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 Proposal to widen the fixed width of this website
 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 19:35 on 21 July 2014.
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 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4321

Some time ago I asked members to let me know what screen resolution they use and whether or not they run their web browsers fully maximised or not. This was because I wanted to find out whether widening the site's template would cause problems for those who still used older screens, particularly those with an aspect ratio of 4:3. I never went ahead with widening the site because a number of members did say they were using older screens.

Recently it has been suggested that it is time to widen the site, to fill some of the blank space to the left and right - that shows when a web browser is maximised.

I would like as many members as possible to post a comment here stating their browser viewing preferences. If you can include your screen's resolution in pixels and whether or not your browser is maximised. The results of this will determine what I do over the next couple of weeks with regard to site width.

I am hoping everyone is using a wide screen with an aspect ratio of 16:9. It will make the decision a lot easier. Smile

As a guide, all laptops and most desktop screens made in the last five years have this specification.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...


 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 20:28 on 21 July 2014.
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 Location: Tamworth, NSW.
 Member since 6 April 2012.
 Member #: 1126
 Postcount: 396

1280 x 768
browser maximised


 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 20:36 on 21 July 2014.
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 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW.
 Member since 15 November 2005.
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4321

Just so I include myself:-

Screen resolution: 1366 x 768, browser maximised to 1024 x 768 but maximised fully when confronted with a wider fixed width website.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...


 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 20:46 on 21 July 2014.
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 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW.
 Member since 28 January 2011.
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 3919

1280x1024 maximised.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 21:00 on 21 July 2014.
ZScan's Gravatar
 Location: Windella, NSW.
 Member since 5 November 2010.
 Member #: 770
 Postcount: 265

1600 X 900 60Hz, maximised


 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 21:10 on 21 July 2014.
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 Location: Melbourne, VIC.
 Member since 20 September 2011.
 Member #: 1009
 Postcount: 906

1024 X 600 works the best for my toy laptop. When I get home later tonight I'll check the desktop.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 21:37 on 21 July 2014.
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 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW.
 Member since 15 November 2005.
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4321

Just to let everyone know, the site is currently fixed at 985px wide. That is why there is a small margin on each side on a 1024 x 768 screen. This was chosen around the time that Fairfax, NineMSN and News did much the same to their sites. The idea was that if I stuck to what some of the super-popular sites were doing then it'd all be good. That was about six years ago though.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...


 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 22:08 on 21 July 2014.
ZScan's Gravatar
 Location: Not supplied, NSW.
 Location: Australia.
 Member since 10 June 2010.
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 524

Screen1366 x 768, 15.5" laptop, maximised.

1366 x 768 is the default - haven't had a need to change.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 22:33 on 21 July 2014.
's avatar
 Location: Canberra, ACT.
 Member since 23 August 2012.
 Member #: 1208
 Postcount: 581

My main work screen is 1980 x 1080 but I never run the browser maximised and I usually have something else open in the other lateral half of the screen.

Away from desk I use laptops of various screen sizes and vintages, also a 7" tablet and occasionally a 16:9 smartphone.

Current dimensions are not a problem for me. But I generally prefer site layouts where the elements are sized by % of screen or parent element (not by absolute pixels), so they will resize proportionately to match browser width. If the forum serves Cascading Style Sheets, then proportional width statements are easy and will automatically adapt the forum to browser width (you can still set a maximum width to avoid the whole thing looking too wide for comfort.

Maven


 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 22:36 on 21 July 2014.
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 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW.
 Member since 28 January 2011.
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 3919

But I generally prefer site layouts where the elements are sized by % of screen or parent element (not by absolute pixels), so they will resize proportionately to match browser width.

Ditto. Why bother with absolute pixels?


 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 23:04 on 21 July 2014.
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 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW.
 Member since 15 November 2005.
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4321

Most, or should I say, greater than 50% of websites these days have a fixed width. It makes displaying content far easier and the layout more consistent with fewer errors.

The original site was 640px wide. Then 800px, and then to suit 1024, as screen sizes have increased.

Going back to the late 1990s I used to run non-fixed widths on all sites I made though back then there was only one size in practical use so issues relating to layout didn't matter as much as it does these days.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...


 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 09:04 on 22 July 2014.
ZScan's Gravatar
 Location: Oradell, US.
 Member since 2 April 2010.
 Member #: 643
 Postcount: 612

I'm using a 1024 x 768 screen on my win 7 box, with Firefox.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 20:22 on 22 July 2014.
ZScan's Gravatar
 Location: Maclean, NSW.
 Member since 30 May 2008.
 Member #: 291
 Postcount: 336

1366 x 768 here on my laptop, but a lot higher on my 23" monitor in my workshop. So from here you can go wider, I have on my web sites for some time now.
If you restore down the browser page then stretch all the borders full screen, you can go to bottom right of screen and click and drag diagonally. You will see this page reduce in size until the kaki borders are gone, then see how much screen is left. On this laptop I have about 50mm each side of active web page, so there is room to enlarge Brad. I remember it was a brave move to go to 750px width.
Peter


 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 20:39 on 22 July 2014.
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 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW.
 Member since 15 November 2005.
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4321

You blokes with 1024 screens would have a problem if the site width increased - the dreaded horizontal scrollbar. Sad


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...


 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 21:08 on 22 July 2014.
ZScan's Gravatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC.
 Member since 19 May 2014.
 Member #: 1577
 Postcount: 92

Wider is better. Pretty narrow now on a windows 8 tablet.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 16 · Written at 21:11 on 22 July 2014.
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 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW.
 Member since 15 November 2005.
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4321

Kxdniu,

Do you know what your resolution is on the tablet?

