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

Re: XBL is (mostly) W3C redundant, and CSS is wrong W3C layer for semantic behavior *markup*

From: Shelby Moore <shelby@coolpage.com>
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 2003 10:24:41 -0600
Message-Id: <4.1.20030103100336.009b5100(null)>
To: John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

At 07:11 AM 1/3/2003 -0600, John Lewis wrote:
>> At 06:24 PM 1/2/2003 -0600, John Lewis wrote:
>>>
>>>>>> Shelby Moore wrote:
>>>>>> CSS selectors allows one to select elements of markup based on
>>>>>> attributes which are not related to *semantics*.
>>>>>
>>>>> Ian Hickson responded:
>>>>> As an editor of the W3C Selectors Specification, I assure you,
>>>>> that is most definitely not the intention of CSS selectors.
>>>
>>>> Ian's "assurance" was false.
>>>
>>> If you revised your original statement to "CSS selectors match
>>> elements without regard to the elements' semantics,"
>
>> That is equivalent to what I had written above.
>
>As long as your original statement says "attributes," I disagree with
>it. I agree with the statement I wrote, which is what I think you
>meant to say, but which has a completely different meaning than your
>original statement.


See my other response about this:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0053.html

Grammatically my sentence means that the attributes used to "select". Use any
grammatical reference for English language. Those would be the "class"
attribute of a markup element.

"CSS selectors allows one to select elements of markup based on attributes
which are not related to *semantics*."

You and Ian were apparently confusing this with CSS attributes. In any case, I
explained that even CSS attributes (e.g. font of paragraph) do not deal with
semantics. So in either interpretation, my statement was correct and Ian was
wrong. 

You were not wrong to provide an equivalent statement to mine in order to
clarify.  Thanks.


>> Thank you! Thus CSS is orthogonal to markup. That is what I have
>> been saying all along, even though Ian Hickson disagreed with that
>> as quoted above.
>
>I agree with what Ian wrote above, and I don't think it's inconsistent
>with the revised statement.


That is because you and Ian did not read my sentence correctly.  Grammatically
my sentence means that the attributes used to "select". Use any grammatical
reference for English language. Those would be the "class" attribute of a
markup element.

"CSS selectors allows one to select elements of markup based on attributes
which are not related to *semantics*."

You and Ian were apparently confusing this with CSS attributes. In any case, I
explained that even CSS attributes (e.g. font of paragraph) do not deal with
semantics. So in either interpretation, my statement was correct and Ian was
wrong. 

You were not wrong to provide an equivalent statement to mine in order to
clarify.  Thanks.


>> And XBL allows one to extend markup with new tags. Yet XBL also
>> combines CSS and DOM dependencies in its syntax. So I hope you
>> understand that XBL will make CSS and DOM dependent on markup.
>
>Assuming for a second that XBL depends on CSS, how does that make
>*CSS* dependent on markup? Note that I don't care if XBL is dependent
>on anything because I don't know or use XBL. What I want to know is
>how XBL's dependencies affect CSS's dependencies.


Excellent question!  This is why I am responding to you.  Because you are going
straight to the meat of the issue!

First of all, XBL does depend on CSS as I explained here:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0049.html

Mostly all I cared out is if XBL dependent on _both_ CSS and markup
simultaneously (inseparably).  I think in the above link, I have showed it does
and why it is disadvantageous as compared to using XSLT to separate semantic
issues (binding implementation) from presentation (CSS and DOM).

But you ask a more relevant question to CSS group.  Which is essentially what
does XBL do to CSS?  And does XBL make CSS dependent on markup layer semantics?

Honestly, I hadn't thought about that perspective that much.  Other than the
following points I have made earlier in thread:

1. Because of the binding of implementation for new tags is done thru CSS [1],
then new CSS "binding" attribute is dealing with markup layer semantics.  Thus
it seems to me that CSS becomes dependent on and inseparable from markup.  The
new tags have no implementation without CSS!!!

2. Normally CSS style sheets can be _swapped_ (optional) independent of
markup.  That is a very important function of CSS!!!  In the case of a new tag
bound in a CSS style sheet, then one could not make the CSS optional, else the
new tag would have no implementation.  The markup would break without CSS!!!

3. CSS group normally is focused on issues related to presentation.  As this
thread proves, merging XBL will burden CSS with issues outside of its scope
where it is not expert.

Perhaps you or others here can help analyze further the potential effects on
CSS of XBL becoming a nomative W3C standard?

-Shelby Moore

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/xbl/#attach-css 
Received on Friday, 3 January 2003 11:23:38 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 27 April 2009 13:54:19 GMT