled it from FPP's? (I forget the reason.) I vote for bringing it back. This is the ideal situation for it.

y2karl, I'm guessing you're using 800x600 resolution on your monitor? At that rez, the small type is tolerable, if not great, but many of us are at 1024x768, at which it's really painful to read.

My opinion: users should be able to use the <small> tag; but please don't use it for large blocks of copy.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:46 PM on November 30, 2002


Yet another inconsiderately-formatted post by y2karl. His continued ignoring of the increasing number of protests every time he does it is starting to look a lot like utter disregard for the community standards and preferences.

It has been established for a long while that some people like this sort of monster thesis post and others hasten to skip over them. I'm somewhere in the middle, myself, but wherever one stands, I don't see the point in hijacking the front page and forcing them upon everyone while taking up two-thirds or more of the visible portion of the site.

What is wrong with a teaser and [more inside], y2karl? Are you afraid that you won't capture people's interest and they won't bother to investigate further? Isn't it every reader's right not to read your post/links if they choose not to, for whatever reason? Three long paragraphs choking with links seems a lot like an effort to bully people into committing to your post to me. Maybe I'm wrong, but if your topic is good, I think you should be able to convey that in one short paragraph (on the front).

I'm the last person who would ever tell someone to "get a blog, fuckwit," and I'm not saying that here, but it does seem like you want to go into a lot more depth analyzing and presenting subjects than this format really lends itself well to. There is obviously an enthusiastic audience for this sort of material, I just wonder if this format is really affords you the best opportunity to explore it thoroughly.
posted by rushmc at 10:47 PM on November 30, 2002


rushmc: Nooooooooooooooooo! Don't tell him to get a blog! If he does, that's one more blog I'll have to read everyday, instead of the convenience of just checking MeFi. And it will leave MeFi ever more a wasteland of warring political FPP's, ignorant armies clashing by night.

y2karl's FPP's are always good, and sometimes great. I'd really hate to lose him. Just: no blocks of small type, okay?
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:59 PM on November 30, 2002


Not to pile on, but I'd suggest that the personal attacks and hectoring that have come to dominate y2karl's tone lately, at least with regard to those whose political leanings are *ahem* to the right, is double-plus ungood, and that that's a whole lot more important than formatting.

Come on Karl - I think the espoused beliefs of your cadre of rightie Mefi-nemeses are laughable and loathsome too, but personal attacks won't win you anything, and lose you much. Even in defense, when attacked, it's beneath you, and lowers the bar once again for what is acceptable behaviour here. And when you start taking that tone at everyone who disagrees with you, about anything, you know it's time to back away from the keyboard for a bit.

y2karl's FPP's are always good, and sometimes great. I'd really hate to lose him.

I couldn't agree more, but it seems lately like he's about to flip out on us. So, Karl - relax, amigo, let the Forces of Darkness ruin the country if that's what they're determined to do, have a drink, and gimme a hug.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:03 PM on November 30, 2002


Also - I'm at 1600x1200, and the format of that post didn't bother me a single teensy bit. So there.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:05 PM on November 30, 2002


says stavrosthewondervision
posted by eddydamascene at 11:41 PM on November 30, 2002


perhaps I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box, but how does one change the font size?
posted by gravelshoes at 3:38 AM on December 1, 2002


Just add tags around anything you like,, and click *view *source*, and scroll to see how it's done.
posted by hama7 at 4:08 AM on December 1, 2002


Or, here's an html cheatsheet you can use.
posted by hama7 at 4:16 AM on December 1, 2002


Stavros, thanks for the advice and I do appreciate it.

Now, may I give you some? Enough with the grandiloquent Bush bashing invective, OK? You have a blog. God knows, I'm no fan of his but you don't see me singing in the he's-a-moron chorus. That dead dogs dick dipped in wasabi was hateful and a selfish poke in the collective eye--I hope I never see another like it from you here.

And as for rushmc, I will take your criticism for what it's worth.

However, when I look at how your at length dead horse beating helped torpedo what could have been an interesting thread--Miguel's Religion, What Is It Good For?--I find your preaching on utter disregard for community standards here a bit thick.