I should get mine out at some stage and have a look at that too, Mine runs Windows 7.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...


 Return to top of page · Post #: 17 · Written at 20:39 on 23 July 2014.
ZScan's Gravatar
 Location: Ballarat, VIC.
 Member since 4 January 2011.
 Member #: 803
 Postcount: 456

1680x1050 widescreen with browser not maximised but I like to resize my browser to suit the website / whatever I'm doing.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 18 · Written at 13:38 on 24 July 2014.
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 Location: MilwWI, US.
 Member since 10 May 2013.
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 375

1920 x 1080 - 16:9


 Return to top of page · Post #: 19 · Written at 15:09 on 24 July 2014.
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 Location: Adelaide, SA.
 Member since 27 February 2010.
 Member #: 630
 Postcount: 366

1920 x 1080. Main monitor at home and work!

If you can make it "Grow" to fill full screen or windowed then it would fit most peoples needs. I know that adds to the complication but would have thought it was almost a standard thing now with Tablet devices. one of them that I use is 1280 x 800!


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Valve radios, They just don't make them like they used to

 Return to top of page · Post #: 20 · Written at 15:18 on 24 July 2014.
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 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW.
 Member since 15 November 2005.
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Internet Explorer and Safari will normally shrink a site on a tablet if it is too wide to display correctly. This should happen even to fixed width sites, giving the impression that the width is variable. When this shrinking occurs everything is resized in proportion - it's more of a zoom function than a variation in pixels.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...


 Return to top of page · Post #: 21 · Written at 00:02 on 25 July 2014.
ZScan's Gravatar
 Art
 Location: Ipswich, QLD.
 Member since 22 October 2013.
 Member #: 1437
 Postcount: 886

I've got 16:9 screens, but the layout has never bothered me, I would still like to see the Vintage Amateur Radio section though!


 Return to top of page · Post #: 22 · Written at 12:27 on 25 July 2014.
's avatar
 Location: Adelaide, SA.
 Member since 27 February 2010.
 Member #: 630
 Postcount: 366

+1 for the "Vintage Amateur Radio section"


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Valve radios, They just don't make them like they used to

 Return to top of page · Post #: 23 · Written at 06:44 on 29 July 2014.
ZScan's Gravatar
 Location: Calista, WA.
 Member since 1 April 2014.
 Member #: 1540
 Postcount: 81

16:9 here
Baz


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Baz

VK6MU



 Return to top of page · Post #: 24 · Written at 21:04 on 30 July 2014.
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 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW.
 Member since 15 November 2005.
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4321

Okay, firstly, thankyou to those who have replied, as it has given me a good idea of what settings many regular members are using.

My plans are therefore as follows. I will remain committed to the fixed width template, as this method is simply the better option for a website with dynamic content, however I will now go ahead with plans to widen the site from 985 pixels to 1241 pixels.

For many (but not all) users this will mean smaller blank portions to the left and right. This will also mean that photos posted in the forums can increase from 655 pixels in width to 800 pixels. Recently I started saving photos sent to me in the current size plus the new size so there will be a small historical overlap of larger size photos when the wider template is rolled out. In the longer term, hundreds of other photos can also be enlarged with no problems as there is an archive of the originals. The wider template will also be upgraded to the current HTML5 specification. This will allow browsers to display the site quicker but also provide a more uniform look across all popular web browsers. HTML5 also allows more options with functionality and presentation.

Due to the fact that there's a few members who still have old screens there will be a transition phase. The current width site will be placed on a sub-domain once the new width is introduced, so those with older 4:3 screens can view the site correctly without the dreaded horizontal scrollbar. However this will not last forever and is a service that is certainly beyond what all other website owners would be prepared to offer - so my polite suggestion to those with old screens is to upgrade soon - a lot of sites are getting wider and without the level of consultation that has taken place here and a 16:9 screen will just make life easier.

I have begun work on the wide template and some progress has been made, however there is much revision to do on static content and this will take place over the next couple of weeks. When I am sure that the wider template can be introduced without any problems I will announce a date for the changeover.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...


 Return to top of page · Post #: 25 · Written at 00:00 on 8 August 2014.
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 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW.
 Member since 28 January 2011.
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 3919

I look forward to that improvement.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 26 · Written at 13:42 on 9 August 2014.
's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW.
 Member since 15 November 2005.
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4321

Progress so far:-

1. Site widened as mentioned.
2. Front page forums now match the layout of the main forums (been hanging to get that done for about two years now)
3. A lot of HTML5 code introduced - allows for a more efficient way to lay things out in the long run.
4. Slight visual changes to improve the look and feel.
5. 15th Forum added - "Vintage Amateur Radio".

To-do for this update:-

1. Fix the dreaded 10 year old postcount bug and a few other little annoyances.
2. E-mail form on profile pages will be abolished. Unfortunately there isn't a way to fix this and it is a feature that is unique to this site anyway. Once this broken feature is gone I will transfer the settings for those who have selected it to the default of "e-mail address hidden".
3. Update any obsolete information on the site's static pages.
4. Reintroduce the Terms of Use page - been gone for too long.

One piece of good news to report: The domain licence for this site has been renewed this week for another two years. So we are here for a bit longer. Smile

The updated version (v14.0) should roll out in about two weeks.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...


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