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Re: The style agenda

From: H&kon W Lie <howcome@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 16:44:32 --100
Message-Id: <9506011444.AA10005@www4.cern.ch>
To: bert@let.rug.nl
Cc: Multiple recipients of list <www-style@www10.w3.org>
Bert Bos writes:

 > I expect that eventually the style language will be specified in an
 > RFC. I'm willing to help write it and I hope Hakon is. It will not be
 > the same as any of the current proposals, but my expectation is that
 > it will be recognizably a descendant of Hakon's ideas. I also think
 > that we should wait and watch this mailing list for a few weeks,
 > before commiting any resources to this effort.

Agree. People with diverging ideas whould speak up.

 > One example of such an (unwanted, IMHO) dependency is the fact that
 > Hakon's style language currently presupposes the existence of an
 > attribute CLASS, because that's what the notation `H1.punk' means. To
 > fix this, I proposed a global declaration `@archform CLASS', to be
 > inserted at the start of the style sheet, so that applications would
 > now what the dot stands for.

This is where it starts to get hairy and perl-like. Myself, I enjoy
writing perl, but I would prefer the style sheet language to be a bit
more intuitive. "@archform" isn't.

 >  |       available only up to a certain fixed depth, so that a fixed amount of
 >  |       space can be reserved for this information in the stack frame.
 >  |
 >  |is a concept that will come back and bite you.  I might need to know 
 >  |any arbitrary parent element to format an element in context correctly.
 > 
 > I wanted to restrict the amount of memory needed and also to simplify
 > the implementation. The idea is that you do not need the whole SGML
 > *tree*, but only a *stack* of currently open elements, plus for each
 > open element the GI (and only the GI) of its elder sister. The depth
 > of the stack is not limited.

Sounds reasonable, but you may need more that a fixed amount, no? This
is also why I dropped the idea of being able to combine hierarchical
and sequential search patterns.

 >  |You admit that your model is insufficient for tables; why shouldn't
 >  |we discard it, and what is Hakon's formatting model (it isn't obvious
 >  |from his TOC)?  what mods to DSSSL's model have the DSSSL-Light folks
 >  |determined necessary?  your model has among its five areas header and
 >  |footer; is this enough special-purpose-online-presentational areas?
 >  |won't somebody be asking for "left-margin-banner" and "wrap-around-
 >  |the-whole-frame-banner" soon?
 > 
 > Excellent idea. Let's talk about this for a while. I'm not happy with
 > that model either. Maybe the page model should be parametrized, maybe
 > we need something different altogether.

Grids! Let the style sheet carve up the canvas into golden rectangles,
and use an expert system to lay out the elements!! Ok, drop the expert
system and define a set of simple rules that we hardcode.. whoops! But
grids do look nice!

-h&kon

Hakon W Lie, WWW project CERN, CH-1211 Geneva 23
http://www.w3.org/hypertext/WWW/People/howcome/
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To: terry@ora.com
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Subject: Re: The style agenda
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From: "H&kon W Lie" <howcome@w3.org>
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Terry,

 > | I imagine this document going through several phases. Starting as a
 > | scratchpad, it should end up as an I-D. I've changed the wording on
 > | the top to better reflect this, thanks!
 > 
 > If it's going to be an I-D, does that mean it has to come under
 > the aegis of some WG?

I would think so. Do you have a favorite?

 > It was W3's role in standardization that was confusing.  As I understand
 > your response, W3 is taking no such role; that's okay.

At this point in time, in this area, W3C hasn't taken on any
standardiszation role.

