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

Re: default.css

From: nir dagan <dagan@upf.es>
Date: Sat May 16 15:23:26 1998
Message-Id: <199805161915.VAA15675@sahara.upf.es>
To: sp249@cam.ac.uk
Cc: www-style@w3.org
I couldn't agree more.

Not only that Netscape Navigator refuses to learn HTML, they 
advocate bad markup. In their latest version of their HTML guide
 (dated January 1998):


They say that you can put CENTER anywhere even in the 
middle of a paragraph. It is about time they'll learn the HTML3.2 
spec. and realize that CENTER is a block level element, and paragraphs
take only inline as content.

I have seen many Netscape victims who mark documents:
<H1><CENTER>My centered Heading? --- not in Opera.</CENTER></H1>

Opera recoveres from this error by assuming that the heading ended 
at the begining of the next block level element, and thus renders this 
as regular centered text.

Netscape should not only write their browser from scratch, 
they should also write their "advice to authors" from scratch.

What kind of open standards company encourages authors to write 
with errors that only they "support"?

Nir dagan

> On Fri, 15 May 1998, Jan Roland Eriksson wrote:
> > Mozilla spawns are a dead end in relation to both HTML and CSS,
> > Arjun Ray stated that well over a year ago and he was right then,
> > and even more so now.
> I know... I haven't looked at the code (no Motif libs on my Linux box, no
> devel tools on my Win box) but it seems from their plans on www.mozilla.org
> that they value "backward compatibility" (meaning compatibility with
> previous - broken - versions of Navigator and perhaps IE) more than spec
> conformance. This, in my view, is backwards. If you take a look at the
> implementations you'll see that the reason they get everything wrong is that
> they *go about it the wrong way*. Both Netscape and MS need to rewrite their
> browsers from scratch. What I mean is this:
> It is obvious that both browsers refuse to consider an HTML document as a
> tree of elements, but instead consider it as a *series* of... things. No
> wonder both object models are so inconsistent. And this is the reason why
> correct rendering of paragraphs (possible the simplest and most basic
> element since the birth of HTML!) is so messed up in both browsers: they
> consider <P> to be a *paragraph break entity*, not a *paragraph element
> start-tag*. Ommit the </P> and in most cases you get no space after the
> paragraph. And no wonder it's practically impossible to set the space
> between paragraphs using CSS... the space is rendered as a result of the
> aforementioned "break", and not as the (collapsible) vertical margin between
> two elements, as it should be.
> And has anyone noticed that all CSS is simply internally translated into
> either proprietary/deprecated HTML or JavaScript/JScript? For instance, CSS
> positioning in Navigator is almost entirely based on Layers. Navigator takes
> a DIV with absolute positioning and translates it into a layer. It even
> supports its proprietary layer-* CSS selectors when used on it. This is
> *backward*.
> Same with OBJECT. Both browsers blatantly do an s/OBJECT/EMBED/i and process
> OBJECT elements like that. No wonder both implementations are broken.
> The CSS2 specification gives very detailed instructions on a CSS2 visual
> rendering model [1]. HTML UAs should base their rendering on *that* and
> perhaps translate proprietary/deprecated HTML (like the FONT element) to
> appropriate CSS rules instead of the other way around, probably using HTML
> version information (read: Document Type Declarations) to decide which way
> to go. That's why we *have* DT Declarations. Not for the author to put them
> in for validation's sake (well, that too). But also for the user agent to
> know what version of HTML it's rendering.
> The problem with the implementations is not bad implementation per se, it's
> bad programming. Back in the day before HTML 2.0 it was possible to use a
> "serial" model to process HTML documents and get satisfactory results. But
> not any more. And any application that still uses code from the days of the
> old approach has to be reworked from scratch, not patched hastily in an
> attempt to fake conformance.
> My tuppence worth, that was. Sorry if I was too offensive or presumptuous,
> and please correct me if I'm wrong - that happens some times :-)
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/visuren.html
> -- Stephanos Piperoglou -- sp249@cam.ac.uk -------------------
> All tribal myths are true, for a given value of `true'.
>                          - Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent
> ------------------------- http://www.thor.cam.ac.uk/~sp249/ --
Received on Saturday, 16 May 1998 15:23:26 UTC

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