• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Wrapping and Centering

    May 21st, 2020
    design, meta, tech  [html]
    In the early days of the web screens weren't very large, and people normally wanted text to run from edge to edge. If you code up HTML by hand, with no styling, this is still what you'll get. As screens got larger, though, this could lead to lines that were too wide for easy reading. Sites have typically handled this by adding width or max-width styling to force wrapping, and then usually centering this column as well.

    As an example of this evolution, lets follow example.com with the Wayback Machine. Here's the earliest capture, from January 2002. No max-width, no centering:

    Around March 2002 they simplified the page dramatically (reduce serving costs?) but it's still not centered or limited:

    In January 2011 they made it redirect to an IANA page with wrapped and centered text:

    In July 2013 they stopped redirecting and switched back to a simple page with centered wrapped text:

    Most sites that are still served full-width today are ones that are no longer updated, like the Original HTTP Specification:

    Or Sergey Brin's Academic Page:

    The only major site I can think of that runs completely unwrapped is Wikipedia:

    Mobile Wikipedia, however, is wrapped, even on desktop:

    Once a site is wrapping, they need to decide where their text should fall. The two main options are "left-aligned" and "centered". All the sites above have chosen to center. Search engines are the main type of site I see today that doesn't center:

    I've always been somewhat retrogrouch, but after spending some time with a wide monitor I've now I've come around on centering like I did on wrapping years ago. Yesterday I switched my main pages from left-aligned:

    To centered:

    Pages here that are not part of my sorry excuse for a CMS will still be left-aligned (example), at least for now.

    Comment via: facebook, lesswrong

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Some reasons to work on productivity and velocity

    A common topic of discussion among my close friends is where the bottlenecks are in our productivity and how we can execute more quickly. This is very different from what I see in my extended social circles, where people commonly say that velocity doesn…

    via Posts on Dan Luu October 15, 2021

    EDT with updating double counts

    I recently got confused thinking about the following case: Calculator bet: I am offered the opportunity to bet on a mathematical statement X to which I initially assign 50% probability (perhaps X = 139926 is a quadratic residue modulo 314159). I have acce…

    via The sideways view October 12, 2021

    Meditations on newborns

    [Content: death.]I wrote most of this a couple of months ago when Nora was a newborn, but the first few months are not that conducive to finishing blog posts. New babies put you into a liminal period, both in your own experience and in how others treat yo…

    via The whole sky October 3, 2021

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact