W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > September 2001

Re: Excluding declarations from the cascade

From: Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2001 13:37:28 +0200
To: Ian Hickson <ianh@hixie.ch>
Cc: Manos Batsis <m.batsis@bsnet.gr>, Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>, www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <m2i1ptcdpjhipjqe3tkrdbv1tv0jptaaeu@4ax.com>
On Wed, 29 Aug 2001 21:44:27 +0000 (GMT), you wrote:

>On Mon, 20 Aug 2001, Jan Roland Eriksson wrote:
>> Why is it so totally impossible to try to keep CSS simple?

>Not impossible, but hard. Web authors are demanding lots of new features
>(witness comments on this very list for instance)

Sure, that is exactly what I'm doing, and the reason I get so
frustrated. Lots of people, that at least /appears/ to possess none or a
very limited knowledge of traditional typography, asks for "features",
or can discuss 'ad infinitum' how some pixel placement shall be made.

The bigger view, as in e.g. how to teach the average user how CSS is
supposed to work becomes so increasingly difficult, not at all made any
easier by current implementations lack of correct support of what at
least should be the simplest things, of course.

>and trying to add them to CSS without breaking the fundamental
>model is not easy.

There is always the possibility to say No?

>> Why is it required that CSS must be "massaged" over and over again into
>> some new spec,

>It isn't required. Where did you get the impression that it was?

Then why is CSS3 even there, when the correct initial line of work would
have been to "mend the cracks" in the foundation for it (CSS2 and CSS1)?

>> when we are all still suffering from two specs that, none of them,
>> have been implemented correctly anywhere?
>People are working on this day in day out. Look at Netscape 6.1, it comes
>closer than ever to a full CSS1 implementation. Win IE6 is much better
>than Win IE5.5 (although it still lags way behind the other browsers).

>> Why was there never an attempt made to create a CSS2.1 which could have
>> formed a well discussed, pretty much error free, good and reliable,
>> foundation for whatever future that CSS might have needed.

>Because we are still finding errors on a weekly basis in CSS2. Once CSS2's
>errata stops growing, then it is likely that a new edition will be
>published, just as happened with CSS1.

I'l take your word for that, and then go on to claim that CSS is right
now a "pyramid turned upside down".

At the "bottom" we have a small stone (CSS1) with cracks in it, on top
of that one we have a much larger stone (CSS2) with even more cracks in
it. On top of CSS2 there is now an attempt to create another layer of
stones as a jigsaw puzzle (CSS3 modules) that will inevitably contain
cracks within each module as well as the obvious "cracks" between

Gosh, a building made on a foundation like that will sooner or later
fall apart into a pile of rubble.

>> CSS3 stinks, am I the only one to think in those terms?

>Do you have any explicltly constructive criticism?

I have already made it, spend more time to repair the foundation for
CSS3 before any more work is put into CSS3 itself.

>We (the working group) can work with specific comments.

I don't like to be "tricked" into details on this list, but since you
are asking; at the risk of starting another "multi-mega" thread, put
some work into a proper definition of the em-square and how it relates
to the 'line-height' property.

As it stands now in CSS2 15.4.3 (first two sentences), it's not correct.

A correct description of the em-square shall contain text that defines
its origin in the - Ép - height as used in traditional typography.

The current description leaves it self open to lots of interpretations
by implementors that none of them may be considered wrong.

I have some illustrations here that may be of help...


...and further...


...with an illustration of a correct "compact setting" here...


...corresponding to these results of "Demo1" above in my IE5.5+Sp1,
Mozilla 0.9.3 and Opera 5.12, all on WinNT4+Sp6.


They all leave something to be desired from a typographical standpoint,

But are they "wrong" as seen from what the CSS1/2 specs are telling us
today? I doubt that.

Received on Saturday, 1 September 2001 07:49:09 UTC

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