Resolution Independent Websites

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by MBX, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. MBX macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    #1
    Ever since Safari 4 and it's new global website zoom feature (doesn't just scale the font) i can't but help thinking how outdated bitmap usage in webdesign is and the need for resolution independent design, some kind of vectors/ svg technology. That doesn't mean that the graphics must look sterile as i'm sure you can do cool stuff with it.

    I can't wait until OS-X is truly resolution independent and the internet too!
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    It's very hard to design resolution independent web sites, due to multiple browsers, especially with MS i.e. browser intentionally try to break compatibility.
     
  3. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    I build websites and if people are using IE, I redirect them to download Firefox :D
     
  4. Shadow macrumors 68000

    Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Keele, United Kingdom
    #4
    Then you're loosing a significant part of your audience. If I was using IE (which I wouldn't), I wouldnt download Firefox just to view your site. Why do you except that people actually care?

    On topic: If you design your site using em's and &'s instead of pixels, you can achieve an almost resolution independent site. There is the issue of images though, so you have to be careful and do plenty of testing.
     
  5. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #5
    Opera had full page zoom for years, firefox has it for almost a year too. I didn't see any trend of "res independent website design" from designer side.

    To be honest, I fail to see how exactly res independent being important.
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    Agreed. IE is evil. It makes it hard to use anything except Flash and similar. And the performance is awful. However, I have some hope that IE8 will be at least a little better.

    It depends enormously on who your audience is. I work on a webapp that's used by companies to secure their networks. They are pretty amenable to changing browsers when, for example, Firefox and Chrome run Canvas-based graphics 30x faster than IE7.
    True, it is possible to come close, but I do expect that in the somewhat near future, we'll see true resolution independence as a possibility, although most sites won't use it.
    Most sites use tools which haven't exactly addressed resolution independence. What's possible is usually years ahead of what's done. Most of the Web 2.0 stuff would have worked pretty well years ago, but it took a while for tools to catch up.
    That's because you've grown up expecting to see more on a higher resolution screen. In general, this is a "paper" point of view and makes sense for a lot of things - the bigger the paper, the more you see. However, a lot of things look nicer with a TV sort of point of view - everyone sees the same things, but those with higher resolution or bigger screens see it all more easily. Clearly, there are limits - you just cannot use a 13" screen as well as a 30" one - but many webapps, for example, would appear better to users if the screenshots in the documentation looked the same as what they saw on their screens - whether they were on laptops or desktops.

    Many technologies are converging to allow this. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is amazingly powerful - essentially, it gives you everything
    Flash provides but in a text format, so, for example, you can include vector images as part of the page text - i.e., you could have words and pictures and animations and links and resolution independence without having to load more than one page. It's awesome, but it's still a red-headed stepchild in many browsers, and the tools don't support it well for websites. Canvas-based stuff is supported by the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and allows vector graphics to be coded within GWT-based applications. This allows resolution independence to be more easily coded by Java developers. HTML standards continue to be refined, and browser support is converging nicely around the standards.

    For amazon.com, there likely won't be much need for resolution independence. But for real browser-based applications, it's wonderful that the tools are finally starting to arrive.
     
  7. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #7
    aha. not sure/

    i never use anything higher than 1280x800, and my main laptop is 1024x600.

    yeah, i agree its nice to have full page zoom, but that seems to be the work of the browser, mostly, how much work do we expect the website makers to do then?
     
  8. Shadow macrumors 68000

    Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Keele, United Kingdom
    #8
    A good point well made. While I haven't seen actual data, I suspect that almost all of the users for this website will be using Safari and/or Firefox and so if MacRumors didn't play well with IE (although in reality it does), most people wouldn't really notice or even care.

    What is interesting to note however, that except for situations like the one you described, IE easily has the highest market share. According to Net Applications, it has around a 68% market share, and of the sum of the browsers out there, ~20% is IE6, which brings me to conclude that cutting out IE 6 users leaves a large gap in your potential audience.

    Incidentally, I myself am also developing a webapp, and much in the same way as you, am telling IE6 users to upgrade. I'm just glad that there are more Firefox users out there now than IE6 users.
     

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