W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > April 2004

Re: complexity

From: <olafBuddenhagen@web.de>
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 20:58:24 +0200
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20040409185824.GN427@sky.local>


On Fri, Apr 09, 2004 at 03:35:33PM +0000, Ian Hickson wrote:

> > Indirect marketing force.
> I'm on the working group, work for a browser vendor, have worked for
> another browser vendor, and have worked with CSS in those contexts for
> several years. I can't actually think of a _single_ case where a
> marketing department has in any way affected the CSS specs.

Seems I was unclear. By "indirect marketing force" I didn't mean
intervention of marketing departments. Featuritis is often driven by the
developers themselfs... Because they have the (often false) believe that
adding every single feature that someone comes up with is a good thing.

Well, maybe I'm getting too philosophical.

> > Authors want to do silly things like :first-letter, and marketing
> > wants to satisfy these silly wishes...
> I'm confused; you want the working group to _not_ address author
> wishes?

I want the working group to carefully distinguish between reasonable
things, that give a considerable benefit at an acceptable cost, and
silly ideas that only add unnecessary complexity.

> (And note that :first-letter was actually introduced in CSS1, long
> before CSS came to the public eye. I doubt marketing wanting to
> satisfy authors had anything at all to do with :first-letter being in
> the spec.)

Then it's actually even worse: An example of the other scenario --
standards blindly putting in useless features without considering the
implications, because someone figured that authors *might* perhaps want
to use them...

Seems it was a bad example. I just picked the most stupid CSS property I
could think of.

> > What does it help when Mozilla and Opera prove that something is
> > possible, if no other browser (except maybe IE, if they wanted to)
> > is able to implement it?
> If two UAs can implement it, why would a third not be able to?

Because of cost. Not every browser vendor has such an enormous manpower.
Or do you think the situation where you need some 100 developers and
five years to create a useful browser is a desirable one? Oh, and it's
getting worse, with all the upcoming and existing-but-not-yet-used

Plus, repeating as it seems I wasn't clear enough on this: Creating an
implementation that is terribly slow and just somehow satisfies a
standard, and a good efficient one, are two very different things.
Proof-of-concept implementations prove that a standard is fairly clear
and not self-contradictory; but they do not really tell much about
implemenation cost.

Also, the fact that for each standard there are two browsers
implementing it, doesn't mean that any vendor has the resources to
implement *all* of the standards.

Received on Friday, 9 April 2004 15:09:24 UTC

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