W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 2003

Re: [css3] URI selectors

From: Tex Texin <tex@i18nguy.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 00:43:13 -0500
Message-ID: <3FD6B271.9BCC4C87@i18nguy.com>
To: Chris Moschini <cmoschini@myrealbox.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

Although I like the idea, there is a downside. Someone could have their
web site set up as a portal to view other web sites through their choice
of styles, by site, and intentionally changing their meaning or
denigrating the site.

I realize that this also allows benefits, such as a site designed as an
accessibility aid, customizing and improving views of popular sites for
voice readers, etc.

Currently, you can distort the meaning of a site, but it is difficult to
do for a large number of sites.

The UA approach to customizing styles is limited to the owner applying
styles to the UA.

Also today, a mischievous person can provide a view of others' pages
while applying distorting styles, but these styles would tend to apply
to all sites, not distinguished for each site. (I have in mind for
example a web page with frames that view pages of other sites and
applying styles to the frames.)

However with with #uri selectors, customization can be for each site
being viewed through an intermediary.
For example, someone could provide a page that views of all the
presidential candidates web sites, and through the
uri selector giving each its own customized meaning.

(Although it won't surprise me if someone points out that there is an
easy way to do this already and I am just unaware of it.)

I guess I am slightly allergic as I have experienced several sites
"stealing" my pages and showing them as their own. I would hate to
provide the capability for them to change the coloring of my copyright
statements or other identifying text so that they become invisible and
my pages are made to look even more like their pages.

If such a capability were provided, I might request the ability to
prevent certain styles from being overridden.
(Like the #copyright id.)

Just to provide a silly example, there is an amusing practice, when you
open your fortune cookie in a Chinese restaurant of adding the words "in
the bedroom" to whatever fortune you get. Now if I had a page of cookie
sayings, and someone applied a style of 
LI:after {content: " in the bedroom"}

My page of sayings would have a completely different reading.

Your leisure time will soon be more refreshing
There will be plenty of time to work hard; enjoy yourself
A new acquaintance has you in mind
Your dearest wish will come true
If your desires are not extravagant, they will be granted
Think about what you most want to teach others

(I took these sayings from a cookie site.)
You can imagine more serious alterations of more meaningful topics.

I wouldn't use this as an argument to not implement the feature, but we
might consider some protections for content developers as well.


Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex@XenCraft.com
Xen Master                          http://www.i18nGuy.com
XenCraft		            http://www.XenCraft.com
Making e-Business Work Around the World
Received on Wednesday, 10 December 2003 00:47:00 UTC

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