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Re: OPINIONS WANTED: regexps in CSS? (Re: Suggestion for Attribute Selectors)

From: Ian Graham <igraham@smaug.java.utoronto.ca>
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 10:01:28 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199803101501.KAA14307@smaug.java.utoronto.ca>
To: www-style@w3.org
Ahh, Opinions ;-) 

  Regular expressions would be useful in simplifying some CSS2 expressions,
  at the expense of style sheet readability (unless well documented).  
  However,  I fell that the strengths outweigh this weaknesses, and would 
  support this feature.

  Perhaps some of the 'hard-wired' CSS2 pattern-matched selectors could
  be written as regex macros, allowing for easier selector extensibility?

  I haven't looked into this in detail, but are there not some issues in 
  building a regex language that works properly with Unicode and within 
  SGML/XML documents? 

Ian
--
Ian Graham ......................... Centre for Academic Technology
i a n   d o t   g r a h a m    a t    u t o r o n t o   d o t   c a
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..................... http://www.utoronto.ca/ian/ .................



 
> Everybody's opinion wanted!
> 
> Ian Hickson writes:
>  > It would be much better to have one much more comprehensive syntax based on
>  > a regular expression model.
>  > The advantages are actually numerous:
>  >  * Regular expressions have been in use for *years*, so the technology is
>  > mature (i.e. can be efficient).
>  >  * They are commonly used in many applications, so the learning curve for
>  > both implementors and users is shallow.
>  >  * A single, comprehensive and self-consistent regular expression scheme
>  > would actually do more for clarity than adding more and more attribute
>  > selectors in future specs.
> 
> Well, personally I like regexps very much, but I have some doubt as to
> the number of people that can read and write them.
> 
> But maybe there are other opinions on this list. So let's ask:
> 
> QUESTIONAIRE:
> 
>  1. will this regexp-selector:
> 
>         COL[WIDTH="^ *[0-9]+(\.[0-9]+)? *(\*|px|%)? *$"]
> 
>     match this HTML?
> 
>         <COL width=".9px">
> 
>  2. please send me your attempt at writing a regexp that matches "fr",
>     "fr-ca", "fr-fr", "fr-ca-quebec" (in both upper- and lowercase),
>     etc, but not "franc" or "free" or "fr!" or "de-fr".
> 
>  3. how easy is it for you to write such a regexp?
> 
>  4. if you can't write it, would it be hard to learn, do you think?
> 
>  5. can you estimate how easy/hard it is for other people?
> 
> 
Received on Tuesday, 10 March 1998 10:01:31 GMT

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