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CSS vs personalization

From: Tobias Bengfort <tobias.bengfort@posteo.de>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2017 11:54:13 +0100
To: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1ef3837d-5dc3-3f49-90b9-0b5ae43d3e03@posteo.de>
While reading the section about personalization in the "Cognitive
Accessibility Roadmap and Gap Analysis" I was wondering how this relates
to CSS in general.

I think personalization would be easy if there was no CSS, that is, if
the presentation of CSS was completely up to the user agent. I do not
think that CSS will go away anytime soon. However, we need to be aware
of this conflict.

As far as I understand, CSS exists for three reasons:

- Historically, default styling was bad (and it still is).
- Branding
- To extend the semantics of HTML (in many cases in combination with

The last point is especially important because it means that ignoring
CSS may break the UI. To make this a bit more concrete: If I were to
strip all styling from all links on a page and replace it with my own
"personalized" styling, it would potentially break layout, alignment,
and color contrast. Also, some application specific semantics might be lost.

Can you point me to some resources where this conflict has been
discussed before? What practices should I as a CSS author avoid in order
to not stand in the way of personalization?

Received on Sunday, 17 December 2017 10:54:46 UTC

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