W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 1999

RE: New W3C Note about suggested CSS extensions

From: Jelks Cabaniss <jelks@jelks.nu>
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 18:09:00 -0500
To: <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NBBBICMNIPCICMKJECCBOEADCIAA.jelks@jelks.nu>
> > concept be expanded to handle something like:
> >
> > 	@define myTheme = "color: navy; background: #eee; ...}
> > 	h3 { myTheme; font-size: 1.1em }
> > 	p.standout { myTheme; font-size: .8em }
>
> I guess it could, or even:
>
>     @define myTheme(x,y) = "color: $x; background: $y;"

Making CSS a programming language raises the hair on the back of my neck.

> My preference is make CSS powerful in its stylistic capabilities, but
> simple in its language. Separate tools for separate tasks: people that
> would know how to use macros like those above are probably also
> knowledgeable enough to apply external tools, such as cpp, m4, editor
> macros, databases, server-side includes or scripts/programs of their
> own making to maintain complex style sheets.

The suggestion (#28, "Symbolic Constants") is rather vague.  I find the example
given,

	@define orange = #faa;

of dubious value: it just defines a *value* in a declaration.  What good does
that really do, anyway?

Chris pointed out that the proposal is to provide a maintainability convenience.
Many of us are repeatedly declaring the same set of styles over and over.  You
*could* use grouping, followed by overriding/extending,

	h1, h2, h3 { styles common to h1, h2, h3 }
	h1 { overrides/extends common styles }
	h1 { overrides/extends common styles }
	h1 { overrides/extends common styles }

but it's a pain, and inefficient to boot, especially if you're overriding parts
of styles already declared.

I "voted" in favor of #28, but please discount it if the purpose is just to
declare single *values* -- I don't see the value :).  If OTOH it is to define
one or more *declarations*, I think it will be useful to many of us who
hand-code our CSS and don't use or have access to server-side magic.


/Jelks
Received on Saturday, 2 January 1999 18:09:23 GMT

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