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

From: John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 13:45:32 -0600
Message-ID: <7350142866.20021219134532@cda.mrs.umn.edu>
To: www-html@w3.org

Tim wrote on Thursday, December 19, 2002 at 2:57:32 AM:

> 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?

Yes, sorry.

>> 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?

Yes, I did mean normative, but I did not agree that it's a good idea.

> 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?

No good reason. I was trying to point out that a normative UA style
sheet doesn't prevent a user from making content accessible with a
user style sheet (the original person's reason for disliking a
normative UA style sheet).

> Is it really good to restrict the freedom of browsers to present
> markup in easy to understand ways?

I don't think so. On the other hand, I don't think it's an infinite
evil. I think there are advantages to a normative UA style sheet--I
just think the disadvantages, like the freedom lost, outweigh the

> 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?

Not if there isn't an official normative style sheet. :)

> One can expect that implementations will rapidly 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.

I was not proposing a normative UA style sheet. I was responding to
the proposal.

Received on Thursday, 19 December 2002 14:46:13 UTC

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