CSS and Ease of Markup

Fisher Mark (FisherM@is3.indy.tce.com)
Fri, 19 Jul 96 13:59:00 PDT


From: Fisher Mark <FisherM@is3.indy.tce.com>
To: www-html <www-html@w3.org>
Subject: CSS and Ease of Markup
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 96 13:59:00 PDT
Message-ID: <31EFF7C9@MSMAIL.INDY.TCE.COM>


MegaZone writes in <199607180007.RAA23504@server.livingston.com>:
>The same
>could be done with style sheets - but why force everyone to use CSS when
>they don't need the complexity?  I am loathe to try and teach CSS to all
>the people here doing little things for the web, while most of them
>understand FONT just fine.

This reminds me of a recent comment by Tim Berners-Lee, where he comments 
that the URL syntax was never designed to be used/understood by most Web 
authors.

<geezer mode=on>
With the advent of GUI interfaces on most operating systems in common use, 
it is not reasonable to expect that one of the constraints on HTML should be 
that it is always easy to create using a plain text editor like Emacs or 
vi(1).  About 3/4 of my 19-year computing career has been spent on text-mode 
interfaces, where a tool like vi(1) makes a lot of sense (even under NT, I 
always keep a Korn shell handy), so I feel I can speak as someone who has 
experience in both GUI and non-GUI worlds.
</geezer>

My vision for the ideal HTML editing tool is something that looks and has 
the functionality of Microsoft Word for Windows (a reasonably good WYSIWYG 
word processor), but can "drill down" into the raw HTML when needed.  Once 
CSS is deployed, I expect that one or more of the current crop of automatic 
HTML editors, like HoTMetal Pro (what I use), will quickly grow to that 
level of functionality.  To make a long story short (too late! :), 
sophisticated HTML editing should not have to be a big, enormous, tedious 
chore.  It should and will (IMVHO) become nearly as easy as current 
sophisticated word processor editing.

Further prediction -- CSS should (eventually) make it possible to transfer 
data to&from word processors with near-zero layout information loss (and the 
possibility for much greater structural information to boot).
======================================================================
Mark Leighton Fisher                   Thomson Consumer Electronics
fisherm@indy.tce.com                   Indianapolis, IN