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Rolling Back Resizing

November 20, 2018

After much internal debate, I’ve decided to remove the resizing feature from the site. As cool as it is, it’s kind of a kludgey solution that was causing some unintended behavior that I had to correct whenever I made a change to the layout.

To get the resize handle in the top left rather than the bottom right, the only way I could think to do that is to put everything inside a div with a “transform” property, to rotate the entire page 180 degrees; and then rotate the content div 180 degrees as well, so all of the content appears normal, but the resize handle is visible. As far as I can tell, CSS has no native way to position the resize handle, and it wouldn’t do viewers any good if they had to scroll to the bottom of the page to even see it.

This is what caused the discrepancy between Chrome and Firefox; for whatever reason, grabbing the resize handle in Chrome functions normally, but Firefox treats your mouse movements as inverted, so you have to drag to the left to make the page narrower, and drag it to the right to make the page wider.

This is what the bug reporter was getting at, but I misunderstood what they were saying. Now I understand, but unfortunately I’m still not in a position to fix it. I have no idea what would account for the difference in behavior, and I expect it’s a fundamental difference between the blink and webkit rendering engines.

So I’ve stripped all of that from the site, at least for now. I might reintroduce it if I can think of a less kludgey way to implement it. Hopefully the column width is accessible for everyone—It’s generally agreed that 50-60 characters per line of text is optimal for ease of reading, and that’s what I’m designing for. If you want a wider view, I recommend using a browser like Firefox that enables you to view the page without style information. This should give you a basic text layout that fills the width of the browser, and you can resize the window to suit your preference.

The upshot of all this is, the site should now render much more readably on mobile devices. This is still a computer-first site, but I have no reason not to try to make it accessible on mobile devices as well. There may still be some unexpected behavior, but the overall experience should be better. I think it’s a worthy trade-off.

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