W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2007

Browser Fragment Positioning (was Default (informal) Style Sheet)

From: Mike Schinkel <w3c-lists@mikeschinkel.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2007 00:13:29 -0400
Message-ID: <461082E9.3040406@mikeschinkel.com>
To: whatwg@lists.whatwg.org
CC: public-html@w3.org

Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
> That saying "when scrolling a page to a fragment identifier, align the top of
> the viewport with the target element's top border edge", seems to emphasize
> my argument. This is a silly requirement. When the anchor is near the end of
> the document, it would result in empty space below the document (what should
> happen with bottom fixed positioned content?). I doubt users and Web
> publishers would appreciate that and that UA authors would implement that.
>   
I've yearned for this for years. 
> What instead this should say is something like "When taken to a fragment
> identifier, UAs must clearly indicate the referenced point in the content to
> the user". Because that *clarity* is what counts, not *how* that clarity is
> provided. For example, a UA could indicate the target by hiliting it for a
> couple of seconds, as iCab does. To me, as a user, that's a way more useful
> and elegant solution. 
That's not a great solution because of color blindness, or more 
importantly because the user may opening multiple tabs or windows and 
may not actually view the content until long after the highlight fades away.
> Similarly, it would make sense for the spec to say that
> "by default, occurences of title attributes must be clearly indicated to the
> user", and "occurences of LINK elements must be clearly indicated to the
> user". But not *how* they should be indicated.
>   
Though I get your point somewhat, defining "how" is helpful because it 
increases consistency. Maybe a "How (but only where applicable)" is the 
better solution.
> Who are we (as spec definers) to decide that x is the only correct behaviour
> or presentation? And why should we want to stifle innovation by requiring
> some specific presentation?
>   
There is a necessary balance that needs to be struck between innovation 
and consistency.  If innovation always won, there would be no need for 
any standards bodies, but then we'd see no progress, only chaos.  
Swinging the pendulum too far in either direction is dangerous.
-- 
-Mike Schinkel
http://www.mikeschinkel.com/blogs/
http://www.welldesignedurls.org
http://atlanta-web.org - http://t.oolicio.us
"It never ceases to amaze how many people will proactively debate away 
attempts to improve the web..."
Received on Monday, 2 April 2007 04:13:57 GMT

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