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Re: comments on 2002-12-12 XHTML 2.0 WD

From: Tim Bagot <tsb-w3-html-0006@earth.li>
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 08:57:32 +0000 (UTC)
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.33.0212190829330.924-100000@213-152-52-166.dsl.eclipse.net.uk>

At 2002-12-18T17:31-0600, John Lewis wrote:-

> Well said. I agree. However, even with a normative style sheet for
> XHTML 2.0, you can override anything with a user style sheet, which
> means the above is not a reason to not create a normative user style
Do you mean UA here?

> sheet. One good reason is that it restricts the freedom of browsers
> (but not people) to cleverly present markup in new, easy to understand
> ways.

Normative to me suggests compulsory. Surely you do not mean that? An
informative style sheet I could understand, though even that might tend to
hinder innovation, simply because there would be tendency to use it as a
description of "intended" rendering. Perhaps it would be better to have
multiple, wildly different informative style sheets, each clearly a little
bizarre in its own way, to make it clear that none is the One True Way.
Even then, we run into the problem that there will almost certainly be
some aspects of presentation that cannot be expressed in CSS.

Why should innovation be allowed only for users (and, one supposes,
authors), prohibited for browser developers? Is it really good to restrict
the freedom of browsers to present markup in easy to understand ways? If
users find that a browser presents some markup poorly, they are free to
try other browsers (or, as you say, to override the unwanted behaviour in
user style sheets). If users like a certain presentation, does it really
matter that it differs from the Official Normative Style Sheet? One can
expect that implementations will rapdly evolve towards helpful renderings,
which may differ from each other in some respects. What you appear to be
proposing would prevent this evolution, as a non-default setting that
turned out to be preferred by the vast majority of a browser's users could
not conformantly be made the default.

Tim Bagot
Received on Thursday, 19 December 2002 03:58:08 UTC

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