W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > August 1996

Re: shadows

From: David Seibert <dseibert@sqwest.bc.ca>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 11:33:22 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199608201833.LAA00992@sqwest.west.sq.com>
To: howcome@w3.org (Hakon Lie)
Cc: lauren@sqwest.bc.ca (Lauren Wood), www-style@w3.org, bos@w3.org
Hakon Lie wrote:
>
> David Seibert writes:

[snip]

>  > That's right, well-chosen hierarchical names could sound very
>  > natural, and would carry more information.  You need some way to 
>  > describe the quantities, so what would you say now - transparency
>  > of shadow text-decoration?  To me, that sounds less natural than
>  > what Ping proposed.  
> 
> We've been down this road and found it hard to find good names. What
> would you name line-height, word-spacing, letter-spacing and
> white-space?

Those names are fine; they are concise, and they carry useful information.
The items that I have trouble with are the ones that don't have any name
in CSS (like text-shadow-x).  How do you expect people to be able to talk
about them if you can't name them?  I wouldn't be very happy with an
unhierarchical name, either, but you said that you didn't like that idea
because it would give users the idea that these were independent
quantities.

I would suggest that CSS name these properties soon, because someone else
will if you don't.  I remember one college dormitory that was called
"Next House" (and still is), because the school took so long to name it
that someone else did first, and the name stuck.  People need to have
names for things that they discuss, and I expect people to be discussing
CSS.  Also, just because every CSS property doesn't fit into a hierarchy
doesn't mean that it wouldn't be useful to give many properties
hierarchical names.

>  > Noone has to understand the X-resource system to be able to think about
>  > hierarchies properly.
> 
> No, but understanding (or, more correctly, being able to understand)
> the X resource system would be required to write CSS style sheets.
> We've been down this road as well. Bert's first style sheets
> implementation as well as my first examples were based on the X
> resource model since that's the world we're coming from. With tears in
> our eyes we must admit that it doesn't work, though.
> 
> (To be fair, it would be a little simpler than with application
> resources since -- hopefully -- fewer people would extend the CSS
> specification than those who write widgets. Still, the same problems
> apply.)

The main difficulty of learning the X resource system is that very few
people have a good intuitive understanding of what a widget is, or a
window.  On the other hand, most people have a very good intuitive
understanding of what a hierarchy is, and they also understand the
meanings of text, background, shadow, and many other words employed
by CSS.  

The problems aren't at all the same, as the difficulty of using the
X resource system is not a consequence of the hierarchy, rather the
hierarchy is necessary to make the system easier to understand.  Can
you imagine what X resources would be like without a hierarchy?  I
doubt that it could exist at all, at least in useful form.

Regards,

David
Received on Tuesday, 20 August 1996 14:34:28 GMT

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