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Maniac (V) Inmate

From: out of a sleepy funk
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 02-18-2003 19:28

Can I get some eyes and opinions on this online book formatting please?

Just taking suggestions on making this happily usable to the largest majority of people I can. Features that aren't there you'd like to see? Features that are there that suck? I'm just getting started here so I need opinions before I get rolling full steam ahead.



Rinswind 2th
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Den Haag: The Royal Residence
Insane since: Jul 2000

posted posted 02-18-2003 21:22

How very nice...
I do like the idea of choosing my own font type and background color. But i think the footnotes are drwing to much attention. I realy like to read the footnotes after reading the whole page or alinea. But now i am feeling forced to read them in between thus breaking up the text. So i would like them to draw less attention.

Also i don't like the colored text at the top and bottom. Just use another font (size/type) or put it in italics for destincion....

Do you like this kind of thing, then you help could be needed in this thread
"Freedom of speech is by no means freedom to insult others" from the Razorart goodbye letter.

[This message has been edited by Rinswind 2th (edited 02-18-2003).]

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 02-19-2003 00:02

JKMabry: Well thats really nicely done - I don't really have anything to comment on - nice code, simple layout, nice style switching, etc. A couple of thoughts:

1. I'm really not in favour of just having navigation in the form of drop down menus (DDMs) (as people can struggle with them - although your's aren't too bad) and you might want to add text navigation as well (pos. along the bottom of the page).

2. You might wna to consider some accessibility features like accesskey.

3. Having the DDMs submit onChange is bad for people who like to use their keyboard as much as possible with a DDM (get the focus and then use the up and down buttons to navigate.

4. I'm not enamoured of that green colour for footnotes - in a very cool calm layout/colour scheme it really jars. You might want to also think about toning down that red on the quotes as it draws the eye away from the text too much.

5. You might want to consider constraining the width of the page - I know users can do it but it seems overly long if done in a liquid manner. I'll allow you to sneak more whitespace in.

Anyway really nice and understated - I like it a lot. I suppose my main problem would be with the DDMs but overall it works well. Nice stuff


FAQs: Emperor

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 02-19-2003 03:24

Very nice all around JK =)

A couple of thoughts however -

1) Like Emperor said, the DDM's could use a button - it screws up people like me with scroll wheels that inevitably forget to click out side of the menu before trying to scroll down the page...and then it picks an option and sends me there before I know what I did

2) I also agree with Emperor on the footnote issue - the actual footnotes are fine..but the link/indicator for the footnotes clashes badly. Perhaps either a more muted version of green, or more pleasingly, a blue, as the other formating issues associated with the links will set it apart well enough that you don't really need another color.

3) For the sake of...visual structure I suppose...I would like to see the chapters indented from the 'Table of Contents' just seems appropriate that it be in list format (I see that you do actually have it in a <ul>, which is a good thing). It doesn't need a marker, of course, but it should be indented.

4) The overly low contrast of the chapter DDM is a bit tough. I would suggest darkening that background grey a touch or two...

5) ok, just noticed one more thing - one tradition in printed material that I personally like to stick to (and it really is just personal preference thing...) is all paragraphs after the 1st on a page get an indented first line. To me, it's more visually pleasing, and also helps readability.

But as I said, overall this is very nice - quite pleasing to the eye and very well put together.


Maniac (V) Inmate

From: out of a sleepy funk
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 02-19-2003 06:36

Woo! thanks fro the suggestions, I've implemented the good majority of them and in actual fact, the "silver" drop down and green links I fully meant to change but got used to them after working with them for so long (I was using the green for easy spotting on all the link checking).

The one thing I agree with in part but haven't changed is the combo box navigation. I like the unobtrusiveness of it when printed and I flat out don't want a big link list. I need to learn about "print" and "screen", I've never used them but surely I can find a solution in pursuing that, I'd not mind a link list if I could hide it from the printer (which is what I'm assuming "print" will be able to do for me?). Any suggestions on what to do here are most welcome.


Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 02-19-2003 15:34

I have no problem with the DDM as navigation personally, I would just like to see a button for it =)

As far as printing goes - you can put the item(s) you don't want printed in a <div> with a class or id of say 'noprint' or what have you....and then in your print Style Sheet, set that class/id to "display:none;"

If you haven't already checked it out, this may be helpful in that regard:


(oh, and I'm not bothering to check the updates at the moment becuase I'm stuck on a computer with only ie4, and I'd rather wait till I get home =)

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: out of a sleepy funk
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 02-19-2003 23:21

the print bit is taken care of, VERY SWEET, glad to have learned it, surely I can't live without it now It was actually needed badly in the appendix on the giant chronological table that was set to overflow:auto as well, that was great for screen but printed only the clipped bit, the overflow was lost.

As much as I hate GO buttons on drop downs I am still mulling this over =

Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: Cincinnati, OH
Insane since: Feb 2002

posted posted 02-20-2003 08:12

Emporer: Ha ha! You said "I don't really have anything to comment on", then proceeded to list 5 things.

Anyway, I suggesst a label by the buttons that let you change the font and background. I'd rather not have to mouse up and hover and wait for the alt to appear to find out what they're for. Something like "Change font and background."

Also, you could put navigation buttons at the bottom of each chapter, so the user doesn't have to scroll way back up when done.


Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 02-21-2003 02:33

I agree with most of the comment so far, but I'd just like to add (in support of Emps' No. 5) that I really don't like wall-to-wall text. I suppose I could shrink my browser down, but it would still feel wall-to-wall. Maybe a little more whitespace in the margins?

TheDude: You obviously don't know our beloved Emperor well enough yet--five single-line points is nothing. Oh, and don't wink at him either. It'll start a chain reaction that could take down the whole Asylum.

(See! It's started already!)

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