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

Bad CSS implementations

From: David Siegel <dave@verso.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997 10:18:19 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: www-style@w3.org
I have a company to run, and in my company we must tell clients why they
should pay us to build CSS-based sites for them. So far, I haven't heard a
compelling argument for switching to CSS. Designers and their clients are
trapped by wanting to do the right thing, yet the inconsistencies, bugs,
and lack of standard implementations in the 4.0 browsers prevent us from
investing in style sheets.

I believe part of the problem is that the W3C never had an adoption
program, never had any plans for verifying implementations, and generally
pulled up short on insisting that the browser companies build something we
can all use. I would go so far as to say this goes all the way to Tim BL.
We proposed creating a verification suite for CSS early in 1997, and the
W3C never thought it was important enough to do. They just publish the
spec, and the companies do the rest. Perhaps in the future they will think
about implementation standards so we don't end up with half-baked
solutions. I am disappointed to see that the browser companies act like
children when it comes to incorporating basic typographic control into
their browsers, and still we don't have PNG, or a widespread vector-graphic
standard, or a widespread midi implementation, and don't even get me
started on the font situation. Legacy decisions don't just hurt us, they
hurt our customers and those who use the web daily. 

I think what we can learn from this thread is that the W3C and the browser
companies have a lax attitude toward implementation standards. Rather than
waiting for press-announcement surprises and "cool" demos of floating
logos, we should all agree that basic typographic control is a right, not a
privelege, and that the browser companies have nothing to gain from shoddy
implementations. The only way out is a reference standard. Only when the
attitudes change will we see fundamental improvement. It's too late for the
4.0 browsers. Let's see what we can do about the 5.0s. 

David Siegel              415 278-9900 x22     fax 278-9911

S T U D I O   V E R S O   512 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

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Received on Monday, 4 August 1997 13:20:00 UTC

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