Re: Introducing NetscapeML

Mary Morris (marym@finesse.com)
Fri, 5 Jul 1996 09:38:13 -0700


Date: Fri, 5 Jul 1996 09:38:13 -0700
From: marym@finesse.com (Mary Morris)
Message-Id: <199607051638.JAA06068@thyme>
To: www-style@w3.org, html-erb@w3.org, www-html@w3.org, thomasre@microsoft.com
Subject: Re: Introducing NetscapeML

It would seem to me to be very awkward to put these options (moved to
the bottom) in stylesheets mostly because I want to have the ability to
change these independently on the fly. Style sheets would be something
that hold general preferences not my page by page rendering desires.
Basically what I am asking for here are controls that can be instance
specific and stylesheets should be controls of groups of related
things.

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

I'll agree with this. Why would someone want to create a stylesheet 
and then turn off options for pages that they create? These disabling
options would be for the end user who wants customized viewing control,
and unlike many of us, most of the users won't have a clue as to how to 
create a stylesheet. The only way that they will create a stylesheet
is to have a dialog (similar to the one below) in the first place.

The only way that this disabling stuff would have any benefit in
publisher developed stylesheets would be to make it review the browser
and say if this browser doesn't have marquees don't do this which tends
to be out of the realm of stylesheets anyway. I don't think that I
would want a stylesheet made more complex by If..then usage.

If you were to really put this in stylesheet parlance, I'd call this
more of an anti-stylesheet than a stylesheet. 

> 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.  

I'll agree and disagree on this point. It would make sense to not
download anything that you aren't going to use. In some cases however,
I can see a reason for turning something off after you have seen
it an found it annoying, distracting or otherwise detrimental to 
your page viewing. I guess I could see configuration for both downloading
and viewing as well.
 
> 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.  

Correct.

> 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.

Has anyone stopped to think about how this request for reduced
granularity could be echoed back to the server/author as an automated
feedback mechinism to let them know which features the users are
disabling en masse?  Feedback would be a good idea too, now that I
think about it.
 
> > 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.
 
Mary E. S. Morris - co-author of Web Page Design: A Different Multimedia
http://www.sun.com/smi/ssoftpress/books/Morris2/Morris2.html