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!CSS2WD ERROR! in pseudo-element rules

From: Ian Hickson <exxieh@bath.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 20:34:54 -0000
Message-ID: <007801bd4164$0e932020$d520268a@hpxu>
To: www-style@w3.org
Hi guys,

[I] just noticed an error in the current CSS2 working draft (1). In section
5.10 on pseudo-elements and pseudo-classes, it says "only one pseudo-element
can be specified per selector" (2). However, a bit lower down in section
5.10.3 there is a statement which starts "When the :first-letter and
:first-line pseudo-elements are combined with :before and :after, ..." (3).
Surely these two statements are in conflict?

[W]hat is the reasoning behind the first statement? Consider the following
(technically illegal) code:
   P:first-letter:before { content: "[" }
   P:first-letter:after  { content: "]" }
[T]his could surely come in useful, but is not currently allowed if we
follow section 5.10. I presume, if it was allowed, that it should simply
insert square brackets around the first letter. The selector
"P:before:first-letter" might be more even useful, if it applies to the
first-letter of the inserted content. Where does the last paragraph of
5.10.3 stand on this? It doesn't seem very clear as to what important the
order of the pseudo-elements would have.
[(A]nd, by extension, "P:before:first-letter:after" - a pseudo-element which
is inserted just after the first letter of the inserted text which comes
before the content of every paragraph!)

On a related note, look at the following rule
   P EM, P:first-line    { font-style: italic; }
and imagine what would happen to the following text:
   <P>This is <EM>the</EM> first line of text.</P>
The emphasised "the" would not be emphasised! What we need is
   P:first-line EM       { font-style: normal; }
but according to the last line of the selectors page (4) it is wrong,
because "Pseudo-elements must be specified at the end of a selector". Again,
I don't really understand the reasoning in this.

(1) http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/WD-css2-19980128/
(2) last paragraph of
(3) last paragraph of
(4) last paragraph of

I should say, for those that will wonder, that the selectors page is my
favourite section of the current working draft. Now if only anyone supported

Ian Hickson
Version: 3.12
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Received on Tuesday, 24 February 1998 15:37:26 GMT

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