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Re: OPINIONS WANTED: regexps in CSS?

From: Victoria Rosenfeld <jiggy@holly.ColoState.EDU>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 12:41:31 -0700 (MST)
To: Frank Boumphrey <bckman@ix.netcom.com>
cc: Ian Hickson <exxieh@bath.ac.uk>, Bert Bos <Bert.Bos@sophia.inria.fr>, www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.A41.3.95.980311122257.44120A-100000@holly.ColoState.EDU>

On Tue, 10 Mar 1998, Frank Boumphrey wrote:

> >>Only the "advanced" users are going to be inventing DTDs for their XML yet
> this has been accepted by the W3C. For the more complicated features, the
> less advanced users will simply use authoring tools which write the regexp
> for them.<<
> This discussion has centered on the user, but remember the developer.
> One of the nice things in the XML spec was that it was stated
> "It shall be easy to write programs for XML"

I recall that caveat muhself. I'll fess up and say that I have any
experience worth note with SGMLs. How easy will XML be? My point (for this
list, is there an XML list?) is that the discussions we're having really
center around and will effect the way-of-the-web. 

Currently, the web is a vibrant place because John Q. can contribute a be
a part of it. REs and XML (and God knows what else)... where are they
taking  the web? Will be whatit is now if it becomes an eliist activity
suited for "advancd users"? It seems hard to imagine that the web could be
anything but what it is, but I can see development becoming so compliated
that the web becomes nothing more than the ultimate direct mail venue
because only (as noted below) those with the money to 1) hire an advanced
or 2) buy expensve, advanced software will be able to mantain a web

As annoying as some of the "friends & family" sites are, they are
important because they keep Jhn (and Jane) Q. *involved*. If "we"
uninvolve them, bymaking web page creation beyond their grasp, the will
whither. Die? No. But it won't be what be what it is now.

> If regexp  becomes part of the CSS specification, then a whole new layer of
> complexity is added to any program that is written for the standard, and
> automatically it means that only those companies that have the resources can
> support them. That means that prices go up etc. etc.
> Frank
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Hickson <exxieh@bath.ac.uk>
> To: Bert Bos <Bert.Bos@sophia.inria.fr>; www-style@w3.org <www-style@w3.org>
> Date: Tuesday, March 10, 1998 3:34 PM
> Subject: Re: OPINIONS WANTED: regexps in CSS?
> >[there's a very quick recap at the bottom if you're in a rush!]
> >
> >Well I certainly set the cat among the pigeons with this regular expression
> >suggestion...
> >
> >
> >Personally, I can use regexp and do so occasionaly. I'm not fluent, but
> >there is not that much to learn. It would be no harder than setting up a
> >style sheet for the first time (for which I just read the spec three times,
> >cover to cover, then had a go).
> >
> >As many people have said, regexps are not something which would be used in
> >everyday styling. However, for anything more complicated, regexp provide
> the
> >ideal future-proof solution. It would also ease implementation (probably)
> if
> >the four already drafted attribute selectors were simply shorthand for
> >regexp code:
> >
> >ELEMENT[attr]
> >ELEMENT[attr="^.*$"]
> >
> >ELEMENT[attr=value]
> >ELEMENT[attr="^value$"]
> >
> >ELEMENT[attr~=value]
> >ELEMENT[attr="^[.* | *]value[ +.*| *]$"]
> >
> >ELEMENT[lang|=fr]
> >ELEMENT[attr="^ *[fF][fR](-[A-Za-z]+)* *$"]
> >
> >(note that I have used double quotes to delimit the expressions, so that
> >they can be recognised as such).
> >
> >
> >Braden said:
> >>I think it would be great to have REs available for style
> >>sheet authoring, but they must not be required for using CSS.
> >>I'd suggest that anything that can be expressed in
> >>a RE in CSS should be able to be expressed in other
> >>means, even if they are much more verbose.
> >
> >Well, I wouldn't quite say *anything*, since that would mean reinventing
> the
> >wheel. However, certainly for the more common tasks - presence, exact
> match,
> >one-in-a-list match and maybe even language codes - the shorthand would
> make
> >life simpler.
> >
> >
> >Victoria said:
> >>The use of these REs seems to go counter to what the
> >>web is all about, and it *ain't* about having the "advanced"
> >>users be the only ones to use it to the fullest.
> >
> >Only the "advanced" users are going to be inventing DTDs for their XML yet
> >this has been accepted by the W3C. For the more complicated features, the
> >less advanced users will simply use authoring tools which write the regexp
> >for them.
> >
> >
> >=====
> >Of the replies to the list so far, Todd, Braden, Aymeric, Me, Ian, and Carl
> >have been in favour of including regexp in CSS2, Eric said he saw no harm,
> >Bert, Tim, Stephanos and Steven have replied but not given their view, and
> >Victoria has been against it.
> >
> >--
> >Ian Hickson
> >Version: 3.12   Info: www.geekcode.com
> >GIT/M/S d->-- s+: a--- C++(+++)>$ U P L+ !E W+++ N+ o? K? w@ O- !M V- PS+
> >PE- Y+ PGP t 5+++>++++ X- R(+++) tv b++(+++) DI++ D++ G e(*)>+++++ h!()(--)
> >!r y?
> >------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
> >
> >
> >
Received on Wednesday, 11 March 1998 14:41:40 GMT

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