May I suggest, that, as with Stavro's opinions on George Bush, we know, all too well, yours on atheism and existence of God--twenty plus repetitive in content comments in a lofty, superior tone on a sensitive and controversial topic in one thread is not about making a point as so much as it is about your ego.

ps. gravelshoes--all will be revealed if you click on View at the top of the screen and then on Source. Well, that is, when you click on it tomrrow. That's how I figured it out.
posted by y2karl at 4:18 AM on December 1, 2002


OK, mate. If your point is that I'm not reading into your jibes and sallies the humour that is meant to be there, I hear you. (But I would expect that you of all people would hear the syllabic music and the intentional humour in a phrase like 'fuck him in the eye with a dead donkey's wasabi-dipped dick'. I mean, come on!)

'course, as I've said before, few of us are actually as funny as we think we are, here or elsewhere. But we try, we do try. Seriously : if something really pissed me off that much, you think I'd be hanging around here making funnies about it (or failing to make funnies, as the case may be)? This place is about flexing your textual muscles, not arguing with ghosts!

It's seriously not worth getting worked up over. Now where's that hug?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:34 AM on December 1, 2002


incredible! I look forward to posting a front page I/P post in 72pt very soon. thanks
*hugs all round*

posted by gravelshoes at 7:27 AM on December 1, 2002


However, when I look at how your at length dead horse beating helped torpedo what could have been an interesting thread--Miguel's Religion, What Is It Good For?--I find your preaching on utter disregard for community standards here a bit thick.

So your response to people's questioning the way you format your posts is to attack the content of things they've posted in the past (which you couldn't be bothered to comment upon at the time)? Wow, I guess stavros was right, you have become sensitive to criticism of any sort.

As to your specific reference, I didn't find that particular thread to be "torpedoed" at all. Those who wanted to participate in it did so, in the manner of their choosing. If you would have liked to see some discussion along other lines, nothing kept you from initiating it. And since I have never sensed that it is part of the "community standard" to give all religious posts a free pass, any more than all political posts or all music posts, I really don't see what your point is here.

No one is suggesting that your posts are not interesting or rewarding, or that you should stop posting, even at your current high rate of frequency. What is being suggested is that you simply do not presume to hijack more than a reasonable allotment of front page real estate and show a little more sensitivity to the needs and preferences of the other 17,000+ people who read the site. Is this really such an offensive and unreasonable demand?
posted by rushmc at 8:25 AM on December 1, 2002


Man, all that's on the MetaTalk channel is reruns...

--click--
posted by jonmc at 8:52 AM on December 1, 2002


y2karl has already said he wishes he'd done the post differently, so let's give it a rest, eh? And as for the rollovers/mouseovers (title attributes), I love them, and I fail to see how they cause any problems for anyone -- if you don't like them, ignore them, for pete's sake. (If you don't like modern art, do you deliberately linger in the Jackson Pollock gallery so you can bitch about it?)
posted by languagehat at 5:39 PM on December 1, 2002


I love the comments on the links and, if I can't read the whole comment before it disappears, I just move my mouse off the link and back on. How hard is that? The format of some of y2karl's posts is debatable, but he makes up for it in content. Some of us could learn a lot from his posts.
posted by dg at 6:23 PM on December 1, 2002


The format of some of y2karl's posts is debatable, but he makes up for it in content.

That's exactly my point--you can't "make it up" in content. Content and presentation are entirely separate things and should be considered separately.
posted by rushmc at 9:44 PM on December 1, 2002


nyxxx and eyeballkid, I'm sorry I was such a grouch. Ever since I took Miguel's stupid depression tests, I've just been spinning down the drain. stavros, I wasn't trying to be funny and your comment wasn't funny, either. But you were so enamored with it, you had to repeat it, eh? But... It wasn't funny. rushmc, I figured out what it was about that thread of Miguel's and here--you simply have to have the last word. As languagehat noted above, I'd already stated how I felt about the post. But you have to respond to every comment, repeat and repeat yourself until you're the last man standing. Which is very strange and occasionally quite tiresome.
posted by y2karl at 10:37 PM on December 1, 2002


last word.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:35 AM on December 2, 2002


But... It wasn't funny.

Eeek! I'm not funny?!

*breaks into sobs, runs from the room*

Oh Karl, how could you, you brute!

Whatever.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:50 AM on December 2, 2002


But you have to respond to every comment, repeat and repeat yourself until you're the last man standing.

You are welcome to think so, but I think it betrays a weak reading of the text on your part.

(Now everyone shut up so I can have the last word, dammit.)
posted by rushmc at 9:44 AM on December 2, 2002


last word after last word. <-----
posted by quonsar at 10:01 AM on December 2, 2002


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