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

From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 03:57:38 -0500 (EST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.10002220338380.1475-100000@mail.q2.net>


On Mon, 21 Feb 2000, Jelks Cabaniss wrote:

> Back to inline styling.  Let's say, while using your CSS-aware
> authoring tool, you select a word and press the "change text color
> ... to red" button.  

Without denying the possibility - or perhaps inevitability - of
CSS-aware tools shaping up to look and feel like this, I'd say that
such a tool ought to be considered broken.  OK, "broken" is much too
strong a word.  Let's try tagsoup-ish...

> With the style attribute, it would do something like
> 
> 	<span style="color: red">Hello</span>
> 
> *Without* that attribute, what does it have to do?  It has to
> generate a CLASS (or ID) of "colorred" in the stylesheet, and
> change the above to:
> 
> 	<span class="colorred">Hello</span>

I think this scenario, in a nutshell, explains why generalized markup
has no chance in an inexorably low-tech web, where people just want
one-offs.

Consider a third possibility: depending on context, the CSS-aware tool
could offer you a *selection* of buttons (or a drop-down menu, or
whatever); each option is associated with a CLASS (or whatever) *in
advance*.  Even better, the labels on the buttons or menu items could
be semantic ("Warning!", "New!")  If you're rolling along and all of a
sudden decide that you need a FOO, and the authoring environment
doesn't have a FOO - now, *why* is that? - I'd say you're working with
the wrong DTD+stylesheet combination to *begin with*.

OTOH, the "freedom" to define stuff on the spot as one goes along
makes context-dependent/intelligent processing impossible in the
general case (it's equivalent to the DWIM problem), so the only
environment that *can* support such a requirement is one that deals
with... orthogonal commands in isolation.  Tag Soup, anyone?

(I could be putting too fine a point on the word "generate", but I
think the word as it stands expresses the essence of the tag-soup
mentality.  Not that you subscribe to it, however!:))


Arjun
Received on Tuesday, 22 February 2000 03:30:52 GMT

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