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Re: Styling Controls

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2010 02:22:05 -0400
Message-ID: <4BBC248D.1060808@w3.org>
To: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
CC: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Hi, Shelley-

Shelley Powers wrote (on 4/7/10 1:41 AM):
> I agree on the benefit of ARIA. I've become rather a fan. I don't
> think of it as accessibility, I think of it as "rendering semantics".

Yes, we certainly agree there.  I really like ARIA, and make sure to 
have at least one ARIA slide in every presentation I do.

> I'm not sure if the same concerns that have been expressed in the
> past, and codified in the conformance section of the CSS 2.1
> specification are different now. For instance, I don't particularly
> think we should be able to style buttons or selection elements beyond
> what we already can. They are simple, uncomplicated controls and don't
> need to be gussied up. Doing so does have a potential impact on
> usability.

I'm not sure I follow your argument.  One of the more common uses of 
script library controls is to allow styled buttons.  Yes, styling 
buttons could be abused... but it also harms usability if the text of a 
page is the same color as the background, which CSS permits.  That's a 
silly example, of course... but it's just to illustrate the point that 
content creators will learn what works and what doesn't, and successful 
sites will be those that use their powers for the good of their users. 
In other words, I think we should give people enough rope to hang 
themselves if that's the same rope they need to climb over barriers. :)

> I am concerned, though, that all of a sudden, there's this intense
> interest to style form elements, all occurring at the same time that
> we we're really challenging both the relevance and usefulness of new,
> complex, and generally unimplemented form elements.

I understand that that's your agenda.  I have a different agenda.  I 
think they are orthogonal (though related) issues, as I mentioned to 
Maciej.  So, you are free to question the inclusion of new form 
controls, but I think styling all such controls needs to be pursued 
regardless of the outcome of your proposals.

> However, I'm not a member of the CSS WG, so have no say, one way or
> another. Perhaps you or another member of the CSS WG can link ongoing
> discussions on this new interest in form element styling in CSS back
> to this group, so we can keep informed.

I'm not a member of the CSS WG, I'm just a busybody.  You have about as 
much say there as I do.  In fact, several current members of the CSS WG 
started as public commentors on the www-style list, and were recruited 
as Invited Experts (or were hired by member companies, or both).  The 
CSS WG is a public group, meaning that it does much of its technical 
work in public, and takes feedback from the public list (like the SVG, 
WebApps, and a majority of other W3C WGs).

But, yes, if the CSS WG does act on this, then they should (and I trust 
will) report back regularly to the HTML WG... a Form Control Styling 
Task Force might even be useful.

-Doug Schepers
W3C Team Contact, SVG and WebApps WGs
Received on Wednesday, 7 April 2010 06:22:07 UTC

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