moderated Font Size variation in body of posts / digests - thoughts? #suggestion


Maria
 

I'm curious if I'm the only one who is bothered by the fact that the font size of the body of a post can be changed from the default 14 pt to something smaller or something bigger, and that this change is translated in to the digest as well.

I guess I am not sure what the advantage is to have posts that are written in 18 point size font or for that matter 8 point? And for then the digest to have content that is also in different font sizes. What am I missing?

Maybe it would be easier to have the 14pt size be standard for the body of a post, then a headline option and a smaller option for stuff that needs to be smaller? And if someone posts via email, to have whatever font size they use translated in to 14 pt ( maybe that already happens?).

I guess I don't mind the discrepancies so much on the web interface but on the digest I'd love for it to be all the same size font because on mobile that really jumps out at you when someone posts in 18 point. It sort of messes with the nice design, but it also makes it feel like I'm reading an ALL CAPS message, or that the poster is trying to make their post stand out more than the others.

Thoughts?

Maria



 

Yes, it bothers me as well. This seems to happen most often in my group when people take a prior, offlist-sent email and COPY AND PASTE it into their post, and then send. The same message, simply posted via email, will not have the font size change. In my group at least, I'm noticing it only when someone copies and pastes. Usually, it makes the font tiny, and then I sometimes will go in and edit it to a more readable font-size.

I don't know what's going on with Anita's posts, which are always in huge fonts, but that (I admit) bothers me as well.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. Especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Actually, as someone who is sighted, but who participates a lot on a number of Groups.io groups related to blindness and/or low-vision, I cannot support "enforcement" of a single font size, other than by conventions set up within a given group after the kind of thing you've just mentioned here is brought up.

I hate mixed size in a message body, period, and am not wild about even mixed sizes popping up in threads, but a lot of the folks I read who have low vision as opposed to blindness routinely use 24 or 36 point font in their messages because this is what allows them to read their own messages while they compose them.  They can, and do, use magnifier software to upsize materials written by others that are two small to read, but want to be able to compose messages pretty much in the same way those of us who can read 14-point Helvetica take for granted.

I think it's perfectly appropriate to bring this up for discussion as a group owner, moderator, or member on any given group where there is not any need for, at a minimum, wildly mixed point size variants (though I'd be loath to tell someone they couldn't choose something other than the default font - I'd be using a serifed font if I weren't too lazy to figure out how to tweak my default to one of the serifed fonts, as I find them easier to read).   It makes a lot of sense to keep things of a single size that's convenient for the majority of a group, and allowing exceptions were you to get a new member who's visually impaired and has a need for a larger font.  But trying to enforce it at a global level, by software, is really not a good idea in my opinion, which I hope I've adequately supported the basis for above.

Brian


Anita L
 

Sorry but I like my fonts larger. I can't read tiny fonts. So I have this set on my email where I send letters to the groups.
 
I can also do a signature from my email which might work out better. Not sure yet.
 
I like other fonts. I use androgyne which I love.
 
Anita  
 
 
 
 

-------Original Message-------
 
From: J_Catlady
Date: 1/8/2017 3:14:37 PM
Subject: Re: [beta] Font Size variation in body of posts / digests - thoughts? #wishlist #suggestion
 

Yes, it bothers me as well. This seems to happen most often in my group when people take a prior, offlist-sent email and COPY AND PASTE it into their post, and then send. The same message, simply posted via email, will not have the font size change. In my group at least, I'm noticing it only when someone copies and pastes. Usually, it makes the font tiny, and then I sometimes will go in and edit it to a more readable font-size.

I don't know what's going on with Anita's posts, which are always in huge fonts, but that (I admit) bothers me as well.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. Especially the fishy ones.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu

 


Anita L
 

I would not want to support that a certain font or size be put into force. My members like to do different fonts and sizes. If that were to happen we might have to go back to yahoo.
 
We also do graphics in our emails with incredimail.
 
This is very important to my members. I have members who can't see tiny fonts. Liket he font you just sent here Brian is hard for me to read.
 
