Proposed goal for website: happily usable at 800x600?

Dan Kegel dank at
Fri Feb 13 08:06:07 CST 2009

Francois Gouget <fgouget at> wrote:
>> What with netbooks with small screens abounding, it
>> might make sense to review our web site and make sure
>> its most important parts are usable in an 800x600 screen
> For what it's worth, most netbooks have a 1024x600 resolution (all the
> 9" and 10" ones as far as I know, with the exception of the HP one which
> has a highjer resolution). The old 7" models might have had an 800x600
> resolution but I think these can be ignored now (no 7" netbook is
> shipping anymore).

It's true, Amazon doesn't list 7" laptops anymore.  Whew!
shows that most users have a 1024x768 screen size,
so let's first make sure we handle that well.  That's easy to
test; just start Firefox with
   firefox -width 1000 -height 700
and make sure that:
the real content starts no more than halfway down the page,
the left and right borders don't squeeze the content too much,
and that the user can clearly grasp what the page is about without scrolling.
explains when it's ok to rely on the user scrolling, and when it's not.)

Our download page, sadly, still fails that test, even with the recent
improvement.  But most of our pages don't fare too badly.

Once we get the few pages that fail that test fixed up,
we could consider the fact that lots of people are starting to use
iPhones and the like to browse the web, and those have an even
smaller screen: 480x320!  The lovely Wine logo (200x313) on our
new site takes up most of the screen on one of those.
I'm not sure what to do about that.  Perhaps we could detect
that using Javascript and switch to a background with smaller
logo.  Let's worry about that later, though.
- Dan

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