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Re: XBL in CSS

From: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 21:04:41 +0200
To: www-style@w3.org, public-appformats@w3.org
Message-Id: <200608172104.41920.bert@w3.org>

On Monday 14 August 2006 09:50, Ian Hickson wrote:

> Would the CSS community and working group object to the XBL2
> specification including the following two CSS features?

I don't mind adding some more behavior to CSS. (E.g., I'd like to have 
collapse/expand for the <nl> element of XHTML2; :hover is not enough 
for that.) But I do worry that the behavior added via an XBL binding is 
procedural (through JavaScript) instead of declarative and especially 
that it makes XBL and JavaScript requirements for implementing CSS.

Currently, CSS requires only some image format (which one isn't 
specified, but pretty much every implementation supports JPEG and PNG): 
no need for a JavaScript interpreter, no need for an XML parser nor an 
XBL interpreter.

My preferred solution is to list the behaviors that are most needed 
(collapsing elements, various hyperlink behaviors) and add just those. 
Maybe something like 'p:activated {content: "Click to collapse me"}'.

If somebody wants other behaviors, he probably meant to write a program 
rather than a document.

There currently is no good language for writing programs on the Web, 
other than Java, but that is about to change. (This for the people on 
www-style, the people on public-appformats of course already know :-) ) 
There are two new WGs in W3C, the WebAPI WG and the Web Applications 
Formats WG, that are working on a language for client-side Web 
applications. Such a language will (should) be much easier to use than 
the triple HTML/CSS/XBL, in which XBL is only needed because HTML and 
CSS aren't designed for application UIs.

So, rather than trying to "fix" HTML and CSS with XBL (and introducing 
dependencies), I propose to skip XBL and instead work directly on this 
new language for applications, which doesn't need HTML and CSS at all.


PS. For the people on public-appformats, here are some of my ideas on a 
language for client-side Web applications, written for a workshop two 
years ago:


  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/people/bos                               W3C/ERCIM
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 (0)4 92 38 76 92            06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Thursday, 17 August 2006 19:36:07 UTC

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