Anita  
 
 
 
 

-------Original Message-------
 
Date: 1/8/2017 3:22:42 PM
Subject: Re: [beta] Font Size variation in body of posts / digests - thoughts? #wishlist #suggestion
 

Actually, as someone who is sighted, but who participates a lot on a number of Groups.io groups related to blindness and/or low-vision, I cannot support "enforcement" of a single font size, other than by conventions set up within a given group after the kind of thing you've just mentioned here is brought up.

I hate mixed size in a message body, period, and am not wild about even mixed sizes popping up in threads, but a lot of the folks I read who have low vision as opposed to blindness routinely use 24 or 36 point font in their messages because this is what allows them to read their own messages while they compose them.  They can, and do, use magnifier software to upsize materials written by others that are two small to read, but want to be able to compose messages pretty much in the same way those of us who can read 14-point Helvetica take for granted.

I think it's perfectly appropriate to bring this up for discussion as a group owner, moderator, or member on any given group where there is not any need for, at a minimum, wildly mixed point size variants (though I'd be loath to tell someone they couldn't choose something other than the default font - I'd be using a serifed font if I weren't too lazy to figure out how to tweak my default to one of the serifed fonts, as I find them easier to read).   It makes a lot of sense to keep things of a single size that's convenient for the majority of a group, and allowing exceptions were you to get a new member who's visually impaired and has a need for a larger font.  But trying to enforce it at a global level, by software, is really not a good idea in my opinion, which I hope I've adequately supported the basis for above.

Brian

 


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

P.S.:  Not exactly a reversal, but I'd dearly love it if there were a way to make the Groups.io web interface behave more like Microsoft Word in regard to there being options one can choose for paste behavior.

My default in MS-Word has long been "keep text only" because I generally don't want the formatting in terms of font, point size, etc., of stuff I'm copying and pasting but just want the words (which I always attribute when that's something that's necessary - when they're not mine).

Right now I think that the web interface acts strictly as an HTML editor that accepts the HTML format of whatever's pasted and it can be very difficult to unformat that back to "just plain text" as presented in a message, or at least I've had some hellacious efforts to do so.

Just as an FYI though, I do have a work around with regard to copy and paste that makes this much easier even with the extra step.  If I know that I've got something I'm going to paste here that would be grossly not what I want due to its original formatting I copy it, open Notepad, paste it in Notepad which forces it to plain text, do an immediate CTRL+A to select all followed by a CTRL+C to copy it, then paste it into what I'm composing here via CTRL+V or your paste button.  It then takes on the exact font, point size, color, etc., of whatever you've been typing has.

Brian


Ro
 

I agree Brian.


BTW, I cant read tiny font either, but I CAN use the control +   and the control -   keys to make things readable.  Seems to me that anyone ought to be able to master this.   Some people in groups type in all caps, allegedly because of their eyesight issues.  It always amazes me that more people dont know this simple technique to enlarge the viewing of the computer screen


Ro

with Silk gazing over the fence, and Sally, Handy, Feliz &  Police Kitty patrolling in the Great Beyond.





From: beta@groups.io <beta@groups.io> on behalf of Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
Sent: Sunday, January 8, 2017 12:22 PM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] Font Size variation in body of posts / digests - thoughts? #wishlist #suggestion
 

Actually, as someone who is sighted, but who participates a lot on a number of Groups.io groups related to blindness and/or low-vision, I cannot support "enforcement" of a single font size, other than by conventions set up within a given group after the kind of thing you've just mentioned here is brought up.

I hate mixed size in a message body, period, and am not wild about even mixed sizes popping up in threads, but a lot of the folks I read who have low vision as opposed to blindness routinely use 24 or 36 point font in their messages because this is what allows them to read their own messages while they compose them.  They can, and do, use magnifier software to upsize materials written by others that are two small to read, but want to be able to compose messages pretty much in the same way those of us who can read 14-point Helvetica take for granted.

