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BLINK is bad?

From: Joe Kaczmarek <joe@getq.com>
Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2000 16:36:14 -0400
Message-ID: <38EBA3B0.5D44D6AB@getq.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
I know that BLINK is not in HTML4.0, and though it's in CSS1 (as a
"text-decoration"), Microsoft still will not make the text blink.

What I don't understand is why is BLINK bad?

I can understand that BLINK can be used in bad ways, but that doesn't
make it a bad tool (put it to the analogy of an knife... a knife is not
a bad tool, though people can use it in bad was).

I understand that people may find it annoying, and that (since BLINK was
called bad in the "Presentational" vs. "Legacy" messages) it can be
argued that text readers or braile devices may not know how to interpret
what to do with BLINK. A solution for both of these arguments should not
be to kill a tool, but that the browser/device should handle the
interpretation of BLINK. In Internet Explorer you have the option to
turn off animations (BLINK could be included in this setting). For
braile or other devices that can't handle blinking the text, BLINK
should be ignored (ie. it is supported but not displayed).

I personally don't understand why a tool should be terminated or not
supported just because it can have bad uses (with the philosophy that
BLINK is bad because if it's uses, it could also be argued that IMG is
bad because pornographic material could be displayed to minors, or even
that preformatted text is bad because pornographic ASCII art could be
displayed to minors).

I have found some good uses for BLINK. Such as a poor-man's (aka,
quick-downloading) animated GIF. Instead of a GIF saying "Loading..."
and blinking to indicate to the user (the user who can see, and those
who can't see and are reading the page with a braile device, BLINK could
be ignored and simply display a static "Loading...") that there is
progress happening and to wait (instead of seeing a non-moving, static
"Loading..." which might make someone think that they have lost their
connection to the internet or the data transfer has been interupted or
that their computer is hanging).

I hope that if just one good example (such as I have given) is enough to
save BLINK (or save "text-decoration: blink" if anyone reading is also
on CSS).

Joe.
Received on Wednesday, 5 April 2000 16:36:10 GMT

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