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RE: Proposal: Default style definitions for elements

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2008 23:17:28 -0400
To: "'Robert J Burns'" <rob@robburns.com>
Cc: <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <038d01c8c5f1$85398a30$8fac9e90$@com>

Robert -

Thanks for the information! I think that the existing Wiki page approximates
my thoughts as well.

One of my concerns, as you mention CSS2, CSS3, etc., is that this is
something that may (or may not) need to be coordinated with the CSS group.
As you say, new attributes need to be added to CSS. This is the very real
danger and concern of having two different working groups for this. We are
seeing this problem with the ARIA discussion, and the WAIG/@alt issue as
well. I think, given that HTML functions as a "glue" that is the common
meeting ground of a LOT of other standards, that we need to find a better
way to coordinate with these groups.

J.Ja

-----Original Message-----
From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Robert J Burns
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 4:22 PM
To: Justin James
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Proposal: Default style definitions for elements


HI Justin,


On Jun 3, 2008, at 10:10 PM, Justin James wrote:

>
> Folks -
>
> I would like to make a proposal that I think would significantly  
> benefit
> everyone. For whatever reason, current HTML specs (as far as I can  
> find) do
> not provide any standard default style definitions for the elements.  
> This is
> a major problem, because HTML authors, for right or wrong, rely upon  
> the
> default style definitions in their Favorite Browser of Choice, and  
> then get
> in a huff about "evil, non-compliant browsers" when their HTML does  
> not look
> right in Other Browsers. This has been a problem for 15 years as far  
> as I
> can tell. I am sure that the browser vendors would appreciate not  
> being
> blamed anymore for these problems. :)
>
> While it is clear that I support the full and complete separation of
> semantics from presentation, I also believe that HTML authors should
> reasonably expect that their Web page will display the same across  
> all HTML
> compliant browsers, without them needing to specify the values for  
> every
> single CSS property that could apply to every element used.  
> Realistically
> speaking, that is the only way to ensure that a page will never  
> stumble upon
> differences in default styles, and it is not realistic to expect  
> that at
> all.

I agree with you here. However, I think for most existing HTML4  
elements we can simply make reference in the HTML5 draft to the CSS2  
and CSS3 default stylesheet appendix. I do not have a strong opinion  
on whether we make a normative or an informative reference to the CSS  
appendix. However, if you are concerned about consistent default  
presentation across the various UAs media targetted by the CSS default  
stylesheet appendix we would need to make it a normative reference  
(even UAs must make use of the CSS appendix default stylesheet).

The other issue is any newly introduced elements and attributes for  
HTML5. These will not appear in the CSS appendix (CSS2 anyway). We  
would need to define a default stylesheet for these elements and  
attributes if there is to be a consistent presentation across like- 
media UAs.

> I am not sure what I need to do on my part to have this become an  
> "official"
> proposal for discussion/wiki-fication/yada/yada/yada/, but please  
> let me
> know and I will be glad to do that.

I think that might be a good idea. There is already a related wiki  
page[1] started long ago (in the scale of the WG). You might want to  
use that as a point of departure.

Take care,
Rob.

[1]: <http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/DefaultStyleSheet05>
Received on Wednesday, 4 June 2008 03:18:29 GMT

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