W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 1995

RE: draft-ietf-html-style-00.txt & class as a general selector

From: Chris Wilson (PSD) <cwilso@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 08:41:22 -0800
Message-Id: <c=US%a=_%p=msft%l=RED-73-MSG951207084123DO008406@red-02-imc.itg.microsoft.com>
To: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Chris Lilley wrote:
>cwilso@microsoft.com wrote:
>>  There are 
>> still lots of people who will set the font for each section of text in 
>> Microsoft Word, instead of using the stylesheet support, because it is 
>> easier for them to author that way.
>Actually it is not easier and it takes them longer to do and longer to get 
>the look that they want. People do this because they are unaware of any 
>other way. People do this because the manual covered on the fly formatting 
>changes early on and made out that using a named style was hard.

I said "easier for them to author," not quicker or more productive.  Mindset 
is an important factor.  Many people do this because they don't understand 
why they should go through creating a new style and selecting it when all 
they really want is a font change, and the font selection is staring them in 
the face.  It's a matter of complexity.  I imagine it's the same reason 
Netscape did "<FONT SIZE+=3>" instead of "<STRONG value="+3">" or some such.

I'm not saying this is RIGHT, remember.  I'm certainly not saying it is a 
replacement for style-based formatting - if you asked me to choose between 
HTML with stylesheets or RTF for document authoring, RTF would have boot 
marks all over it.  :^)

>I have shown people how to do this. They "get it", they work faster, and
>they produce better looking documents. This is an education and 
>documentation issue.

Your experience is different from mine.  I have taught several people how to 
do this, and they dislike it.  I agree it is the "right" way to do things - 
meaning more productive; I use styles pretty much exclusively over explicit 
font changes in Word.  I still would not take that functionality out of Word 
- it is useful.

>The next generation of "how to write an HTML document" primers just 
>needs to be well written, and to be designed with care, that is all.

Hmm.  True, and even more so, I feel future authoring tools need to present 
the stylesheet functionality in an intuitive manner.  That will, I believe, 
influence authoring styles more than anything else.

Received on Thursday, 7 December 1995 11:50:44 UTC

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