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From David Crossley <>
Subject Re: Forrest look-and-feel
Date Mon, 27 May 2002 09:32:29 GMT
Bert Van Kets wrote:
> Hi Forestiers,
> David Crossley wrote:
> >It would help to try keep the look-and-feel aspects discussed
> >in a separate thread and leave the browser-specific things
> >to the other threads.
> >
> >A few issues have been identified so far. Please add any more
> >such high-level issues.
> >
> >1) Square edges on the panels vs rounded corners.
> The decision to create rounded edges was not made by me.  I based this on 
> the design from Stefano.  There is a PhotoShop file in 
> src\resources\layout\ created by Stefano (and girlfriend to 
> be exact).  I liked it, so used it to create the page.
> I clearly stated in my mails that I would use that file to create the page.
> If I did not need to implement the rounded corners I could have finished 
> the page in 1 third the time!  I spent a LOT of time getting the corners 
> right *every time*.

Sorry, but i did alert the list to the fact that Stefano's
first cut was not final.

If it takes a lot of effort to get the rounded bits to happen,
then i would suggest that indicates that they are too complex
and should be dumped. That is my rule-of-thumb in programming
too - it indicates that i am trying to do it the wrong way.

> >2) Need minimum indents for <ul><li> in the menu panel.
> >Can basic CSS can fix that?
> This is just content.  At the moment it is done with unnumbered lists, but 
> we can change that to lines with indents done by graphics or a table grid.
> >3) Where will the page title be placed? Will it just be the
> >first piece of content below the light-blue "Page 1 of 5"?
> >Will it be an <h2> level heading?
> Actually an h1 would be more relevant since it's considered more important, 
> specially by robots indexing the page.  We can style it using CSS.  The 
> location looks correct to me.
> >4) Is something gained by the white vertical bar down
> >the left-hand side of the window? We need to retain all
> >possible page space.
> It adds a little to the design, but can certainly be removed.  A lot will 
> need to change then.  There's a 1 pixel line around the menu that will be 
> rather ugly if it gets right up to the edge.  I can remove the little line, 
> but then a lot of "finesse" is lost from the design.
> Removing the white line simplifies the page a lot.  Getting the little 
> piece of horizontal bar at the left of the menu scale up with the right 
> part was one of the challenges of the page.  I cheated a little there since 
> they are not in the same table and probably don't scale *exactly* the 
> same.  Since the menu is between the two no one will ever see it.  I tested 
> it with very little to very large text in different browsers and you really 
> have to take a ruler to see the difference in height a large text sizes.

Leave it there then. However, alarm bells are ringing
out "too complex" again.

> >*) More?
> The French say "Les gouts et les couleurs, on ne discutte pas" (we don't 
> discuss taste and color) which actually means that there will always be 
> differences in opinion on style.  One likes rounded corners, the other 
> doesn't.  One likes a white line at the left, the other doesn't.  This 
> discussion is endless!

I so not worry about taste and colour ... only usability
matters, and that means not wasting any valuable space on
the page. That is why i raised the issue of the vertical white
bar. I do agree that it helps to give the page a nice look.

> Let's make one thing clear: Let's first come to a decision on the layout 
> (what you guys call "look and feel") and only then adjust the page.  If we 
> keep discussing and trying adjusting I'll be doing nothing but adjusting 
> the page all day long.  I thought the design was decided upon the 
> layout/design from Stefano.  Remarks and adjustments should have been made 
> then. I made it very clear that I was going to use that design to start from.

The design was there for guidance but was not final.
I guess that we are now seeing troubles when we try to
go to implement it, and we need to revisit the layout.
Can the two ever be separated?

> I might sound harsh, but I've lost *countless* hours in the past creating 
> and adjusting designs for customers who don't really know what they 
> want.  Since we are in a very distributed group here who can't sit around 
> the table and make a final decision in a few hours I guess we must all 
> accept the fact that we use a site that looks acceptable to everybody but 
> mainly is technologically sound.
> Let's get a final agreement on the design and only then will I go on 
> adjusting the page.

Well, we certainly do not want to waste anyone's time.
However, it is far better to waste a little time now than
to be stuck with a monster when we try to produce it with XSLT.

> Bert
> P.S. The above is meant to be constructive!  I'm not pissed off, just hate 
> to lose time on decision reviews.  Do not start a flame war again.  I don't 
> want to be crying in the corner like Nikola ;-)

Please do not try to make jokes. We have seen that it
does not work in email.

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