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

Re: inline CSS (was: is anyone interested in XHTML?)

From: Murray Altheim <altheim@eng.sun.com>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 23:58:01 -0800
Message-ID: <38B0F009.BE4F2ED2@eng.sun.com>
To: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
CC: Jelks Cabaniss <jelks@jelks.nu>, www-html@w3.org
Tantek Çelik wrote:
> > But even as abused it's light years ahead of FONT, CENTER, and
> > tag soup.
> far far ahead.  and better for *usability* too, since CSS styling provides the
> user a mechanism to override with a user style sheet, which plain default HTML
> (or any markup for that matter) rendering does *not*.

What nonsense. I keep hearing that, but CSS1 and 2 both have *author* as 
priority, not user, so this runs completely counter to what would help 

  CSS1: "the author's style sheets override the reader's style sheet"
  CSS2: "author style sheets override user style sheets which override
         the default style sheet. "
And I don't pay any attention to CSS3 since we don't even have CSS1 and 
CSS2 in wide implementation yet. And changing the fundamental cascading 
rules from previous versions (as !important tries but fails to do), well
that's just stepping out of the alligator pit after the leg's already 

> > The modularization work is fantastic.  I'd hate to see it ignored by the tool
> > vendors *and* the developers because inline/embedded styling was sacrificed
> > prematurely on the altar of pure separation of content and presentation.
> separation of content and presentation (and script and transform etc. etc.) is
> *good* thing to *enable* and *encourage*, but not to *enforce*.  premature
> deprecation will only offend and insult those authors and implementors who
> have understand the proper time to use linked style sheets vs. inline style
> sheets vs. inline styles.
> and you're right about the ignoring part.  any technology or specification
> which fails to be useful to the target customer *deserves* to be ignored.
> spec writers should learn to *listen* to the customer or else suffer the same
> fate of so many previous technologies/specs which were too "high-minded".
> and speaking of listening, how many _professional web authors/designers_ have
> posted to this list asking to *keep* the STYLE attribute?  i've seen several.
> how many have asked for it to be removed / relegated to legacy because it
> never should have existed in the first place?  don't hold your breath.

Man, and I thought *I* was preachy.

> Murray Altheim wrote:
> >> If you want to build a DTD using the Legacy module, you're welcome to
> >> do so. The HTML WG position is that we are trying to be good web citizens,
> >> and 1.1 therefore removes deprecated features
> and in exactly which REC has the STYLE attribute been deprecated?  certainly
> not in HTML4.
> >> and those we feel are
> >> counter to i18n, WAI, and other interoperability goals.
> that's funny.  the i18n and WAI people that I work with see nothing wrong with
> the STYLE attribute and in fact find it quite useful.

Rather than take your word for it, I'd prefer to hear from them. When I 
last attended a WAI meeting several weeks ago I didn't hear them agreeing
with your opinion. There's no accessibility benefit to inline styling. 
> and if you want to talk WG positions, both the CSS&FP and SVG WGs prefer to
> keep the STYLE attribute.  the "good web citizen" thing to do would be to keep
> the STYLE attribute in the STYLE module as requested by these WGs.

Yes, and both of those working groups are headed by the same person, and
that person is known to be an avowed CSS-aholic, so much so that a minority
opinion had to be created for SVG to try to remove all the CSS cruft that 
was forced into it, from what I've heard, in large part by the chair. Seems
there's a healthy CSS cabal in the W3C lately. 
> > Two questions:
> >
> >  1) Was there consensus in the HTML WG on this?
> as the Microsoft alternate representative to the HTML wg, I can tell you that
> *we* certainly strongly disagree with removal and/or deprecation of the STYLE
> attribute.  of course maybe I was late to the conversation.

Yeah? Funny, you didn't mention that you are a member of the CSS working
group. Well, until you as both member of the CSS WG *and* recent alternative 
representative to the HTML WG showed up for the first time at our last F2F,
I'd never even heard your name mentioned in our WG. I didn't realize you
were an 'alternate' and just figured you were a lobbyist from the CSS WG.
Aren't you, really? Prior to that we hadn't had any protest I can recall 
from within the WG, at least not so much as to keep our chair from 
declaring a consensus and moving forward with what you see in the working 
drafts. Yes, you were late to the conversation.

I clearly see a pattern of CSS people doing whatever they can to proliferate
CSS into every damned spec coming out of the W3C, even so far as to corrupt
XSL FO by reducing it to some common denominator of FO and CSS. Is there 
some religous affiliation or stock options based on CSS or something? It's
like some mold that one can never clean out of the shower.


Murray Altheim                            <mailto:altheim&#x40;eng.sun.com>
XML Technology Center
Sun Microsystems, Inc., MS MPK17-102, 1601 Willow Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025

   the honey bee is sad and cross and wicked as a weasel 
   and when she perches on you boss she leaves a little measle -- archy
Received on Monday, 21 February 2000 02:57:38 UTC

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