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RE: rant rant rant (was: Re: Issue 4: Text-Indent and DIV)

From: Chris Wilson (PSD) <cwilso@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:52:36 -0700
Message-ID: <41F7F4CE3CA2CF11BC5000805F14B2A9023AC00A@RED-31-MSG.dns.microsoft.com>
To: "'Todd Fahrner'" <fahrner@pobox.com>, Peter Fraterdeus <peterf@dol.com>, www-style@w3.org
I'm not fighting a lonely battle here - there are a whole lot of battles
going on.  CSS is not an unimportant one to anyone here - but it's also
not the only battle going on, and even I (who somehow obtained the
purist mantle) recognize that.  I am, however, trying as hard as I can
to make sure that our CSS implementation is as pure as possible.

I'd love to embed a time-bomb in every product I ship - it would make
life easier for me as well as you - but that would cause an outcry.
We'll just have to make sure each new product is enough better than the
last one that people will WANT to switch.

Oh, and I'd rather say 'issue' than 'battle' - not everything is
obliterate-the-other-guy to me.  There really is a philanthropist inside
me somewhere.  :^)  And in case you're wondering - other than being
heavily involved in the specification design, and watch-dogging spec
compliance, I don't really do much with CSS Positioning.

And again, the answer to the pending question - if you think our CSS (or
other feature) implementation sucks, tell us so.  Preferably in great
detail.  It sure makes my life easier.  Don't assume that no-one here is
listening, or that your suggestions, ideas, or corrections will not be
heard or possibly acted upon.

Chris Wilson

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Todd Fahrner [SMTP:fahrner@pobox.com]
> Sent:	Sunday, August 03, 1997 10:56 PM
> To:	Peter Fraterdeus; www-style@w3.org
> Subject:	rant rant rant (was: Re: Issue 4: Text-Indent and DIV)
> At 8:15 PM -0500 8/3/1997, Peter Fraterdeus wrote:
> > Imagine the person-years of wasted effort trying to hack around the
> >weirdness in the browsers. It's a crime of cosmic proportions!
> Disgusting
> >and evil. (if a small bit of hyperbole may be forgiven...)
> It is a small bit of hyperbole, but not a large bit. (well, OK,
> "cosmic" is
> a stretch, but if the Web is the "universe of network-accessible
> information," it can indeed be forgiven.)
> I'll throw my hat in the ring and say that sloppy CSS implementations
> are
> far worse than none at all from the POV of a commercial "extranet"
> development shop.
> Browser vendors! You are poisoning your own well to release
> "trade-press
> checkbox" CSS implementations! Betas without short-fuse timebombs are
> just
> as bad as bad final releases. Only intranet-privileged or foolhardy
> developers will take advantage of your superior (?) future
> implementations
> if there's a significant percentage of dangerously-broken CSS
> implementations out there. "Dangerous" means "possibly worse than no
> CSS at
> all." If the non-technophile suit who controls the money might see hir
> site
> in something other than the latest (even the other guy's browser), and
> it's
> a garbled mess, WE CAN'T USE CSS. We must build redundant sites, or
> target
> the worst case (anathema to corporate PR departments and ambitious
> developers alike). Content management headaches and cost overruns
> hurt.
> Remember: every web developer already puts in at least 2 person-years
> every
> year just keeping up with the browser wars - we can't deal with yet
> another
> type of assault. Spotty CSS is like germ warfare: casualties are often
> as
> high on your side as the enemy's - to say nothing of civilians.
> Some developers with whom I've spoken have concluded that the only
> place
> they'd consider using CSS or the DOM anytime soon is within the safe,
> narrow confines of a browser-specific "channel". I can hardly blame
> them.
> I'm sure the browser war strategists are thrilled. Channels are like
> little
> orgy rooms of the proprietary and the "proposed." Push isn't just
> "scheduled pull" of the same old stuff, it's stuff that won't work
> anywhere
> else. Nondegradable stuff. Stuff that up to 0.0004% of the Web might
> ever
> access. Stuff like CSS-P.
> Have you all noticed that CSS-P appears to be getting more engineering
> attention than CSS1? The CSS-P spec isn't even finished yet, but all
> the
> current browser promo efforts seem to dwell on the wonders of
> "absolute
> positioning" and z-order, while CSS1 gets short schrift (sp?) as, uh,
> fancy
> font stuff, unfortunately lacking fonts. Is it any wonder that such
> non-videophilic niceties as indents and leading are broken? I'm sure
> such
> decisions are based on careful research at shopping malls and a
> stirring
> vision of how close the Web could come to resemble MTV.
> Is Chris W. fighting a lonely battle at MS? And where's the other
> guy--too
> busy fixing CSS bugs? I don't suppose they've got proper cascading,
> inheritance, and the rest of it figured out amongst themselves, while
> we
> delve into these issues for our own enlightenment (just in case we
> decide
> to write our own browser and deploy 50 million or so copies).
> Peter's question remains, though: what to do besides getting mad?
> __________________
> Todd Fahrner
> mailto:fahrner@pobox.com
> http://www.verso.com/
Received on Monday, 4 August 1997 13:52:43 UTC

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