Resources ⮞ Colophon

This is the colophon for the Browser News site. It discusses issues related to the site design which may affect how the site appears:

The Browser News site was created in the early autumn of 1998. It has been redesigned secveral times, it has always been updated at least once weekly, and for many years it has been updated frequently throughout the week to report the latest browser news of interest to website designers.

The Browser News was created and is maintained by Charles A. Upsdell.

Page Layout 

This section gives an overview of the page layout.

Because the layout depends somewhat on how well a browser honours the browser standards, better browsers render pages more faithfully. The following information is therefore prescriptive, not descriptive.

Displayed Web Pages

Page Size

The page width depends on the width of the browser window: the preferred width is 56 em units; but if this would be wider than the browser window, the width is reduced to fit within the window. The user should never have to scroll horizontally unless they browse with a device having a tiny screen, such as a web-enabled cellphone, and even then the need to scroll horizontally is reduced by much content that dynamically adapts to small screens.

Because an em unit is the height of a character in the user’s preferred font size, the preferred 56 em page width is wider if the user’s preferred font size is larger, and narrower if their font size is smaller. The result is that about the same number of characters appear on each line, no matter what the font size is, whenever the browser window is wide enough for the preferred page width.

Colours

The colour theme is black, white, midnight blue, and blue-grey.

Fonts
Font Sizes

The font size is larger if the user prefers larger fonts, and smaller if the user prefers smaller fonts. The size of most body text is the user’s preferred size; in special cases, such as sidebars and menus, the size is a tad smaller, for example, “This Size for Small Text” and “This Size for Menus”. Headers are sized proportionately, hence are larger when the user prefers larger fonts, and smaller when the user prefers smaller fonts.

Font Stacks

The font used depends on which fonts are installed. The site names a list of fonts (also known as a font stack), and the browser uses the first font in the list which is installed. The fonts are chosen for compatibility with Windows, MacOS, and Linux. The lists of fonts for most pages appears below, with green text with a dotted underline marking embedded fonts downloaded from a Google server. There are three groups of font stacks:

Main Font Stacks : these stacks are for most of the text.

  • For Emphasized Body Text : Fira Sans, Microsoft Sans Serif, Verdana, DejaVu Sans, Lucida Sans, Open Sans, Helvetica, Arial Nova, Arial, Arimo, Liberation Sans, Tahoma, and the generic sans-serif font.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

  • For Headers : Georgia Pro, Georgia, Dutch801 Rm BT, Palatino Linotype, Palatino, Book Antiqua, Palatino LT Std, URW Palladio L, Times, Times New Roman, Liberation Serif, Tinos, and the generic serif font.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

  • For Narrow Body Text : Fira Sans, Helvetica, Arial Nova, Arial, and the generic sans-serif font.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

  • For Normal Body Text : Fira Sans, Helvetica, Arial Nova, Arial, Arimo, Liberation Sans, Tahoma, and the generic sans-serif font.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

Special-Purpose Font Stacks: these stacks are for intensely specialized text.

  • For Chromatic Body Text : Gilbert Color and all the body fonts listed above.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

  • For Chromatic Headers : Gilbert Color and all the header fonts listed above.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

  • For cursive text : Brush Script, Comic Sans MS, Comic Sans, and the generic cursive font.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

  • For Emoji : Segoe UI Emoji, Segoe UI Symbol, Segoe MDL2 Assets, Apple Color Emoji, EmojiOne Color, Symbola, Noto Color Emoji, and the proposed generic emoji font.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

  • For HTML, CSS, or JavaScript Code : Fira Code, Input Mono, Dejavu Sans Mono, Dark Courier, Courier New, Courier, and the generic monospace font.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

  • For Fancy Ampersands : Palatino LT Std, Palatino, Book Antiqua, Palatino Linotype, Constantia, Baskerville, Bodoni BT, Bell MT, Times, Times New Roman, Tinos, and the generic serif font.

    Sample: A quick & brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

  • For Menus : -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Ubuntu, Cantarell, Oxygen, SF UI Text, Tahoma, Fira Sans, Helvetica, Arial Nova, Arial, Liberation Sans, and the generic sans-serif font.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

  • For Small Titles & Quotes : Georgia Pro, Georgia, Lucida Bright, DejaVu Serif, Sitka Small, Liberation Serif, Clarendon BT, Century Schoolbook, Sylfaen, Times, Times New Roman, Tinos, and the generic serif font.

    Sample: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog¶

Plain Page Font Stacks: these stacks are for pages that are formatted very plainly (e.g. Resources ⮞ Fluid Design & Font Sizes).

  • For Headers : Georgia Pro, Georgia, and the generic serif font.

  • For HTML, CSS, or JavaScript Code : Fira Code, Input Mono, Dejavu Sans Mono, Dark Courier, Courier New, Courier, and the generic monospace font.

  • For Fancy Ampersands Appearing in Headers : Palatino LT Std, Palatino, Book Antiqua, Palatino Linotype, Constantia, Baskerville, Bell MT, Times, Times New Roman, Tinos, and the generic serif font.

  • For Normal Body Text : Fira Sans and the generic sans-serif font.

Printed Web Pages

Page Size

The size of the page depends on how the user has configured the File Print function. Browsers typically let the user specify portrait or landscape mode, the paper size, and margin sizes. Printed pages will adapt to the printer settings.

Colours

Text is printed in black and white (or shades of gray) whenever possible. Things devoid of content are not printed: e.g., the masthead, menus, and decorative graphics. This reduces print costs.

Fonts

The font size for most body text matches the user’s preferred font size, with any smaller text being a tad smaller. Headers are sized proportionately.

The font used is Times New Roman (if it is installed), and otherwise Times (if it is installed), and otherwise the default serif font.

Spelling Issues 

This site uses Canadian English.

This site uses the diæresis diacritical mark, when appropriate, e.g. in the word reüse.

This site uses the grave diacritical mark, when appropriate, e.g. in the word markèd.

JavaScript Issues 

Many pages have content that can only be generated dynamically: indeed, some pages are nearly totally generated dynamically, for example Resources ⮞ Font Metrics. This is done using JavaScript, so Javascript must be enabled for this site to work.

Dynamic content is generated, for the most part, by Javascript supported by even ancient browsers, but some content requires that Javascript support canvases.

Browser Issues 

This section discusses browser compatibility issues.

Different browsers will inevitably display pages somewhat differently, with newer browsers displaying pages better than older, more primitive browsers. For example, modern versions of browsers — like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, SeaMonkey, Safari, Opera, and Vivaldi — will display pages nearly identically. And even many ancient browsers will display pages quite well, because this site was created many years ago when browser support was poor and very uneven, and this site still contains special code to cater to those ancient browsers.

 

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