W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > April 1998

Re: Some Views on CSS

From: Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor <roconnor@wronski.math.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 11:00:35 -0400 (EDT)
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.95q.980414102808.14236A-100000@wronski.math.uwaterloo.ca>
On Fri, 10 Apr 1998, todd wrote:

> You have neatly articulated the reasons behind the Core Style Project [1].
> I don't quite follow you on the absolute/relative dichotomy - it's very
> handy to set an absolute value (such as a pixel count) on the root of the
> render tree, and then spec all the children in relative terms - but the
> rest of the dilemma is certainly familiar.

I mention near then end of my post that if you have control ofver a
section of the cascade, you have more freedom.  It is only the module form
after combining the cascade of all the style sheets next to each other
that you control that must be wither relative or absolute.  

> As I see it, the requirements
> for both cascadable style and readily extensible documents/sites lead
> inexorably to the conclusion that stylesheets must be modular, with each
> module having a fixed selector structure covering every element in the
> target DTD, and each complete family of modules providing descriptors for
> every CSS(1?) property.

Absoultely.  I'm trying to figure out the equivlence classes of
non-conflicting properties.  Color, background-color, background-image,
and border-color together form an equivalence class under this relation.
But the rest aren't so obvious.  Should margins and padding go together?
I'd like to have the equivalence classes as small as possible.  I'm a
little surprised because ti seems taht most properties can stand in their
own equivalence class.

> " If you were paying attention you may have noticed something a little
> " disturbing as a result of what I have said.  There is a fundamental problem
> " with CSS.  You can't specify rules for all selectors as is required for
> " absolute and relative modules.
> Does CSS2's Universal Selector[2] do it?

Yep.  This last paragraph of mine can be dismissed.  I misunderstood how
the cascade works.

> As for UA defaults, I think it's fair to guess at this point that any UA
> whose defaults were to depart so dramatically from the Mosaic defaults[3]
> as you describe might qualify as a new media type, alongside projector,
> grid, handheld, TV, etc. Whole new stylesheet ballgame, needing its own
> modules to accommodate cascading. For the screen media type, "Mosaic won."

I completely disagree.  As Jukka Korpela said in

<BLOCKQUOTE CITE="news:34e214dc.25115793@news.cs.hut.fi">
This is going backwards. You seem to give one possible representation
mentioned in the specs a very special positiona [...] That's more or less
making HTML a (poor, naturally) physical markup language, with some vague
options of changing the presentation if one really wants to. 

Russell O'Connor                           roconnor@uwaterloo.ca
"And truth irreversibly destroys the meaning of its own message"
-- Anindita Dutta, "The Paradox of Truth, the Truth of Entropy"
Received on Tuesday, 14 April 1998 11:00:40 UTC

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