 > | Agree, in principle. Conflicts arise when you want to specify style
 > | for non-HTML information, e.g.
 > |  - the whole document: "doc: margin.left = 50pt" -- I'm not sure
 > |    we can convince people to use "html of "body" instead of "doc".
 > |  - browser buttons: "browser: button.save = off"
 > |  - html source: "source: font.size = 14pt"
 > | These conflicts will arrive when we try to handle a DTD with <SOURCE>.
 > | So, an item for discussion should be to what extent, if any, the style
 > | sheet should be able to influence non-HTML properties, or take
 > | non-HTML information (like AGE and LANGUAGE) into account when
 > | rendering. The author of a document shouldn't decide how e.g. the html
 > | source should be displayed, but certainly the user should. And if it's
 > | not in the style sheet, where will in be? I hate .Xdefaults!
 > 
 > Margins aside, I think such things go in what I think of as another style 
 > sheet, though this could be info in HEAD or a part of the rendering style
 > sheet.  There's a large iceberg of nonrendering info people want to
 > convey to the browser (browser buttons being a good example).  

Except for the button example, the others are rendering issues. As for
buttons, choosing to display or hide them is also a rendering issue
since you gain/loose screen real-estate depending on your choice. I
would hope the style sheet mechanism would convey rendering
information peripheral to HTML as well. Users will ask for it.

Are you suggesting we should have two style sheet mechanisms?

 > I don't know about the current mechanism, but let me put the case for
 > something like "legal."  As a publisher, I may need to insist that 
 > my doc be read only according to a style sheet I supply.  I know that
 > I probably can't find a mechanism to enforce that on the browser,
 > but at least I have to be able to say it.  (Then if the user insists
 > on rendering Warnings as gray text on a grey background, fails to
 > read a Warning, and electrocutes himself, I'm in the clear.)

This seems to be the prevailing view among publishers, and it makes
some sense. But, I don't think the style sheet mechanism is the best
legal cover you can find. Since style sheets can be LINKed from a
document (most proposals suggest this), it may or may not reach the
browser. So, should the browser refuse to show a document just because
the style sheet may include lagal hints? I don't think so. This is
just one of the questions that arise if we decide to deal with
legality.

 > | I'm proposing a simple stream of boxes where the style sheet controls
 > | the margins of each box. The boxes are stacked on top of each other
 > | (perhaps with a page break here & there), and children inherit the
 > | parent's horizontal boundry + margins (i.e. to do indented nested
 > | list). Paper delivery will require some extensions to this model.
 > 
 > Could you compare this model to Tex's?  No glue, obviously ...

No glue. And no nested boxes. Just a simple stack of boxes similar to
how current browsers format HTML (tables and images in text flow
excluded).

 _______________
|               |
|*P             |
|_______________|
|               |
|@@UL           |
|_______________|
   |            |
   |%LI         |
   |____________|
   |            |
   |%LI         |
   |____________|
   |            |
   |@@UL        |
   |____________|
      |         |
      | %LI     |
 _____|_________|
|               |
|*P             |
|_______________|

where: 

 '*'  = p  [margin.left]
 '@@' = ul [margin.left]
 '%'  = li [margin.left]

Children inherit their parent's x position + margin.left.

Thus, one can control list indentations by setting margins. 

Text flow around floating images does not fit well into this model,
e.g. you probably don't want to use the normal margins when placing
text next to an image.

One could add some extra properties if control at that level is
necessary.

-h&kon

Hakon W Lie, WWW project CERN, CH-1211 Geneva 23
http://www.w3.org/hypertext/WWW/People/howcome/
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From: "Terry Allen" <terry@ora.com>
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        "Re: The style agenda" (Jun  1, 12:06pm)
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Thanks, Hakon.

Hakon writes:
|  > | I imagine this document going through several phases. Starting as a
|  > | scratchpad, it should end up as an I-D. I've changed the wording on
|  > | the top to better reflect this, thanks!
|  > 
|  > If it's going to be an I-D, does that mean it has to come under
|  > the aegis of some WG?
| 
| I would think so. Do you have a favorite?

It's your choice, I'd say.  But HTML-WG would seem to be appropriate
(there's always MIMESGML).
 
