W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > April 1997

personal stylesheets and 4.0 browsers

From: Todd Fahrner <todd@verso.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 15:39:40 -0700
Message-Id: <v03010d04af72aba591c5@[]>
To: www-style@w3.org
It is possible to build and ship a 100%-CSS-conformant browser and still
not "get" stylesheets. I am referring to the absence of any mechanism to
select a personal style sheet in the 4.0 preview releases of both Netscape
and IE. Instead, we still see the "appearance" dialog as a weak editor for
the UA default stylesheet, which we all know is dangerously ugly -
dangerous because it encourages bad markup (like blockquote to produce a

This is an appeal to Netscape and Microsoft to get rid of the appearance
dialogs and replace them with stylesheet dialogs. Let reader/authors choose
from among existing complete or partial stylesheets, either by pathname or
URL. You could grow this into a full-blown stylesheet editor in future
releases, with real-time previews. Have a pulldown/popup or other quick way
to toggle among known stylesheets.

A quick toggle mechanism is essential, because most current Web content
relies on the Netscape/IE UA defaults to be intelligible. So have one
stylesheet express the current UA defaults, in order to preserve legacy
GIF-and-table hack designs, which your authoring tools continue to produce.
Call this stylesheet explicitly in these tools.

I think both vendors have a long-term strategic interest in a web where
content and presentation are rich and separate. A personal style sheet
selection mechanism will encourage a speedy transition.

Todd Fahrner
Received on Thursday, 10 April 1997 18:39:58 UTC

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