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

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

From: Jelks Cabaniss <jelks@jelks.nu>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 19:11:22 -0500
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Arjun Ray 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...

"Tagsoup-ish" in that there's markup involved for the purpose of suggesting
presentation, yes.  But I think there's a big difference between using "tags"
and using an attribute designed for that purpose.

> 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.

On the World Wide Web, there are likely always going to be a large number of
constituents whose only concern is presentation, not semantics.  In such cases
you can come up with vargaries of emphasis1, emphasis2, emphasis3, etc.  Or, at
least in [x]HTML you can say "there ain't no semantics".  Some possibilities:

1)  STYLE attribute: <span style="color: red">Buy now</span> and save big.

2)  CLASS attribute: <span class="emphasis2">Buy now</span> and save big.
         stylesheet:   .emphasis2 { color: red }

3)  New element:     <emphasis2>Buy now</emphasis2> and save big.
         stylesheet:   emphasis { color: red }

4)  XSL FO:          Buy now and save big.

         <xsl:template match="long XPath selector yielding the
                              5th sentence of the 3rd paragraph
                              of the 2nd section following the
                              foo element, and get the first
                              2 words">
              <fo:inline-sequence color="red">

	(or something like that; the XSL-FO drafts are in a, uh,
	state of flux)

Until/if XSL FOs are implemented (which is what this is really all about),
making the style attribute "Legacy" is, IMO, premature.  And even for those who
*do* know what semantics is about, the style attribute can come in handy.  As
Sue Sims said in an earlier message:

    Speaking up: I think it is very important to keep the simplicity.
    Stretch extensibility to the max if you must, but don't *make* me go
    there with you.

    On the rare occasion I need to override a rule from my external CSS, I
    really don't want to try to remember (or even look up) the syntax for
    the 'next to the last <a> in the 42nd <p> which is a descendent of the
    3rd nested <div>'. Let me <span> the silly thing and be done with

Received on Tuesday, 22 February 2000 19:14:18 UTC

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