Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

The SO sites display with a set width to them. Could we get the display to autosize based on the actual screen display space? Either automatically, or maybe user-configurable?

I'm not a web-programmer, so I don't know how possible this is or not.

share|improve this question
+1 for size of browser window, whereas too many (erroneously) seem to think they should base things on the size of my computer screen. – Arjan Mar 2 '10 at 22:04

I'd hate this, for a number of reasons:

  • I like being able to size my browser window to hide the panel on the right without losing question/answer size now and then (mainly when I'm working on two things at once).
  • I like knowing approximately how my answers will look in terms of paragraph size and so forth
  • I like knowing that syntax highlighter wrapped things correctly
  • Mostly, I like that this helps encourage brevity in code samples - if the sample is long enough that you're losing code for nesting reasons, it's time to re-focus your thoughts and pare down to just what's relevant to the problem.
share|improve this answer
I never thought of it in terms of getting the answer to look a certain way (which I always work hard on also). I'll have to think about that one. – Lance Roberts Mar 2 '10 at 21:43
I hate scrolling to the right to read long code lines, some of which can't be shortcutted well. – Lance Roberts Mar 2 '10 at 21:45

As suggested in this similar question, this may be a realm for user stylesheets or a greasemonkey script.

Changing the actual design from fixed to fluid presents a number of difficulties, not the least of which is, along the lines of Joel's point, the kind of uglifying stretch that big width tends to give to text content. A reading area too narrow or too wide tends to make reading more difficult and less pleasant, and I think SO has hit on a good balance. That being said, it's not impossible to make an elastic layout that approximates the current layout and still caps the width at a usable level. We have min-width, we have max-width (mostly), and we have math to figure percentages.

But I doubt that will be or will be perceived to be a trivial update. Fixed width sites have a sort of stability and ease (using percentages means stopping to figure percentages when you update/edit, and worrying about how browsers might screw it up) that is hard to rival. On the other side of things, a user-stylesheet solution has the advantage of only being concerned about one browser (typically), and one user's preferences.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .