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RE: An alternative strategy

From: Derek Harding <derek@tpdinc.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 11:26:21 -0700
Message-Id: <2.2.32.19960430182621.006b7b34@mail.tpdinc.com>
To: "Chris Wilson (PSD)" <cwilso@microsoft.com>
Cc: "'bosak@atlantic-83.Eng.Sun.COM'" <bosak@atlantic-83.eng.sun.com>, "'www-style@w3.org'" <www-style@w3.org>
At 10:51 AM 30-04-96 -0700, Chris Wilson (PSD) wrote:
>>>
>>>This assumes that I as the publisher have calculated and inserted into
>>>the stylesheet associated with each fragment only those style rules
>>>that are relevant to that fragment.  Not fun.  The alternatives are
>>>(1) supply the entire style sheet with each fragment; not a big saving
>>>here (see the example style sheet in the current CSS proposal), or (2)
>>>cache the style sheet; how far have you implemented this part?
>
>(1) the example style sheet is rather large; my test sheets tend to be
>around 1-2k at most.
>(2) that's the idea; you would have a default set of "styles" -
>presumably most companies would like to have a unified look to their
>pages, and their "corporate style sheet" would be linked in to all their
>pages.  Support for linked style sheets is not finished in Internet
>Explorer; it will be before we ship the final version (possibly not the
>soon-to-be-released beta, since I'll be going to Paris at the end of
>this week).  It does (already) take advantage of our document cache. 
>>

Perhaps I can add a little here on the usage of style sheets.

I used to be a software developer and now work for a publisher which creates
online content probabaly the largest piece of which is Microsoft Magazine
(http://www.microsoft.com/magazine/). I have been looking forward to seeing
style sheets for a long, long time. In HTML steps I'd say forms, tables and
style sheets are the 3 major leaps that have occured in my time.

Since we need to write high-quality, browser independent HTML we have to
craft it pretty much by hand. Adding in display tags to every document we
produce takes a very long time and worse still we end up bastardising the
logical markup to get it to look right! :(

It is my hope that as CSS becomes widely supported we will create a few
basic style sheets for such things as the magazine and then, in each article
we can customise that style as necessary.

This, I believe will give us a significant time saving (even with
hand-crafting), especially since we will be able to change a single style
sheet to make a change across every document in the magazine. Furthermore,
having the style information separate from the content will make reuse of
content in other contexts far easier since we don't have to start by
stripping out all the display tags embedded into the document.

Incidentally, it is my belief that style-sheets are an essential step on the
path to creation of *usable* graphical HTML creation tools.

Just some thoughts from a future user of this work. 

Derek
---
Derek Harding
Online Production Manager
TPD Publishing Inc., Seattle WA
http://www.tpdinc.com/~derek/
Received on Tuesday, 30 April 1996 14:31:56 GMT

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