Forum changes

What features and fixes would you like to see here at erfworld.com?

Forum changes

Postby Skorj » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:16 pm

I love the new color scheme, but I now find the forum impossible to read without zooming in a bunch, which it itself difficult to do without losing the poster identities off the right.

Some Erf Fans don't have the best vision - could we please get a larger font in the forums (especially if we're sticking with this low-contrast color sheme)? Or some way to change default font size in the "User Control Panel" if that's easier? Seriously, this fount is painfully small. :geek:

Thanks!
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Re: Forum changes

Postby Arkenputtyknife » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:53 pm

The new look is certainly pretty, but it's a reading disaster. The real problem isn't the font size, but the lack of contrast. Text needs contrast. Dark brown on light brown does not produce good contrast. Black text on a white or very pale background, or white text on a black or very dark background… Also, the choice of font isn't that great; it looks like Trebuchet to me, which is a pretty but not especially readable font, better suited to headers and banners than to the bulk of text.

I don't want a larger font (if anything, the current font is a little too large for my weird eyesight). I'm a strong advocate of the "Use the defaults, Luke!" philosophy. Web sites should not specify absolute font sizes; instead, they should use relative font sizes, and let the user set the browser's default font settings to use the font and size that work best for that user's combination of eyesight, monitor properties, lighting etc. Ordinary text should then use those defaults. Preferably they should also use the user's default font preference, since some users are more comfortable with certain fonts than others. (I happen to like Helvetica, from which you may be able to deduce that I'm not an American.) That way, you keep everyone (everyone who's smart enough to set up their Preferences properly, that is) happy.

Skorj, are you aware that many browsers, including Firefox, have a 'magnify' feature that will blow up the text of the entire page as much as you need? (On a Mac, hit command= to magnify, command- to shrink, command0 to reset; presumably substitute control for command on PCs.) I'm pretty sure there's a Preferences feature which allows it to only blow up the text without blowing up images, getting around the problem of things walking off the side of the page.

Other tricks on Firefox can be found under the View>Page Style menu. Setting 'No Style' will make everything black on white—it looks horrible but it's much easier to read. The Firefox 3.5 beta also has A+ and A++ styles that can be selected to produce larger text, as an alternative to the magnify buttons.
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Re: Forum changes

Postby raphfrk » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:07 pm

With firefox, the short-cut is ctrl and + to increase and ctrl and - to decrease the font size.

Also, I think the issue with the contrast could be solved by switch the text to black rather than dark brown.

This is light brown

This is brown

This is dark brown

This is darker brown

This is darker-er brown

This is black
Last edited by raphfrk on Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Forum changes

Postby raphfrk » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:08 pm

This is them again on the lighter background.

This is light brown

This is brown

This is dark brown

This is darker brown

This is darker-er brown

This is black

I think the dark brown gives reasonable contrast, though black looks fine to me.
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Re: Forum changes

Postby Arkenputtyknife » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:22 pm

Agreed. Personally, I'd prefer black text on a white (or very, very pale) background, but black or very dark brown would be a huge improvement over what's there now.
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Re: Forum changes

Postby harknell » Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:15 pm

Jamie is the ultimate authority on color and such for the forum, so maybe he'll direct me on making some of the suggested changes for the font colors. One thing to point out though, on the upper right of the page is a control to increase or decrease the font size of the site (it's the -a+ symbol). So you can adjust things yourself for that element.
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Re: Forum changes

Postby Arkenputtyknife » Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:09 pm

harknell wrote:One thing to point out though, on the upper right of the page is a control to increase or decrease the font size of the site (it's the -a+ symbol).

Which is one of the things that doesn't work when JS is disabled. Just thought I'd point that out, heh-heh.
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Re: Forum changes

Postby Sethram » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:52 pm

A temporary fix until things get figured out would be to just allow selectable skins, the current one, and the phpbb default. I mostly work with Vbulletin though I'm sure that phpbb would have a similar option.
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Re: Forum changes

Postby Skorj » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:41 am

Thanks for considering changes, Harknell. Changing the text size setting in IE does nothing. I suspect that fixing that IE-ism in phpbb would be the most difficult approach.

This input box is a column 210 'n's wide on my monitor - a graphic design nightmare. Maybe the font is a different size on other browsers or something? Of course I can zoom the whole window, but that gets awkward quickly. Some kind of accomodation for those of us with old eyes would be most welcome!

And to those who just can't imagine a font being to small, "the young man is the king of every kingdom that he sees, but there's an old an feeble man not far behind, and you know he's gonna catch up to you, somewhere along the line". Now get off my lawn! :p
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Re: Forum changes

Postby Arkenputtyknife » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:00 pm

Skorj wrote:Thanks for considering changes, Harknell. Changing the text size setting in IE does nothing. I suspect that fixing that IE-ism in phpbb would be the most difficult approach.

I find that's par for the course with IE. Doesn't do what the web site designer expects? That's the HTML standard's fault for not following Microsoft.

Out of curiosity, Skorj, which version of IE are you using? I'm finding that more recent versions are becoming more standards-compliant.

Skorj wrote:And to those who just can't imagine a font being to small, "the young man is the king of every kingdom that he sees, but there's an old an feeble man not far behind, and you know he's gonna catch up to you, somewhere along the line". Now get off my lawn! :p

Oh, I can imagine the font being too small! It's just not that way for me and my monitor. People come into my office, look at my screen, and nearly everyone says "How can you read that?" I have the same problem reading the large text on their screens—it tires my eyes.

One size doesn't fit all. That's why I say, “Use the defaults, Luke!”

(I'm 52, by the way, and I now have reading glasses and driving glasses, both of which I can manage without—most of the time. I know all about that old booptard sneaking up behind me.)
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Re: Forum changes

Postby Alluvian_Est-Endrati » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:41 pm

I think I must agree that a darker default text color on the forum would be a welcome change from the current state. The increased contrast gained by a shift to black text would make reading the posts hear a bit easier on the eyes. Its a shame that by default phpbb3 does not allow users to change viewing preferences like this in the UCP, the only real way to do it without modifying the underlying forum code would be via a selection of different forum styles. I do not recall seeing a mod for phpbbv3 that does this yet, but I have not kept up to date with what is being worked on in the mod community in a while.
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