  ...

|  > | Agree, in principle. Conflicts arise when you want to specify style
|  > | for non-HTML information, e.g.
|  > |  - the whole document: "doc: margin.left = 50pt" -- I'm not sure
|  > |    we can convince people to use "html of "body" instead of "doc".
|  > |  - browser buttons: "browser: button.save = off"
|  > |  - html source: "source: font.size = 14pt"
|  > | These conflicts will arrive when we try to handle a DTD with <SOURCE>.
|  > | So, an item for discussion should be to what extent, if any, the style
|  > | sheet should be able to influence non-HTML properties, or take
|  > | non-HTML information (like AGE and LANGUAGE) into account when
|  > | rendering. The author of a document shouldn't decide how e.g. the html
|  > | source should be displayed, but certainly the user should. And if it's
|  > | not in the style sheet, where will in be? I hate .Xdefaults!
|  > 
|  > Margins aside, I think such things go in what I think of as another style 
|  > sheet, though this could be info in HEAD or a part of the rendering style
|  > sheet.  There's a large iceberg of nonrendering info people want to
|  > convey to the browser (browser buttons being a good example).  
| 
| Except for the button example, the others are rendering issues. As for

Okay.  Let me put it differently.  I don't see the what the problem
is with margins for the whole doc and font size for the whole doc.
That info can be attached to HTML or BODY; what do you mean by
"non-HTML info" wrt these items?

| buttons, choosing to display or hide them is also a rendering issue
| since you gain/loose screen real-estate depending on your choice. I
| would hope the style sheet mechanism would convey rendering
| information peripheral to HTML as well. Users will ask for it.

You're assuming the buttons would be rendered in the text window,
which would not be a useful way to handle them (change the frame,
institute a toolbar; but these are choices for developers to make).
In any event, presentation of buttons is one of a large set of
ways people will want to affect browser behavior; that's why
I separate it from how the text itself is rendered.  For buttons
we don't have the issues of font and flow and so on (those are
presumably handled by the browser directly without instruction).

| Are you suggesting we should have two style sheet mechanisms?

I'm saying that we have different types of info we want to convey.
Text rendering is one.  Buttons+ is another; style sheets for
link behavior (if we get to them) might be another.  The mechanism
we use for text rendering may not be best for the other types 
of info; if it is, okay.

|  > I don't know about the current mechanism, but let me put the case for
|  > something like "legal."  As a publisher, I may need to insist that 
|  > my doc be read only according to a style sheet I supply.  I know that
|  > I probably can't find a mechanism to enforce that on the browser,
|  > but at least I have to be able to say it.  (Then if the user insists
|  > on rendering Warnings as gray text on a grey background, fails to
|  > read a Warning, and electrocutes himself, I'm in the clear.)
| 
| This seems to be the prevailing view among publishers, and it makes
| some sense. But, I don't think the style sheet mechanism is the best
| legal cover you can find. Since style sheets can be LINKed from a
| document (most proposals suggest this), it may or may not reach the
| browser. So, should the browser refuse to show a document just because
| the style sheet may include lagal hints? I don't think so. This is
| just one of the questions that arise if we decide to deal with
| legality.

Well, I might configure my server to send the style sheet first,
with some query (I don't know what) to see if the client has
received it.  Or I might rely on the HTML doc's instructions 
as to what style sheet was intended.  I would certainly want
to put up a text warning also ("use chair.sty or risk electrocution!").
But at the level of negotiation, I as publisher have to be able
to say no, whether or not I can enforce it.

|  > | I'm proposing a simple stream of boxes where the style sheet controls
|  > | the margins of each box. The boxes are stacked on top of each other
|  > | (perhaps with a page break here & there), and children inherit the
|  > | parent's horizontal boundry + margins (i.e. to do indented nested
|  > | list). Paper delivery will require some extensions to this model.
|  > 
|  > Could you compare this model to Tex's?  No glue, obviously ...
| 
| No glue. And no nested boxes. Just a simple stack of boxes similar to
| how current browsers format HTML (tables and images in text flow
| excluded).

With this model, how are we to handle the case (widely desired) of 
overlaying text on a graphic?

 ...

| Thus, one can control list indentations by setting margins. 
| 
| Text flow around floating images does not fit well into this model,
| e.g. you probably don't want to use the normal margins when placing
| text next to an image.

Could you expand on that?  Which margins become inappropriate?



-- 
Terry Allen  (terry@ora.com)   O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
Editor, Digital Media Group    101 Morris St.
			       Sebastopol, Calif., 95472
occasional column at:  http://gnn.com/meta/imedia/webworks/allen/

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From: "H&kon W Lie" <howcome@w3.org>
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Terry,

 > |  > Margins aside, I think such things go in what I think of as another style 
 > |  > sheet, though this could be info in HEAD or a part of the rendering style
 > |  > sheet.  There's a large iceberg of nonrendering info people want to
 > |  > convey to the browser (browser buttons being a good example).  
 > | 
 > | Except for the button example, the others are rendering issues. As for
 > 
 > Okay.  Let me put it differently.  I don't see the what the problem
 > is with margins for the whole doc and font size for the whole doc.
 > That info can be attached to HTML or BODY; what do you mean by
 > "non-HTML info" wrt these items?

We agree on margins, they can cleanly be attached to head or body. (The
objection there, though, is that most users don't user <HTML> or <BODY>
and would rather (I'm guessing) refer to an imaginary <DOC> element
or whatever.)

 > | buttons, choosing to display or hide them is also a rendering issue
 > | since you gain/loose screen real-estate depending on your choice. I
 > | would hope the style sheet mechanism would convey rendering
 > | information peripheral to HTML as well. Users will ask for it.
 > 
 > You're assuming the buttons would be rendered in the text window,
 > which would not be a useful way to handle them (change the frame,
 > institute a toolbar; but these are choices for developers to make).

The most successful browsers allow the user to turn garniture on & off
through menus. I'm pretty sure you can set this in a defaults file as
well. Since this has to do with the rendering of the the browser
window (but not the HTML canvas), why not -- when designing a style
sheet mechanism -- include control for these "HTML-peripheral" items?

 > In any event, presentation of buttons is one of a large set of
 > ways people will want to affect browser behavior; that's why
 > I separate it from how the text itself is rendered.  For buttons
 > we don't have the issues of font and flow and so on (those are
 > presumably handled by the browser directly without instruction).

If you're visually impaired, you want control over button fonts. For
the user, setting the fonts for the buttons is as natural as setting
the fonts for HTML elements, and the same mechanism should be
used. For browser implementors, reusing code to allocate fonts etc. is
feasible. 

I'm not sure where I want to draw the line in this issue. Disableing
one single feature (e.g. the save button) will be asked for by some,
but I think this is beyond a style sheet. Removing all garniture to
allow the maximum size HTML canvas isn't.

 > | Are you suggesting we should have two style sheet mechanisms?
 > 
 > I'm saying that we have different types of info we want to convey.
 > Text rendering is one.  Buttons+ is another; style sheets for
 > link behavior (if we get to them) might be another.  The mechanism
 > we use for text rendering may not be best for the other types 
 > of info; if it is, okay.

I think we'll find a way. Who can come up with a good syntax?

 > Well, I might configure my server to send the style sheet first,
 > with some query (I don't know what) to see if the client has
 > received it.  Or I might rely on the HTML doc's instructions 
 > as to what style sheet was intended.  I would certainly want
 > to put up a text warning also ("use chair.sty or risk electrocution!").
 > But at the level of negotiation, I as publisher have to be able
 > to say no, whether or not I can enforce it.

We should also be able to come up with some finely tuned wording here,
Bert has a good start.

