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Re: Netscape bug? or bad code?

From: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 11:56:20 -0800
Message-Id: <v03102800b0d047a7dfa1@[]>
To: Bill Triplett <billt@gate.net>, www-style@w3.org
Thus spake Bill Triplett:
> I'm trying to control the amount of indentation of my <li>'s.  Here my
>  LI {
>       list-style-type: disc;
>       text-indent: -1.5em;
>       }


> I've also tried (with the same HTML code):
>  LI {
>       list-style-type: disc;
>       margin-left: -1.5em;
>       }

You've fallen into one of many holes in Netscape Navigator 4.0.x's CSS
support. MSIE4 is the first implementation to get this right.

The worst part is that both first-generation (Nav 4 and IE3) CSS
implementations' handling of correct CSS is often bad enough to discourage
authors from writing to the specification, even though better
implementations are available. The slow adoption of the 4.0 browsers
suggests that the 5.0 and later browsers will penetrate still more slowly,
meaning that it could be several years before it's prudent to write proper
HTML and CSS without hitting many users with a mess.

This might not be too much of an issue for the personal Web author, but for
commercial and many other institutional publishers it's fatal, as it won't
do simply to withhold the stylesheet from substandard clients and "let them
eat markup."

After playing with some printer-driver products that will crank out
remarkable GIF-and-table confections from, say, QuarkXPress, I'm becoming
increasingly interested in systems which can produce sophisticated
renderings from markup and stylesheets on the server side, capture that
rendering in some dumb but pretty format, and send that to
stylesheet-challenged clients.

It looks like DSSSL/XSL could be part of this approach, but it's not clear
to me whether such systems wouldn't be too top-heavy when asked to render
XML into both GIF-and-table renderings for current browsers, as well as
"strict mode" HTML 4.0 + CSS for tomorrow's, especially when "tomorrow's"
are supposed to support XML natively.

Todd Fahrner
Received on Wednesday, 31 December 1997 14:57:20 UTC

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