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

two proposals: predefined styles and rules selecting styles

From: Scott E. Preece <preece@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 10:34:12 -0600
Message-Id: <199512131634.KAA16349@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
One of the arguments against adding elements like SUP, INS, etc. to HTML
has been that that kind of markup belongs in stylesheets.  A number of
people argued instead of, for instance, <INS>newly added text</INS> one
would write <SPAN CLASS=ins>newly added text</SPAN>.

As argued elsewhere, I think it makes more sense to use the STYLE
attribute and reserve CLASS for data-type distinctions, but the argument
seems otherwise sensible.

If we want to encourage the use of stylesheets for this kind of markup,
perhaps we should define CSS to have a collection of built-in styles for
the most common markup - things like subscript, superscript,
line-through, underlined, bigger, smaller, bold, italic, etc. - so
that authors can use them without having to add definitions for them
to their own STYLE element (or even to have a STYLE element if they
don't otherwise need it).  Any UA supporting CSS would be required to
provide a default STYLE element containing a standard set of
definitions; a document-provided STYLE element would cascade over the
default, overriding definitions for the built-in styles, if desired.

Coupled with this, I suggest that we modify the STYLE element syntax to
allow using style names in right-hand sides, indicating that all the
properties associated with that named style should be included.  This
would allow, for instance:

	[CLASS=doctitle]	{ underlined }
	[STYLE=C-keyword]	{ bold; font-family: helvetica ]

This allows the actual properties associated with, for instance, all
elements whose style includes underlining the text, to be hanged by
changing the definition of the underlined STYLE.  For instance, a
stylesheet for a medium not supporting underlining could do something

	[STYLE-underlined]	{ background-color: red }

and affect every style rule using the style underlined, rather than
individually overriding every such style rule, as would be required with
thte mechanism in the current draft.


scott preece
motorola/mcg urbana design center	1101 e. university, urbana, il   61801
phone:	217-384-8589			  fax:	217-384-8550
internet mail:	preece@urbana.mcd.mot.com
Received on Wednesday, 13 December 1995 11:34:26 GMT

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