I think it's perfectly appropriate to bring this up for discussion as a group owner, moderator, or member on any given group where there is not any need for, at a minimum, wildly mixed point size variants (though I'd be loath to tell someone they couldn't choose something other than the default font - I'd be using a serifed font if I weren't too lazy to figure out how to tweak my default to one of the serifed fonts, as I find them easier to read).   It makes a lot of sense to keep things of a single size that's convenient for the majority of a group, and allowing exceptions were you to get a new member who's visually impaired and has a need for a larger font.  But trying to enforce it at a global level, by software, is really not a good idea in my opinion, which I hope I've adequately supported the basis for above.

Brian


Maria
 

On Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 12:31 pm, Ro wrote:
but I CAN use the control +   and the control -   keys to make things readable.

Right. That's what I do if something is too small and I don't have my reading glasses on. Diddo on mobile, I enlarge my preferred font size. I guess I am not following why I should have to read posts in different font sizes. I can zoom in /or out if something is too small or too large for me. There must be a better way, so that the font size is consistent as it is when you read the content of an online article on a news site, but you can simply zoom in via browser if it's too small /large for you. Isn't that what one's monitor setting is for too? I mean is there a way so that those who need to see it big while they write or read, can, but everyone else doesn't have to see it different from the other posts?

It gets tricky on mobile too. If you moderate messages there you don't see what font size it's coming in at (I think) and you can't adjust it. So you only realize later in the digest that it was way too small or way too big compared to the other 90% of posts.

On the Y! web interface the choices were small, medium, large, x-large and I don't recall the font size in the content of posts fluctuating in the digest. Pretty sure it was consistent.

Maria


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Maria,

          I could even support what you're asking for in a digest, as those receiving it, even who are visually impaired, can do a consistent "one time shot" enlargement using either the computer's built-in magnification or their magnification software to get through a digest as though it were a document written in the size they've upsized to.

          I still can't support it at either a message composition or web interface (as opposed to mobile, as I think you have a reasonable argument there, too) as there are many groups where significantly enlarged fonts are the norm, not the exception, and that can't be and shouldn't be taken away where it serves a legitimate accessibility purpose.

          Having a consistent size on the mobile interface presentation also makes sense from the standpoint of magnification for those who can use it.  Having the wild variance in size there actually makes access more difficult as things could get far too huge to manage reasonably with pan-and-scan on a smartphone once magnification is already in use.

Brian


Maria
 

On Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 12:52 pm, Brian Vogel wrote:

  I could even support what you're asking for in a digest, as those receiving it, even who are visually impaired, can do a consistent "one time shot" enlargement using either the computer's built-in magnification or their magnification software to get through a digest as though it were a document written in the size they've upsized to.

Glad you agree. I agree 100% on the digest needing a consistent font size. Reading posts in different font sizes in a digest where you have already set your preferred font size for email content is jarring and again, makes me feel like one post is trying to be more "important" than another - even though as a mod. I know that's not the intent of the writer but it comes off that way.

          I still can't support it at either a message composition or web interface (as opposed to mobile, as I think you have a reasonable argument there, too) as there are many groups where significantly enlarged fonts are the norm, not the exception, and that can't be and shouldn't be taken away where it serves a legitimate accessibility purpose.

I defer to you about issues with visually impaired folks and by no means mean to be insensitive, so hope it doesn't come across that way at all. But maybe you can help me understand... I get that when you compose via web you may want to see a font in the equivalent of say, 20pts, so you can read what you are writing. But what I am struggling to grasp, is, if you have your monitor set to a certain resolution so fonts are big, and/or you have your browser view zoomed in, wouldn't that 20pt then look like 40pt? In other words - ok so you write your post in a way that looks readable to you because you have your monitor and browser set to be zoomed in- do you actually need to change the font size? It's a genuine question not a criticism. I did give up coffee for the new year... but I'm not connecting the dots.

          Having a consistent size on the mobile interface presentation also makes sense from the standpoint of magnification for those who can use it.  Having the wild variance in size there actually makes access more difficult as things could get far too huge to manage reasonably with pan-and-scan on a smartphone once magnification is already in use.

