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 11:36:56 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199608201836.LAA01035@sqwest.west.sq.com>
To: howcome@w3.org (Hakon Lie)
Cc: www-style@w3.org, bos@w3.org, lauren@sqwest.bc.ca (Lauren Wood), murray@sqwest.bc.ca
Hakon Lie wrote:
>
> David Seibert writes:

[snip]

>  > Do you really want to restrict what good designers can do,
>  > just to help out bad designers?  That's one function a smart editor
>  > could serve ;-), but I see no reason that it needs to be incorporated
>  > into the language design, especially when that makes the language less
>  > useful for the more capable people.  You can't turn bad designers into
>  > good ones by giving them a good stylesheet language, but you can annoy
>  > good designers by not allowing them to do what they want, making it
>  > more likely that they quickly adopt any new language that gives them
>  > more power.
> 
> Principles are fine, but at some point we come down to reasonable
> judgement. E.g., I do not believe you would like to see these
> properies created:
> 
>   color-red
>   color-blue
>   color-green
> 
> To me, the above properties are unreasonably detailed. Now, I have
> more understanding for:
> 
>   background-color
>   background-image-static
>   background-image-animated

I have never heard anyone asking for the ability to set R, G, and B
values separately, and can't imagine why it would be useful, so I agree
that the first set of properties is unreasonably detailed.  However, I
can imagine situations in which I would want to set a lot of other CSS
sub-properties independently.  I would say that a property is not worth
providing separately only if noone is likely to want it, and thus that
almost all CSS sub-properties should be accessible on their own, as if
noone wanted them they wouldn't be in CSS.  What are your criteria?

>  > That's true, but why can't I set those values independently?  I could
>  > set line height and font-size independently, use negative margins, set
>  > color and background-color independently, use underline and overline
>  > and line-through and blink all on the same element, switch elements
>  > from block to inline to list-item to undisplayed, and or a number of 
>  > other things that could produce very ugly documents.  Loosening the
>  > restrictions that CSS currently places on authors wouldn't let me
>  > produce uglier documents than I can produce with current CSS.
> 
> True, it's possible to produce garbage with CSS1. We do think,
> however, that some of language constructs makes it easier to write
> good style sheets that bad ones. That why the shortest way to set font
> properties are:
> 
>   font: 12pt/14pt helvetica
> 
> Although 'font' is not a real property (it's a macro), it will still
> encourage authors to consider the line-height in relation to
> font-size.

You are right, shorthand notations that encourage authors to think
coherently can be useful, so it's good to provide some useful shorthand
notations.  However, I'm not suggesting that you remove the shorthand
from CSS, but that you provide a small amount of additional support to
set sub-properties independently.

[snip]

> After almost 2 years of discussions -- most of which are available
> on-line -- a simple but powerful specification has emerged. At this
> point, making the changes you suggest would be very expensive and I
> believe we would end up close to 0 in gain.

There won't be much expense at all for implementers, as they have to
allow users to set those sub-properties already.  The only expense is
that of inventing a few names, which needs to be done anyway so that
people can discuss these sub-properties.  This change would give users
significantly more power, so it's not just zero gain.

Regards,

David
Received on Tuesday, 20 August 1996 14:37:32 GMT

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