[rfc-i] illustrations & equations rare: extra overhead for creating them acceptable

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at muada.com
Wed Mar 28 04:32:30 PDT 2012


On 28 Mar 2012, at 11:31 , Larry Masinter wrote:

> Opinion: Illustrations and equations should continue to be very rare:
> Because:   Reviewers must review the legibility of the document without the illustration, and the equivalence of the illustration to the non-illustration text.

I agree with the caveat below. Good images help a lot, but bad ones are really, really bad. We have a good idea about what makes text good and bad, and would have to develop the same ideas about images. As for equations, programming languages require functions to be in ASCII. Is that really so bad?

The caveat is binary header format descriptions. Those are often helpful and it would be easy to come up with style guidelines for them. Or even automatically translate from ASCII art to a better looking image.

One thing we may consider is to limit images to a certain size, such as 640 pixels wide. This way, we know most smaller devices can display the image pixel-for-pixel so the readability issues I worry about are reduced.


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