The look and feel of the ShireSilver.org site is beautiful and elegant. Nice work, Ron!
Is anybody else having trouble reading this site, or am I just too old? There are two issues: (1) type color and (2) type size.
The site's type color is, naturally, silver. OK, that's artistic, but it is impracticable, since it makes for low color contrast. Maximum readability was determined at Xerox for Apple when they were designing the first Macintosh. They tested people's sensitivity to type colors and backgrounds and discovered, low and behold, that black text against a white background was simply the most readable. (As an aside, there was much speculation regarding people favoring black on white because of being accustomed to centuries of reading books and newspapers, although this could never be proven.) Regardless, Apple went with black type on a white background because it was the most readable. I suggest that we should stick to the tried and proven and make it easier on our eyes.
Let me first admit that my screen is a little unorthodox. I use a projector on a white wall for a 9 foot screen 20 ft. away. So I have to increase the text size FOR ALMOST EVERY SITE. Some sites make adjusting type size easy for the user, while most, perhaps on the theory that the "webmaster know better" or maybe he just doesn't know how to do it, make users read the smallest type they can find. I continually get the feeling that "20 something" webmasters just have no concern for older users with failing eyesight.
There are three ways for user to control type size: (1) the browser's global zoom control, (2) the browser's global text size control, and (3) the html text size gadget that controls text size only in one frame.
By far the best of these three is the latter, because it leaves the size of headers and side navigation bars unmolested. Shiresilver does not have this, so we go down to the next best way, the browser's text size control.
So the next problem is that the ShireSilver.org web and forum type does not respond to either Firefox's or IE 7's text size control. This is unfortunate, since the text size feature works better than the zoom feature. When the text size control works, all the text stays in the window, as it wraps within the frame while it gets bigger.
So like so many other sites, the Shiresilver.org user is left with the mighty, yet unwieldy zoom control. Its one redeeming feature is that it takes control away from stubborn webmasters and restores it to the user where it belongs. (I have often wondered how liberty-oriented webmasters can be so statist when designing their sites, and not willing to give their users the freedom on their site that they espouse in almost every other area of life. But that is a topic for another day.)
So, left with the zoom control, what does the ShireSilver.org user get? Same as everywhere else it must be used, type large enough to read, but limited by the size of the frame/ window, because it does not wrap and simply goes off the right side of the window.
1. Please may we have black type?
2. May we please have either the html type size gadget or the pages that allow the text size controls to work?
Thank you for you kind consideration, Ron. I hope this missive contributes to your fine work on all the other web sites you do.