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

Re: 'style' attribute

From: Brian Bober <netdemonz@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 08:26:26 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <20040222162626.12502.qmail@web60703.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-html@w3.org

I wish there were an element.ComputedCSSStyle, or something so you didn't have
to use the central style information.

> specifically the cascading part, it is impossible to retreive the styles 
> associated for an object (text, images, etc.) simply by grabbing the style 
> attribute alone.  At best you might get some styling information, but in no 
> way are you garunteed to be getting the entire set of styling key/value 
> pairs.  On a second note, using only style attributes and not central 
> styling information located in the style element or remote style sheets is 
> not an option.

I'm not sure if you talked about another problem I have seen, but it seems you
did. There is no inheritance when it comes to the generated CSS values when it
applies to documents.

For instance (sample stylesheet):

a {text-decoration: none;}
a:hover {text-decoration: underline;}

First a:
<a class="a">
Second a:
<a class="a">

I'd like it if there were to make it so that when you hover over the first a,
the second a is highlighted. As of yet, the only way that I know to do this is
to use javascript. Perhaps a new property could be defined like inheritedclass?

A couple huge nitpicks about CSS and HTML:

The biggest problem I have with CSS is that the designers assumed that all
pages should not be fixed in size and that the layout of the page would be a
simple text-document like flow. This limited designers because there are times
where pages are not really documents but just pages containing lots of
pictures, etc, that the authors do not want scaled. 

The other big problem I have with stylesheets is that some things, like using
tables for layout, is just way harder with CSS than HTML, and tables for layout
cannot even fully be replaced with CSS and float just doesn't do the trick.
There is no 


Personally, I think that CSS is a broken standard. A lot of this can be blamed
on the slow adoption by Microsoft. The other issue is that CSS seems to be
incredibly difficult for doing fixed layout and a lot of other things that
developers expected with HTML. The suggestion that people should use Flash when
they want a page to look to their users like they need it to! There are some
cases where if a developer can not force a certain width, look, etc on the
user, they could risk the user getting annoyed or at worse suing them! If you
were making a powerpoint presentation, would you want it to look differently to
everyone in the audience? I understand with web-based documents you want it to
be catered to the particular screen resolution, etc... That is not the entire
web, though!

My suggestion:

We have Microsoft to thank for CSS being broken because they have not adopted
the standard fast enough to test it. Heck, you cannot even do min-width in IE
for Windows on a Web page. What's done is done, though.

Therefore, I propose taking what we know about what worked and what doesn't in
CSS and starting from scratch with a new style standard. I'd say it would be
good to have it offered alongside CSS, but that would bloat current browsers. 

Therefore... You need to really get the web community involved in a large-scale
discussion that is organized (perhaps broken down by CSS component) about what
the plusses and minusses are for each aspect of CSS. I do not think that W3C
has heard nor can remember every complaint people have about CSS.

You also need more community involvement in the drafting of these standards,
and more feedback methods in other means than on mailing lists. Why doesn't W3C
have a PHP message board and a Bugzilla? Mailing lists are just not the best
place for all forms of conversations.
Received on Sunday, 22 February 2004 11:26:26 UTC

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