W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > December 2000

RE: margin elements (was Re: [www-html] <none>)

From: Beth Skwarecki <skwareea@screech.cs.alfred.edu>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 12:28:32 -0500
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20001214122832.G13154@cs.alfred.edu>
> >> Just wondering about the marginwidth, marginheight, leftmargin and
> topmargin
> >> elements of the body tag.  They don't exist in XHTML 1.0 Transitional
> (and
> >> may not exist in any W3 spec for all I know) but they seem to be the only
> >> way to achieve this effect (in the real world) even on NN4 and so on.
> Does
> >> anyone know why they are not valid in the Transitional DTD which states
> as
> >> an aim that it wants to be a usable version of XHTML compatible with
> older
> >> browsers?
> 
> > I believe Jeffrey Zeldman called them the "four horsemen of
> non-validation"
> > :-) They're necessary to make pages look right in some of the older
> browsers
> > - I believe N4 is one of them - but in HTML 4 you should be setting this
> > stuff in a stylesheet.
>
> ... 
>
> So, the solution is:
> 
> 1. Don't create designs that need this feature to "look right."

Not sure if you're misunderstanding what I said or just offering a separate
opinion - by "look right" I mean "adhere to the designer's ideal of what the
page should look like". A given design will never "look right" in every
browser, and I'm not saying it should be forced to. Just that pretty pages are
aesthetically nicer. :-)

> or, better still,
> 
> 2. Stop worrying about making your design look perfect in Netscape 4.

Apologies in advance for any flamewars this starts:

Netscape 4 will be around a little longer, and pages should look at least OK
in it. In another year or so we might be able to forget N4 ever existed, but
until then we have to design with its existence in mind. I use the subset of
CSS that won't break in N4 - no, it's not *that* small :-) - but I think
it's reasonable to keep a deprecated element or two if that's the only way
to make the design "look right" (see above) in N4. With, of course, the
condition that we'll forget about that sort of stuff once N6 gets common
enough. 

> About six months ago I began telling my clients that their sites would look
> rather plain if viewed in older browsers. I then began to shift my designs
> to XHTML strict (from transitional). So far, I've had no complaints.
> Occasionally, one will ask why the site doesn't look the same in Netscape 4
> and I just tell them that Netscape 4 is the worst piece of garbage ever
> foisted on web site designers and the sooner it is consigned to oblivion,
> the better.

One could say similar things about Windows, but there's still software
around for it :-). Just because a platform/browser/whatever sucks doesn't mean
we can ignore that a whole lot of people use it. 

> If you're struggling to make a *particular* look work, then you've lost
> sight of what's really important here: communication. Design is important,
> but it doesn't have to be *that* design. Find another one that works both in
> terms of enhancing communication and in terms of compatibility with the
> current crop of browsers.

I agree completely. 

--beth
Received on Thursday, 14 December 2000 12:28:44 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 27 March 2012 18:15:44 GMT