Re: Introducing NetscapeML

David Seibert (dseibert@sqwest.bc.ca)
Fri, 5 Jul 1996 08:49:07 -0700 (PDT)


From: dseibert@sqwest.bc.ca (David Seibert)
Message-Id: <199607051549.IAA01279@sqwest.west.sq.com>
Subject: Re: Introducing NetscapeML
To: marym@finesse.com (Mary Morris)
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 1996 08:49:07 -0700 (PDT)
Cc: www-style@w3.org, html-erb@w3.org, www-html@w3.org, thomasre@microsoft.com
In-Reply-To: <199607050429.VAA05721@thyme> from "Mary Morris" at Jul 4, 96 09:29:06 pm

> 
> I'm going to second Martin's comments and add a few.
> 
> If I had my druthers, I'd like to see something under the View button
> that says Custom that can be checked (ie enabled/disabled). 
> To change it you get a dialog that says 
> 
> Background Image  __ Off   __ On (Alt text is default)
> Background Sound  __ Off   __ On  ___ Route to alternative player (ie
> 	speech to text for deaf
> Text ____ Standard Screen display ____ Route to alternative player
>   (ie text to speech for the blind)
> Text/Background Colors/Fonts
>    ___ System defintion  (ie defined in options/properties...)
>    ___ Local Stylesheet  
>    ___ Default Stylesheet/HTML Definition (ie in document)
> Blink
>   ____ Enable   ___ Disable
> Plug-ins 
>     (pull down or scrolling menu of plug-ins that can be enabled or disabled)
> Server push (or connection keep alive or something)
>   ___ Enable  ____ Disable
> Java
>   ____ Execute  ____ Don't execute
> Images _____ Display  _____ Don't Display -or-
> If there is some way to identify looping GIF89a images and stop the
> looping add an option for that.
>

These options should be available, but in my opinion they really
don't belong in stylesheets for the following three reasons.

1)  If someone uses the sort of customized view that you are requesting,
so that applets, images, and other objects are not displayed, their
browser should probably take advantage of that and not download those
items in the first place.  Stylesheets can be used to stop the display
of these objects in many cases by setting "display: none", but it
would almost certainly be better from the browser point of view to
separate instructions that may make file transfers unnecessary from
those that only involve display of the downloaded material.

2)  The current style standard is that style instructions in the html
take priority over whatever has been set before, either by the user or
the author, unless the previous instructions are labeled important and
the ones in the text aren't.  Unless the user-author symmetry is broken,
so the user has a special priority keyword that the author can't
override, this will always be true.  The special instructions that you
suggest are probably much more important to the users who want them
than the rest of the style instructions.  Thus, the best way to be
certain that special display options are always used is to keep these
separate from the rest of the style information.  

3)  Stylesheets are generally used to increase the granularity of html
displays, by offering authors more options.  The settings that you are
discussing reduce the granularity for display, making them significantly
different from the rest of the stylesheet options.  Thus, they should be
kept separate.

David