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Re: Proposal for non-normative example section (Was: RE: How is it possible to devise such a feeble system?)

From: Jesse McCarthy <mccarthy36@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 16:03:21 -0400
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <MWMail.slrrjamb@host.none>
"Jeffrey Yasskin" <jyasskin@hotmail.com> wrote on 10/24/01 3:46:30 PM:
>Sorry. My statement was too broad. What I meant was that if the spec's
>meaning is up for discussion even on this list, novice developers can't
>possibly be expected to understand it or use it correctly.
>
>My proposal was a way to clarify the practical use of the spec. A useful
>side-effect will be that these kinds of omissions will be caught before
>the spec becomes a recommendation since the authors will have to
>actually use the spec before accepting it.
>
>Jeffrey Yasskin

Well I'm no expert, but it is my understanding that these specifications are 
published and made available for review by the web development community in 
general before becoming recommendations (?).  I hadn't even had a glimmer of 
becoming involved in website development in May of 1998 when the CSS 2 
specification became a W3 recommendation, let alone whatever review period may 
have led up to that, so I'm certainly not going to take the blame for this, but 
if what I understand the general situation to be is correct, where was the 
development community?  The fact that the ability to achieve what I described 
does not exist in CSS 2 is abusrd, and I can't imagine how, if this 
specification was subjected to public review, developers could have failed to 
notice this. 

Another problem that I have with CSS 2 is that it does not allow you to create 
a block-level, non-replaced element, without an explicitly specified width, 
that is only just as large as the content it contains.  That would create an 
equally aggravating problem as the one we have been discussing if you wanted to 
horizontally center a block level element that did not have an explicit width 
set.  Perhaps it is legal to set width to 0 and white-space to nowrap, but the 
result of that seems to be undefined by the spec, at best.  One thing which 
might have helped to solve a lot of these problems would be have been a 
'center' property for use with positioning (though I don't know what this would 
involve on an implementation level).  But if you had the two things I just 
mentioned, you could collapse the width of the block level element to the 
actual width of the content, then do something like { position: relative; 
center: 50%; }. 
Received on Wednesday, 24 October 2001 16:35:55 GMT

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