[Whatwg] Request for HTML-only print link

Sander Tekelenburg st at isoc.nl
Fri Jul 27 23:31:02 PDT 2007

At 07:12 +0200 UTC, on 2007-07-28, Sander wrote:

> Sander Tekelenburg schreef:
>> What is the point of such print links anyway? [...]
> Well, it can be usefull from a usability point of view to offer this
> function from within the web page, for instance: "you may want to print
> this confirmation", where print is a link that actually prints the page.

I don't see how that is good usability. Quite the contrary, because this
approach means things work different on each website. That's confusing;
incosistency makes things harder to use. A print method that works the same
across web sites is much more usable.

> Not all people are familiar with the user interfaces of UAs.

Well, they'll just have to learn. AFAIK on most OSs the print command/button
is/looks the same in every app. So all they need to learn is that. Having to
learn how to print on each differen web site is much more likely to fail.

Btw, consider the surprise of all those users clicking the link without
realising that it triggers their printer into wasting paper.

> Or maybe
> you want to offer people the option to print different parts of the page
> seperately.

Yeah, that'd be useful. But it should be left up to the UA to provide users
with that. (As I understand it, iPhone's Safari more or less already does --
provided the document in question is well structured it allows users to
'grab' specific sections of a web page to interact with that section. Perhaps
it already does let users  print that selected section?)

> Print links are quite common. Are they all examples of bad
> practice?

I won't claim I have seen them all ;) But I don't recall having seen one that
solves a problem that would not be better solved by the UA.

>> Btw, I don't understand what "HTML-only" means.
> What I meant was: -not dependent on client side scripting-.

Ah, OK. Thanks. (I thought maybe you had meant "ignoring CSS" or somethign
like that.)

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>

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