 Yes.

Maria


Duane
 

It's probably an extreme solution, but my groups are set to Plain Text. Everything posted is the same size. It's possible to have an HTML Digest or even to have everything converted to HTML on site using the group settings though not necessary for us. I decided to use the Plain Text setting because I've often run into folks that insist on including lots of "fancy stuff" that doesn't contribute the discussions. Signatures was one of my pet peeves because it got duplicated on every post they made and some were huge. The various fonts, styles, size, color, etc. seemed worse than than the "cure".

I'm not unaware of those with visual difficulties, but my SIL can easily upsize on her computer and phone. She's even got her email clients set up to compose in large fonts that she can see, but send plain text for the convenience of others.

Duane


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Maria,

           First I'll say that no matter the reason, ignoring the low vision issue entirely, I have been told that the group owner is able to control, at the group level, the availability of fonts, sizes, etc., but have no way to verify that.  If one wishes to do this on an existing group where "multiple things have gone" and you confirm that it is indeed possible, then create a ListMatters subgroup, post a proposal to do so there, then direct folks in the main group to it to express their opinions.  Or do it on the main group, or set up a poll.  It may be that the majority of the members would support precisely what you want to do.  Provided you specify a voting deadline, and what constitutes a win (which is usually the majority of votes cast, but can be more restrictive), you then have consent to do what you propose on your group.

           Now, on to the low-vision thing.  How someone who is visually-impaired accesses their computer can vary wildly, even for the same person, particularly if their vision is variable.  I worked with clients who have enough vision one day to see a computer screen with minimal magnification and standard color who, the next day, must use a high contrast background and quite a bit of magnification.   Some go all the way from "nothing" to "must use a screen reader" (meaning, for all practical intents and purposes, they're functionally blind for text).  For people who use screen readers as their exclusive accessibility method, font size is irrelevant as far as having content read to them.  A screen reader does text to speech.  People who use magnifiers, though, often only need "so much" to read someone else's text and get the content but much more in order to be able to actually compose with ease.   They will set their magnifier for reading purposes, plus the font size for composing purposes, and the two of those things working in consort give them something that they can read with ease when doing their own writing.

            As Microsoft has now renamed what used to be accessibility settings to "Ease of Access", that's what this is all about.

           Most groups, unless you have some really crabby members, are willing to take a look at "rules proposals", talk about them, and adopt them voluntarily.  Then the only thing that's generally needed are some gentle reminders when the rules are new until they become "a part of the culture."   This makes it possible to grant exceptions when exceptions are warranted rather than having to say, "Tough noogies, our group only posts in 14-point Helvetica," if some new member comes along for whom that would pose an accessibility issue.

            I'm a lot more about "cultural rules in a group" than software enforcement wherever that is achievable.  I suspect it may very well be achievable for you if the same issues you identified here are brought up and discussed on your group(s).   You also might be very surprised at what you might learn (and not in the bad way) about why some people are doing what they're doing that never would have occurred to you (or me, for that matter).  Then a discussion can ensue about competing needs (if that's even necessary) and a potential compromise be reached.

Brian


Maria
 

Thanks for taking the time Brian. Lots of interesting thoughts.

I guess I still feel that even on the web / mobile web browser interface all posts should be the same font size. Just as they are if you are reading an online news site, facebook, instagram, comments on amazon, yelp, reddit, twitter, etc. I don't see variation on those interfaces of font size when people post.

I get that one wants to compose in a font size that works for them but then when it comes to reading - that post - and that post only - will appear 2x bigger than all others. There must be a better way.  There are tools to see the web interface enlarged, composing a message in a large font size means that everyone else will see it much larger than most other posts and the font size jumps up/down which makes it really hard to figure out how you want to set your browser view. Maybe posts that come in with a font size that is much larger than the default could be translated to something more in line with the default size.

I do think consistency is a good thing when it comes to content, because it helps the user/ reader determine their preferred viewing settings.