 > | No glue. And no nested boxes. Just a simple stack of boxes similar to
 > | how current browsers format HTML (tables and images in text flow
 > | excluded).
 > 
 > With this model, how are we to handle the case (widely desired) of 
 > overlaying text on a graphic?

Are you referring to the current wave of background images, or to a
future extension to HTML? I presume the latter. I don't think the
style sheet mechanism should be used to merge the two. The style sheet
would see a simple box, just as it sees any other box. Part of the
trick in writing a successful proposal is to keep it simple. I'm
willing to cut corners for tables, maths, text overlays on graphic
etc.

 > | Thus, one can control list indentations by setting margins. 
 > | 
 > | Text flow around floating images does not fit well into this model,
 > | e.g. you probably don't want to use the normal margins when placing
 > | text next to an image.
 > 
 > Could you expand on that?  Which margins become inappropriate?

E.g.:
____________

 H1 has a 1 character left margin

 So does H2

      P starts here and could
      go on forever. Wow, a 5
      character left margin 
      sure looks great!
       _____ 
      | + + | Wow, you can do 
      |  @  | images as well?
      | --- | Then you'll 
      |_____| want a 1 character
      margin on the left side.
      Until, you're below the
      image that is.
_____________

This is where we the simple stacked box model is a bit too simple. Some
possible remedies are:

  P:  margin.left = 40pt
  P:  img.margin.left = 10pt

or 

  IMG: margin.right = 10 pt

I'm sure there are other ways as well.

As you know, the WWW project is being evacuated from CERN. My
transition period to INRIA has started, and I'll be mostly without net
access for the next couple of weeks. I've enjoyed, and learned from,
the discusssions so far, and hope they will continue.

-h&kon

Hakon W Lie, WWW project CERN, CH-1211 Geneva 23
http://www.w3.org/hypertext/WWW/People/howcome/



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        "Re: The style agenda" (Jun  2, 12:25pm)
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Hakon writes:
 ...
| We agree on margins, they can cleanly be attached to head or body. (The
| objection there, though, is that most users don't user <HTML> or <BODY>
| and would rather (I'm guessing) refer to an imaginary <DOC> element
| or whatever.)

I don't quite see the problem in this context.  I should think that
a style sheet for HTML would use HTML rather than DOC.  The stylist
has to know at least the element names in the DTD.  For SGML
in general, there is another question.

Suppose I have an instance with a doctype that is not the most general 
possible element in the DTD.  (I use Docbook here rather than HTML,
because it's hard to find an element in HTML the use of which doesn't
imply HTML as the doctype, and because of the convention that you
throw away the doctype of an HTML instance.) For example:

<!doctype para system "docbook.2.2.1.dtd">
<para>a paragraph</para>

Now given a style sheet for Docbook that specifies formatting
for Set, Book, Chapter, etc., what expectation should there be
that the paras in this instance will inherit the formatting of
some parent (such as Chapter)?  Note that para can be the child
of various parents, and that if you're rendering Chapters 
differently from Appendices, you're up the creek here unless you
specify base font size, etc., on every element.  (I'm copying 
Eve Maler on this because I think this question must have cropped
up in her FOSI work.)

 ...
|  > You're assuming the buttons would be rendered in the text window,
|  > which would not be a useful way to handle them (change the frame,
|  > institute a toolbar; but these are choices for developers to make).
| The most successful browsers allow the user to turn garniture on & off
| through menus. I'm pretty sure you can set this in a defaults file as
| well. Since this has to do with the rendering of the the browser
| window (but not the HTML canvas), why not -- when designing a style
| sheet mechanism -- include control for these "HTML-peripheral" items?

Fine with me if we do it in the same style sheet where we specify
rendering.  But we ought to recognize the difference, so that when
and if we arrive at a point where we should modularize the style
sheet we'll recognize that these could be different modules, 
accepting different plug-ins.  I'll put in a plug here for the
need for a UA specification distinct from HTML, style sheets, HTTP,
etc.

|  > In any event, presentation of buttons is one of a large set of
|  > ways people will want to affect browser behavior; that's why
|  > I separate it from how the text itself is rendered.  For buttons
|  > we don't have the issues of font and flow and so on (those are
|  > presumably handled by the browser directly without instruction).
| 
| If you're visually impaired, you want control over button fonts. For

Yes, indeed.  I was thinking of it from the author's end.  I would
then also want control over other aspects of the GUI, for example,
to enlarge the fonts on all the buttons, not just those in the main
window.  Another item for a UA spec.

 ...
|  > | No glue. And no nested boxes. Just a simple stack of boxes similar to
|  > | how current browsers format HTML (tables and images in text flow
|  > | excluded).
|  > With this model, how are we to handle the case (widely desired) of 
|  > overlaying text on a graphic?
| 
| Are you referring to the current wave of background images, or to a
| future extension to HTML? I presume the latter. I don't think the

I haven't seen any text overlaid on a GIF, am I missing something?
Point me at it, please!  I think we're talking about the same thing,
although 

| style sheet mechanism should be used to merge the two. The style sheet
| would see a simple box, just as it sees any other box. Part of the
| trick in writing a successful proposal is to keep it simple. I'm
| willing to cut corners for tables, maths, text overlays on graphic
| etc.

Okay, good solution.  You do it in the markup.  Dave's current FIG
gives us, in relevant part:

<!ELEMENT FIG - - (OVERLAY*, CAPTION?, %body.content;, CREDIT?) -(FIG|IMG)>
<!ATTLIST FIG
        %attrs;
        %needs;                  -- for control of text flow --
        src  %URI;  #REQUIRED    -- URI of document to embed --
        %url.link;               -- standard link attributes --
        %block.align;            -- horizontal alignment --
        noflow (noflow) #IMPLIED -- noflow around figure --
        width  NUMBER #IMPLIED   -- desired width in units --
        height NUMBER #IMPLIED   -- desired height in units --
        units (em|pixels) pixels -- specifies units as em's or pixels --
        imagemap (%URI) #IMPLIED -- pass background clicks to server --
        >
<!ELEMENT OVERLAY - O EMPTY -- image overlay -->
<!ATTLIST OVERLAY
        src  %URI;  #REQUIRED    -- URI of image overlay --
        %url.link;               -- standard link attributes --
        units (em|pixels) pixels -- specifies units as em's or pixels --
        x      NUMBER   0        -- offset from left in units --
        y      NUMBER   0        -- offset from top in units --
        width  NUMBER #IMPLIED   -- desired width in units --
        height NUMBER #IMPLIED   -- desired height in units --
        imagemap (%URI) #IMPLIED -- pass background clicks to server --
        >

I note that OVERLAY is misnamed.  If I overlay a picture on text
(and it's FIG, not OVERLAY, that may contain text), it will obscure 
the text (except for any transparent or translucent part, but then if 
it's totally transparent it isn't worth much and if only translucency
is dealt with the model is incomplete).  This would better be called
BACKGROUND or BG.  But that's an issue for another list.

I'm sure there will be further discussion of FIG, but for the purposes
of this discussion, it would appear we need only be sure that we
can attach rendering info to the text contents of FIG.

|  > | Thus, one can control list indentations by setting margins. 
|  > | Text flow around floating images does not fit well into this model,
|  > | e.g. you probably don't want to use the normal margins when placing
|  > | text next to an image.
|  > Could you expand on that?  Which margins become inappropriate?
| E.g.:
|  H1 has a 1 character left margin
|  So does H2
| 
|       P starts here and could
|       go on forever. Wow, a 5
|       character left margin 
|       sure looks great!
|        _____ 
|       | + + | Wow, you can do 
|       |  @  | images as well?
|       | --- | Then you'll 
|       |_____| want a 1 character
|       margin on the left side.
|       Until, you're below the
|       image that is.
| _____________
| 
| This is where we the simple stacked box model is a bit too simple. Some
| possible remedies are:
| 
|   P:  margin.left = 40pt
|   P:  img.margin.left = 10pt
| or 
|   IMG: margin.right = 10 pt
| I'm sure there are other ways as well.

