|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
Re^3: Major update to perldoc.perl.org (functional)by tye (Sage)
|on Jul 17, 2009 at 16:25 UTC||Need Help??|
And, before I go any further, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to jj808 for the hard work (on an important site) and for announcing the changes here. I hope he won't mind the ensuing discussion. I'm unlikely to privately communicate critiques of his work since I have the opportunity to do so with much less effort as part of this discussion.
I don't want to discount the visual changes that I'm sure jj808 worked hard on. As you may have suspected from visiting this clunky-looking site that I hack upon, I don't really notice fonts or colors much (except when they make things hard to read). So I'm genuinely sorry that I don't have much praise to offer about "the look". I go to perldoc because I want to read some text and it is often the most convenient way to get to that text in a format that is easy to read. I am truly thankful that jj808 worked hard on the new look and I hope that it is well appreciated by normal people who notice that stuff. :)
I also would like to offer great praise to jj808 for choosing to leave links underlined so that I can find them (and without learning some alternate visual cue).
The Perl documentation (in the new layout) is quite easy to read. The "syntax coloring" on the code snippets is done subtly enough that it is only slightly distracting (the bright red for sub names is an exception in both that it isn't subtle and actually makes the names hard to read).
The highlighted boxes around in-line code snippets make it easy to scan for keywords and bits of syntax while they also don't seem to disrupt my reading nor make the code hard to read. Good job!
Finally, I will once again tilt against the windmill of webpages that don't know how to resize. I'm certain that your new design would be nearly unusable if I visited from my zaurus (or other small-format browsers I've been known to use). I can adjust the width of my browser window as much as I want to and your new layout resolutely refuses to acknowledge my choice (or limitations). If I want to get a larger section of documentation showing on one part of my screen as a reference while I'm doing work based on it in another window, you have greatly limited my choices.
I realize that there is a resolute meme that CSS is king and tables (for layout) are evil and even bow to the strong motivation for "pixel-perfect" web layout in the face of many web advertisement schemes. And I love CSS for much styling. But CSS is fundamentally broken when it comes to doing layout (as can be seen by people spending days trying to do simple things with it and the fact that almost nobody is cabaple of producing a layout with CSS that is capable of resizing well). So I'll just challenge you to prove me wrong (as I always do) and get your CSS-based layout to resize to still be readable when given a quite narrow window and to use more horizontal space when it is offered to it.
Thanks again for your hard work, jj808! I hope you find my critique and criticism useful.