In our group we get a few posts each day with smaller or larger fonts. Most of them are consistently 14 pts - especially anything posted via email on iphone which is a good chunk. All of those emails default to 14 pt regardless of how huge or small the author sees them in their composition window.

But it's very interesting to hear everyone's thoughts. Thank you!

Maria


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Maria,

           My concern is almost exclusively with the composition end, rather than the reading end.  It's almost as difficult to explain some of the "necessary gyrations" I've seen, and sometimes helped engineer, as a sighted person in relation to what it's like to actually have a visual impairment as it would be for me to launch myself to the moon.

           My guess, and it is just that, is from a practical standpoint there would be very little difficulty presenting everything in the same "size and shape" if no imposition is made that the user must compose in that same "size and shape."   There are good reasons, and I'm quite sure that you or anyone who does any writing with a keyboard and a screen can understand this, why how you process what you're in the act of composing is distinctly different than how one reads material that is already written, whether earlier by oneself or by someone else.   Both employ written language, but reading (with rare exceptions - I still can't get through most sentences by Henry James) is generally less demanding than writing is, and easing the "reading while writing" equation matters.

           I do not know whether, as things stand currently, someone can customize things to their liking at the compose stage but have it converted to the "group convention" at the send stage.

Brian


Maria
 

On Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 03:25 pm, Brian Vogel wrote:
           I do not know whether, as things stand currently, someone can customize things to their liking at the compose stage but have it converted to the "group convention" at the send stage.

I hope there is a way to do that! I completely get the challenges with the composition end of things as you describe, but I think on the reading side all posts should be the same size for consistency and so we can all set our preferred viewing size in our browser and not have to jump up/down in size based on how messages are being composed. 

Maria


Maria
 

One last ( i think) reason why the font size should be the same (especially in digests) is that the font size of the post content/body should never be bigger than the subject line. I think, especially on digests, that looks and feels very awkward and goes against convention.



 

Maria,

I'm curious if I'm the only one who is bothered by the fact that the
font size of the body of a post can be changed from the default 14 pt
to something smaller or something bigger, and that this change is
translated in to the digest as well.
Yahoo Groups use the text/plain message body to create the digests (as well as the message snippets in message lists). That means the font and size is under Yahoo's control in the HTML (full-featured) digests and under the recipient's control in the plain text (traditional) digests.

Plain text format is also available as a subscription option for digests at Groups.io, but there isn't an option for mixed format (HTML for the digest structure, but plain text for the members' message text).

I guess I am not sure what the advantage is to have posts that are
written in 18 point size font or for that matter 8 point? And for
then the digest to have content that is also in different font sizes.
What am I missing?
As Duane menioned, it is a consequence of allowing messages in HTML format: you've ceded control of the font, size, color and other characteristics to the sending member. Unless you opt for plain-text digests.

Shal
https://groups.io/g/Group_Help
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum


Maria
 

Thanks Shal. Plain text is not an option for us. :(

I'd be curious to know how forums that use discourse do it (like the feverbee community). Their web interface is all the same font size and their mailing list summaries too. It's HTML though not plain text. Graphics, emojis etc all visually represented. I think at least...

Maria


 

Brian,

... I have been told that the group owner is able to control, at
the group level, the availability of fonts, sizes, etc., but have no
way to verify that.
The only control is to check the Plain Text Only box in the group's Settings page, as Duane has done. That puts the display font and size under the control of the receiving user interface (webmail, email client application, or Groups.io messages page).

Shal
https://groups.io/g/Group_Help
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum


 

Brian,

... a lot of the folks I read who have low vision as opposed to
blindness routinely use 24 or 36 point font in their messages because
this is what allows them to read their own messages while they
compose them.
They could compose in plain text instead, as Duane related. In the email interfaces I'm familiar with (including Gmail and Thunderbird) plain text composition and reading use a font and size selected via the settings (options) page.

In both Gmail and Thunderbird this is called the "Default" text style - it is also what you get if you use the "Remove formatting" tool within an HTML composition window.

Shal
https://groups.io/g/Group_Help
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum