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

Re: The concept of cascading

From: Jon Bosak <bosak@atlantic-83.Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 03:17:20 -0700
Message-Id: <199704301017.DAA06034@boethius.eng.sun.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
[David Perrell:]

| I don't find the idea of a central authority laying down styling rules
| and then demanding "stubs" from hapless department managers appealing
| or efficient. And I don't see stylistic anarchy as a side effect of
| CSS. In a benevolent organization, departments would have a say in the
| graphical personalization of their documents and stylistic compliance
| would be by mutual consent. In a fascist bureaucracy, compliance could
| be assured by fear of termination or denial of tenure.

I'm awfully sorry to tell you this, but the "fascist bureaucracy" that
you describe is precisely the average corporation.  Strict adherence
to a single publishing style for publicly visible documents is a
requirement in most medium- to large-size corporations in the world
today, and it is considered a big plus in publishing systems if they
can be made to enforce that style programatically.  The alternative
is, as you realize, to enforce the rules through fear of termination.
Given the choice, most people would rather have the enforcement come
from the machine.  I'm speaking from direct experience of how
publishing works in large corporations and the kinds of policies that
have to be put in place in the absence of software support for
enforcing stylistic consistency.

Paul is correct in observing that the parameterization model fits
corporate publishing requirements better than the cascading model.
This has nothing to do with what you think of corporations or their
requirements, it's just the way things are.

Jon
Received on Wednesday, 30 April 1997 06:17:48 GMT

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