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Re: How is it possible to devise such a feeble system?

From: Jesse McCarthy <mccarthy36@earthlink.net>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 16:09:00 -0400
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <MWMail.moarnplt@host.none>
"Tantek Celik" <tantek@cs.stanford.edu> wrote on 10/25/01 1:43:10 PM:
>P.S. In answer to the rhetorical question in the subject line which started
>this thread - it is possible to devise such a feeble system (I presume this
>is referring to CSS2's lack of vertical block centering) when version two of
>a standard becomes a recommendation before version one is even fully
>implemented.  The "web developer" audience who would choose to point out
>that the emperor had no clothes in this case were too busy with working with
>what little CSS1 they could work with to bother giving CSS2 a critical look.
>
>This is another reason why no draft should exit CR without _at_least_ two
>interoperable (passing the respective test suite in the same way)
>implementations (available, shipping, not experimental) for every feature in
>that draft.  Just look at http://w3.org/TR/ to see how many RECs there are
>that never met this criteria.

The question was by no means rhetorical.  On the contrary, I was not involved 
with web development in any way at the time the CSS 2 recommendation was made, 
let alone during it's development.  Your presumption is correct, the issue that 
prompted me to start the thread was the lack of verticaI block centering, 
though I suspect that is not the only gaping hole in the standard. I literally 
did not know how such a miscarriage could have occurred. 

Your explanation makes perfect sense to me.  In fact the very thing same thing 
is probably taking place now with CSS 3 -- I know it is in my case.  While I'm 
trying to make some sense of CSS 2 (meanwhile CSS 1 is still not really fully 
implemented by anyone, or perhaps it is in Mac IE 5, I haven't used it but I 
think you or someone else may have said that), CSS 3 is in development, and I 
certainly don't have the time to even look at that. 

Obviously the web authoring situation could be much better, in terms of quality 
standards and support for those standards.  I don't think browser makers or W3 
are innocent of the current mess, but your suggestion of criteria for drafts 
progressing beyond CR would likely bring development of standards to a 
standstill, as browser makers have been notoriously reluctant to implement such 
standards.  By the same token, I don't think they should be expected to 
implement them if they are poorly made, as CSS 2 is.  CSS 2 is riddled with 
inadequacy, inconsistency, and ambiguity. 

Really, I don't see how W3 can justify moving on to CSS 3 with their previous 
track record.  Maybe W3 should really bring CSS 2 up to snuff before they think 
about moving ahead.  If they can do it, why haven't they?  If they can't, well 
think about the ramifications of that.  If W3 can't acquit itself of its duties 
more adeptly than this, then developers are not going to be able to depend on 
them to serve this function.  Then what? 
Received on Thursday, 25 October 2001 16:34:21 GMT

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