W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > October 2002

Re: [Suggestion] Multiple 'property' tokens in 'declaration' syntax

From: Christopher Lee <cml01776@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 18:05:30 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <20021101020530.5634.qmail@web13601.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

--- Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:
> It makes the syntax in my opinion more confusing to authors,
> and also makes the parsing significantly more confusing.
> 
>    padding-top, color: green;
> 
> ...would have to be ignored, for example.

This example would expand to:

    padding-top: green;
    color: green;

The padding-top declaration would be ignored, yes, but the color
declaration is still valid.  The entire declaration need not be ignored.

Even if it is confusing, there is no requirement to use this shorthand
notation.  No one is forcing people to compress all their computer files
--- they can be stored in uncompressed form --- and file compression can
complicate matters, but that is no reason to discard compression entirely
as a bad idea.

How does this make parsing more difficult?  This is similar to selector
grouping, which has been implemented already.

> And:
> 
>    padding, border-spacing: 1em 2em;
> 
> ...would have very unintuitive results.

Authors are allowed to express information in a form that is intuitive to
them.  It is a valid declaration, but behind those property names is a
detailed description that sufficiently describes what role the values to
take on.  For example, in English, it can be said:  "Set the top and
bottom padding values, and the left and right padding values, *as well as*
the horizontal border-spacing value, and the vertical border-spacing
value, to 1em and 2em, respectively."

> This suggestion also removes the possibility of using commas in
> declarations in future, should we find a use for them.

Commas have already been used in selectors to group rules with identical
declarations together --- they delimit the list of selectors, much like
this use would delimit the list of properties.  The comma has been used
throughout mathematics to separate elements of a list, where all the
elements belong in the list.  This should be its intended purpose.

> Other than minimal space savings, what are the advantages of this
> suggestion?

This would allow related measurements to be grouped together so that the
value could be modified in a text editor once, and all of the associated
properties would update correspondingly.  The author would not need to
scan through the style sheet and update every single reference.  In my
opinion, this would slightly simplify adjustment of values.

Sincerely,
Christopher Lee

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Received on Thursday, 31 October 2002 21:05:32 GMT

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