Glad you brought this up and provided so nice an example.  I recently
did a demo coded for Netscape (stop laughing) and made use of the 
hspace and vspace atts they've added to IMG:

<IMG align=right hspace=18 vspace=12
SRC="graphics/ueethumb.gif" ALT="book cover">

Now this is real crude (you can't vary the padding top/bottom
or left/right, and the padding appears to be added to the margin of the
column of text, exactly the wrong thing to do as a default).  But
the info is attached to the object, not its container (the para),
as the flow info is.  This is a sort of stones-in-the-stream model.

Elsewhere we seem to fall into a boxes-next-to- or -within-boxes
model, and it seems just slightly odd to me not to attach this
flow and margin info to the container (the para, its div, whatever),
saying, "within this div all IMGs in Ps get treated thus-and-such."

Which model is preferable, and under what circs?

| As you know, the WWW project is being evacuated from CERN. My
| transition period to INRIA has started, and I'll be mostly without net
| access for the next couple of weeks. I've enjoyed, and learned from,
| the discusssions so far, and hope they will continue.

Happy evacuation, and look forward to your return to emaildom.


-- 
Terry Allen  (terry@ora.com)   O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
Editor, Digital Media Group    101 Morris St.
			       Sebastopol, Calif., 95472
occasional column at:  http://gnn.com/meta/imedia/webworks/allen/

A Davenport Group sponsor.  For information on the Davenport 
  Group see ftp://ftp.ora.com/pub/davenport/README.html
	or  http://www.ora.com/davenport/README.html
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	(I sent this out two weeks ago but just I realized that it
bounced, so I'm sending it again. Apologies if duplicated.)

	Hakon, thanks for getting the list going! It was pretty
clear that style-sheet related discussion was not appropriate for
html-wg, and www-html is too general. I hope that good things come
out of here.
	Looking over the draft specification you've put up, here
is some more feedback. You wrote:

	H1: oversize.font.size += 3

	The main reason for something like "oversize" is to allow
for large capitals. However, I'm sure you can make something more
intuitive to allow authors to change properties of capitals. Maybe
something like:

	H1: font.size.capitals += 3
	H1: font.size.caps += 3

	These lines do the same thing. They change the first
letter of every word in the element.

	H1: font.size.firstcap += 3

	This only changes the size of the first letter in the element.
I think it would be better not to use the word "dropcap" since it's
too specific.
	Now, when it comes to doing things like this:

        ---- blah ---- blah
        |  | blah |  | blah
        ---- blah ---- blah
        blah blah blah blah

	Where the first element might be a dropcap, and the second may
be an image. I think a good place to start would be a "wrap" property:

	*.dropcap: align = top
	*.dropcap: wrap = on
	*.dropcap: wrap (not specifying a boolean is equivalent to ON).

	In this example, anything with the "dropcap" style is aligned
to the top of the line and the text wraps around the rest of the element.
I realize that wrapping may require a good deal of parsing lookahead,
for instance:

	IMG.wrapped: align = bottom
	IMG.wrapped: wrap = on

        blah blah blah
        blah ---- blah
        blah |  | blah
        blah ---- blah

	The above example might be what such an image might look like.

