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Re: CSS 2.1 WD and non-CSS presentational hints

From: Coises <Randy@Coises.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 17:02:04 -0700
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <k3a0mucaho88o0ooihgl2ajdi56nee8und@4ax.com>

[Thu, 15 Aug 2002 10:24:26 +0400] Vadim Plessky:
>You *can't* and *shouldn't* express "font-size: small" in CSS!

My point was only that not every presentational setting in a browser can be
expressed in CSS2 --- not that I thought it should be possible to do so.
Since the following text stated:

>| it would be desirable if Opera could express as many as possible of the
>| user-controllable presentational variables as user style sheets.

I wanted to clarify that not *all* presentational variables can be
expressed in CSS style sheets (hence, "as many as possible").

>|  Customization of presentation in the browser would then be largely
>|  encapsulated by user style sheet handling --- the number of "special"
>|  variables to be implemented piecemeal would be limited to those which
>| could not be expressed in CSS.  I thought this was a good idea --- but it
>Is there any list somewhere describing proposed variables?

No.  That would be specific to a particular implementation.

The idea was that *many* (though not all) of the user-controllable
presentational variables in a browser could be managed through
the user style sheet mechanism (a clearly-defined, externally accessible
interface) rather than through the user agent default style sheet (which is
generally not externally accessible and is likely to be less well defined).
Then only the variables which can't be expressed in CSS would have to be
handled internally; all other defaults would be handled through the
established user style sheet mechanism.

It would probably be desirable to make some of these defaults --- such as
link colors --- accessible through the GUI.  However, these would still
appear to the rendering engine as (part of) a user style sheet.  Only those
things that can't be represented in CSS would have to be implemented in an
"ad hoc" interface between the user preferences and the rendering engine.
("Ad hoc" implementations tend to be more confusing, more error-prone and
harder to maintain than "canonical" implementations.  The implementation of
the user agent default style sheet will typically be "ad hoc" because there
are so many individual legacy behaviors --- "quirks" --- to incorporate.)
Randall Joseph Fellmy aka Randy@Coises.com
Received on Sunday, 18 August 2002 20:02:36 UTC

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