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Proprietary identifier names

From: Christian Roth <roth@visualclick.de>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 17:50:37 +0100
To: "www-style Mailing List" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20030220165037.1399@mail.visualclick.de>


I'm sorry to bring this issue up again. I'm developing on a conversion
product using CSS syntax and semantics for the style language that
requires proprietary property identifier names.

In the current "CSS Namespace (error in spec?)" thread, Ian Hickson wrote:

>and the formalisation of the
>-vnd-extension convention,

In my previous inquiry on the recommended way (May 2002, thread "Custom
property names: property name namespaces?"), following positions were
taken regarding my question:

Ian Hickson:

>The hyphen is the character recommended by the working group to use as
>for proprietary properties.
>Specifically, the suggested syntax to use is:
>    -vendor-property

Etan Wexler:

>I warn against using an initial hyphen-minus to distinguish proprietary
>because allowing this corrupts the lexer, a fundamental part of any CSS
>Instead, I urge you and other implementors of proprietary CSS offshoots
>to choose a 
>convenient abbreviation of the project in question and use the
>abbreviation as a hyphen-
>minus-separated prefix for proprietary property names.

I see that Microsoft seems to use "mso-" for prefix, whereas Mozilla uses

The stylesheet used with our product should be parseable by any current
XML+CSS-capable UA (e.g. IE 6 (XML+CSS)), where I want the UA to just
disregard our proprietary properties. However, CSS1, CSS2 and CSS2.1
grammars do not allow a single, unquoted hyphen "-" as the start
character of an identifier. And indeed, the SteadyState CSS2 parser
(which we happen to use in our product) skips the complete remaining
declaration block, starting at the hyphen prefix of the vendor specific
property name.

What route is the recommended way to go? We'd rather not need to change
the prefix once the product is released.

- Christian
Received on Thursday, 20 February 2003 11:51:02 UTC

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