License Prices, Real, and docs

Judy Perry jperryl at
Sun Jun 9 20:50:00 EDT 2002

> Yes, regardless of Jeanne's excellently portrayed case for the contrary,
> I'll reassert that invisible hot links are EXTREMELY poor design, in any

Indeed, this makes the hotspots themselves more like Easter Eggs than
actual help.  Problem is, what do you do instead?  You've only got just so
many different type styles (Bold, Ital, etc.) that you can use before you
hinder readability, and HCI dictates demand that you not use color as the
sole conveyor of such info, so what is the solution?  Wish I knew, because
I'm not a huge fan of 'seek and find' when it comes to online help..  It's
a bit like those kiddie things in restaurants you used to see in which you
had to find the hidden pairs of this and that...  Almost Escher-like.

> Besides, if colorizing makes things more difficult to read, why does
> every scripter I know prefer colorized script?

Because they're not color-blind?  Because it beats nothing at all?  Still,
all the HCI gurus, from Ben Schneiderman on down, insist it's a no-no for
a variety of reasons.

> I would suggest making glossary links a very deep blue, which would not
> contrast dramatically with the black text of the documentation, yet
> would provide a clue that there is some additional information if one is
> so inclined.

Here's one example of why it's a no-no:  the human eye has few enough blue
photoreceptors to begin with (we see more shades of green), but even the
few we have simply are NOT located at the center of our vision.  Remember
the old 3D horror movies?  Blue recedes and Red advances.  Blue text
causes eye fatigue unless it's SOOO dark as to be virtually black, in
which case you've lost your contrast maximization.  Red is better (at
least those photoreceptors are at/near the center), but Red has other
problems (for western society, for example, it can sound warning bells).


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