Your opinions are solicited...

Posted by: Barbara

Your opinions are solicited... - 07/14/00 12:11 PM

This is so trivial a matter that it embarrasses me, but it's bugging me no end. I'm trying to decide whether to put the text of my "Titles from Shakespeare" pages into boldface or not.

I'm going to increase the font size (that's for my benefit; my eyes aren't as good as they used to be), but the larger font magnifies a problem with "regular" type, and that is the wiggly appearance of some of the letters when they're italicized. The letter l, for instance, doesn't go straight up and down but sort of waves along its path.

So I've put up one version of each way for 2 Henry VI (chosen because its list of titles is short), and I'd be grateful if y'all would take a look:
http://www.barbarapaul.com/shake/regular.html

http://www.barbarapaul.com/shake/bold.html
At first glance, the "regular" page is more eye-appealing, until you look closely at the letters. Look especially at the ls in Kill All the Lawyers. Boldface corrects that wavery look...but I'm thinking perhaps it's too bold, too in-your-face. I've stared at those two pages so long I'm no longer sure of what I'm seeing. I'd appreciate your opinions.


[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 07-14-2000).]
Posted by: Jon

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/14/00 01:03 PM

Maybe it's a matter of screen resolution (mine is 800 x 600), but the "regular" page looks just fine to me; nothing wrong with the "i"s at all. (Although that final exclamation point in Here's a Villain! seems to be at a more vertical angle than the letters.) I tried a coarser resolution for comparison's sake and that looked all right too.

The "bold" page also looks perfectly good, and if it were the only choice I'd see no reason to complain. But given the choice, I think I prefer the regular.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/14/00 01:45 PM

Not i but l, the letter between "k" and "m". I'm using 800x600 rez myself, and I'm seeing wiggly lines (such as the one above the dot in the exclamation point at the end of Here's a Villain! -- which may account for the odd angle you're seeing). Browsers just don't all see the same things, and that makes getting a page right for everybody rather difficult.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/14/00 03:06 PM

Go for the bold. It looks snazzy.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/14/00 03:18 PM

I'd been looking at l but typed i for some unknown reason. Anyway, either way, I certainly have been known to find text on some web pages ugly-looking, but not at all here.

But as you indicated, that reports only how it looks to one iMac owner, using OS9, Netscape Navigator 4.6, at 800x600.

[This message has been edited by Jon (edited 07-14-2000).]
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/14/00 03:18 PM

Go for the regular. (This isn't much help, is it, Barbara?) I can see the wiggly lines you object to, but I don't think they're so bad.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/15/00 04:22 PM

Like Rita, I prefer the bold, but both the regular and the bold have wiggly "l"s round here (ye olde Netscape 3.0). Might look better at work - will try again Monday.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/16/00 02:13 PM

Okay; awaiting the verdict. Maybe I should have put up a bold version of a play with a lot of titles instead of a few.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/17/00 03:07 AM

Well, I'm at work (Netscape 4.6, 800 x 600) and I've had another look and guess what? No wiggly "l"s in either regular or bold (unless I look really closely). I still prefer bold, however.

But at work I use my old reading-glasses for screen-work (as advised by my optician), whereas the rest of the time, including using the PC at home, I use varifocals. Putting on the varifocals at work produces the same wiggly effect experienced at home - if anything, it's wigglier here!
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/17/00 12:51 PM

Maybe I should put a notice on my gateway page: "This site best viewed without varifocals."

The vote's tied. Rita and Andrew, would you mind looking at both versions of one more page? This time I put up a page in bold that has a lot of titles (Lear); the sheer amount of boldface on that page makes me hesitate.
http://www.barbarapaul.com/shake/lear.html

http://www.barbarapaul.com/shake/learbold.html
The page in bold strikes me as too, umm, aggressive; but it does get rid of the wigglies in both my browsers (latest versions of Netscape and IE).


[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 07-17-2000).]
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/17/00 04:22 PM

I still prefer bold. (And I'd also prefer a typeface with serifs, as in the "King Lear" at the top).

Lots of wiggles in both versions, but only on the RH side - it's the italics that wiggle. Netscape 3.0, 800 x 600, varifocals.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/17/00 08:32 PM

I agree with Andrew's conclusions. I also have a 600 x 800 screen, but am using Netscape 4.7.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/17/00 09:52 PM

Well, I'm not so sure now. That is an awful lot of bold. I'll look again tomorrow when I'm not sleepy.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/17/00 10:08 PM

See now why this is driving me nuts?  
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/18/00 03:07 AM

I've checked again at work with both sets of glasses, and my conclusion is the same as before. And I'm not bothered about all that bold.

Since it's only really the italics that are wiggly and only the double "l" where it's a problem (Full Circle is the title to look for), why not try putting the author's name in bold and the title in "regular", and neither in italics?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/18/00 12:19 PM

Whoo, Andrew, you do think up work for me to do! So far I've collected over 2100 titles. To make the change you suggest, I could use a global search to remove all the italics. But then I'd have to put a bold tag in front of each author's name and an end-bold tag after each name. 2100 times I would have to do this. I don't think so.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/18/00 01:58 PM

I'm switching sides. Regular is better. I think.

Decisively,

Rita
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/18/00 04:10 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Barbara:
To make the change you suggest, I could use a global search to remove all the italics. But then I'd have to put a bold tag in front of each author's name and an end-bold tag after each name. 2100 times I would have to do this. I don't think so.
Mmm. Maybe you could replace the begin italics tag with an end bold one? And the new-line tag with paragraph plus begin bold? No, I haven't looked at your html source, but I suspect that something like that, or a macro of some sort could do the job. Oh well.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/18/00 05:33 PM

Nope; there's a colon in there separating author from title. Besides, book titles should be italicized; that really can't be changed.

I got two e-mails today, one from a woman who said the bold sort of smooshed together on her screen and stick with the regular, and one from a man who said the regular was anemic and go with the bold.

A compromise may be possible. Since putting letters into bold enlarges them, I tried keeping the bold but dropping back down to size 2 font. I can read the size 2 when it's in bold, but not as easily as size 3, either regular or bold. But it does get rid of the wiggles in my browsers.

Anyway, if anyone here is not yet sick to death of this whole thing, all three possibilities can now be seen on the same page:
http://www.barbarapaul.com/shake/mndtest.htm
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/19/00 03:00 AM

Missing l at the end of the URL above, Barbara - should be http://www.barbarapaul.com/shake/mndtest.html .

The size 2 looks best to me.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/19/00 07:26 AM

Arrgh, I forgot to test the link. Thanks, Andrew.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/20/00 08:37 AM

I like the size 2 bold too. It looks plenty legible to me, and no wigglies.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/20/00 07:51 PM

The smallest size non-bold (the format midway down the page) looks worst to me: all vertical lines very wiggly in the italic. Both of the others look good though.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/20/00 09:04 PM

Umm, Jon, the smallest size is bold; I'm not sure which one you're talking about.
First group: font size 3, regular
Second group: font size 2, bold
Third group: font size 3, bold
Which of these do you mean?

Unless you're referring to a caption under a picture instead of the quotations and the titles? There's one of those in the second group that I forgot to change to bold, so don't go by that.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/21/00 05:40 AM

I meant the second group. And the fact that it's bold doesn't show up at all on my browswer (maybe I have some preference set weirdly, though certainly not by any action I've taken). It looks like regular unbolded text at a small size, some italic some not.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Your opinions are solicited... - 07/21/00 08:01 AM

Oh dear. At moments like this I despair of ever putting up a web page that looks the same to everybody.