Page Widths

More and more pages I'm visiting these days are too wide for my browser window, requiring me to scroll horizontally. RAX, Toms Hardware and all annoyed me today.All these seem to be designed for about 800 pixel width windows. Now StatMarket does suggest that 800x600 is the predominant screen resolution. What about all those 640x480 windows users or the older Mac users? Well, some might say that they ought to upgrade and that we can't keep supporting older machines for ever. I would have probably said the same a couple of months ago. What changed that for me is the purchase of a new 20-inch monitor, which I'm currently running at 1280x1024 pixels. I think these designers forget that 800 is the screen width, not the browser window width. Many of them (although I find it hard to believe of at least two of the three sites mentioned earlier) use MS Windows where it's very natural to maximise the browser window to the screen window - after all it's only a click away - which sort of undermines the purpose of having windows in the first place. Under most X-windows shells it's rather more difficult so most people leave their browser windows as proper windows. And so do people who are running high resolutions such as mine (and this monitor goes up to 1900 pixels wide). My natural window width, the one that feels and looks about right is probably between 700 and 800 pixels wide which is why it's so annoying to have to scroll so many pages by a ridiculous 50 pixels or so. I know, I know - I'm just whinging anout 50 pixels, but it's just so irritating! And don't even get me started on viewing these sites on my PalmPilot...


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