	P: back.color = "blue"

	I would avoid using "back" as a word for background, since
"back" may be used for something else in the future (as opposed to "next").
	I wrote:

	txtlink.color = "red"
	imglink.size = 3px

	I agree that "txtlink" and "imglink", etc. are too specific.
This should instead just be "link", and allow the browser to make the
appropriate decisions depending on the context.
	You wrote:

	*: numbering = on|off

	I like this, not because it can allow you to make numbered
lists, but it would be great if it could allow one to make numbered
elements - paragraphs, headers, etc.
	You wrote:

	WIDTH: window width
	HEIGHT: window height
	DWIDTH: display width
	DHEIGHT: display height

	I think most authors will only be concerned with the display
width and the display height. Perhaps the display properties should
be renamed to WIDTH and HEIGHT to make them easier to remember, and
the window properties should be renamed to WINWIDTH and WINHEIGHT?
Alternates to WIDTH and HEIGHT could also be PAGEWIDTH and PAGEHEIGHT,
so:

	WINWIDTH: window width
	WINHEIGHT: window height
	WWIDTH: window width
	WHEIGHT: window height

	WIDTH: display width
	HEIGHT: display height
	PWIDTH: display width
	PHEIGHT: display height
	PAGEWIDTH: display width
	PAGEHEIGHT: display height

	You write about "dummy elements" like:

	doc: margin.left = 20pt
	window: width = 500px
	source: font.size = 14pt

	I think control over the source view format is best left to
the user, not authors, but of course "source:" is good if you are
allowing the user to change browser preferences using this style
sheet mechanism (in this case the author is the user).
	Instead of "doc", how about using the word "page" for everything
that refers to the document display area?
	Most people think of the Web as a collection of pages anyway.
And in place of "window", perhaps a good substitute may be "browser",
as window properties refer to the overall size of the browser.
	So you get:

	page: margin.left = 20pt
	browser: width = 500px

	...and it seems closer to the way people think about these
concepts.
	As a side note: I've been following the LINK discussion on
html-wg, and it's so unnecessarily complex! If it keeps up, they're
going to end up killing HTML as long as people are expected to write
it by hand. I might as well as go back to writing HyperCard stacks
and Macromind Director movies, or just putting everything in PDF.
The point is, if you expect humans to be reading and writing this,
it should be clear, simple, and easily understood. This does not mean
that it can't be powerful or extensible.

	-- Kevin

--
Kevin Hughes * kevinh@eit.com
Enterprise Integration Technologies Webmaster (http://www.eit.com/)
Hypermedia Industrial Designer * Duty now for the future!
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On Thu, 1 Jun 1995, Terry Allen wrote:

> Hakon writes:

> 
> | buttons, choosing to display or hide them is also a rendering issue
> | since you gain/loose screen real-estate depending on your choice. I
> | would hope the style sheet mechanism would convey rendering
> | information peripheral to HTML as well. Users will ask for it.
> 
> You're assuming the buttons would be rendered in the text window,
> which would not be a useful way to handle them (change the frame,
> institute a toolbar; but these are choices for developers to make).

Let me second and third Terry's observation. I can understand and
even tolerate the notion that there is some small subset of information
which the publisher has the right to insist I see it as intended or
a conforming user agent should refuse to present the information and
anything the publisher has 'bound' to the required material.  The legal
example and warnings about electrocution come to mind. *BUT* the appearance
of my user agent and the various features its developers have created
to differentiate it from its competition is none of the publishers
business. Rendering within the 'information window' should be 
controlled by the style sheet mechanism, the html or other data 
encoding/description language, etc. Anything external to the 
information (content? publishing? text seems to limiting) window is
negotiated between me the user and my user agent developers. I suppose
that the UA developers might choose to encode the result of that
negotiation in a syntax compatible with style sheets but as an
adjunct to a standards group, we shouldn't care.
 
> | Text flow around floating images does not fit well into this model,
> | e.g. you probably don't want to use the normal margins when placing
> | text next to an image.
> 
> Could you expand on that?  Which margins become inappropriate?

Seems to me that if normal margins aren't appropriate, perhaps there
isn't enough space next to the image to flow text at all?

Dave Morris
Received on Thursday, 1 June 1995 17:44:32 GMT

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