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

RE: "fighting it out between WGs" (was: inline CSS)

From: Chris Wilson <cwilso@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 14:20:58 -0800
Message-ID: <C35556591D34D111BB5600805F1961B91D5CDF2E@RED-MSG-47>
To: "'Murray Altheim'" <altheim@eng.sun.com>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
1 Altheim [mailto:altheim@eng.sun.com] wrote, in response to Håkon Wium Lie:
>Why don't you guys come clean? Tell us why there's an all-out
>fist fight over the style attribute? It's not because 'people like it'.
>Is Windows 2000 based on styling in HTML documents or something? Wot?

I don't like your implication, in jest or not.  There have been a wide
variety of people in this discussion saying that the loss of the inline
STYLE attribute is a mistake; only one of them has been from Microsoft.
I've kept out of this until now, because I thought that Tantek (and Håkon,
for that matter) have been doing an excellent job at describing all the
reasons that I myself think this would be a mistake.  Anyone with prior
experience observing myself and Håkon would know we rarely agree on ANYTHING
:^) despite mutual respect, and an implication of impropriety in this case
has me rolling in the aisles.

Of course Windows has a large basis in styling HTML documents - tons of
Windows UI, applications and content (e.g. Help) are constructed from HTML,
some of which I suspect uses the inline STYLE attribute.  However, that's
not at issue - because exactly 0.000% of that content is treated as _X_HTML.
As far as I know, there is no already-invested interest in allowing the
inline style attribute in XHTML 1.1+ in Microsoft content.

We're discussing the FUTURE of HTML here, though, and my point is that a
number of people have been telling you that the inline STYLE attribute IS,
in fact, something that people do "like", and your third sentence above is
just not true in all cases; or, necessarily, even in a majority of cases.
If your goal is to get away from stylistic associations in (X)HTML
documents, why do you even allow <STYLE> elements and <LINK>1 stylesheets?
They, too, are purely stylistic, albeit one small step more abstract -
shouldn't they be forced to have some association constructed in the UA,
rather than being embedded in the document itself?

The inline STYLE attribute is, in my opinion, something that is useful
enough in a large enough set of scenarios, to warrant continued inclusion in
HTML rather than being relegated to the status of deprecated legacy.  Not
including it in the future of HTML only makes it more likely that HTML will
remain stuck in its muddled present state.

As Håkon so elegantly stated,
> The job of W3C is to find and
> build consensus between members and the web community at large.

I don't hear a clear consensus that the inline STYLE attribute is a legacy
the web community wishes delete.

-Chris Wilson
 Internet Explorer team
Received on Tuesday, 22 February 2000 17:25:08 UTC

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