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

Re: author-defined color aliases

From: Andrew Thompson <lordpixel@mac.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 19:30:43 -0400
To: www style <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <61E6BF12-9F89-11D7-9856-000A27D7D9DC@mac.com>

On Sunday, Jun 15, 2003, at 15:00 America/New_York, David Dorward wrote:

> On Sun, Jun 15, 2003 at 07:30:16 +0100, Ben Godfrey wrote:
>> A similar, more generic proposal was made recently whereby aliases
>> could be created for any value. The feeling was that this would add 
>> new
>> constructs to CSS for little benefit.
> HTML doesn't have them either, but people don't complain about that
> too much. The solution for CSS is the same as for HTML - generate the
> CSS programmatically (I'd use a preprocessor, others might prefer CGI
> or another server side process, client side JavaScript might also be a
> possibility)

This subject has come up about every 18 months since this I've been on 
this list, which has been quite a while now.

Every time someone always says "just use a preprocessor". So I'll 
respond the usual way too:

* If a pre processor is the solution, then the Working Group needs to 
define a standard for one and get someone to implement it

* Web designers are not programmers. They have *no* idea what a 
preprocessor is. gcc -E is not an acceptable option

* One could try convincing Adobe and/or Macromedia to develop a 
de-facto standard for a preprocessor and then once it works, work to 
standardize that

* There's been no indication of any movement in the tool vendor or web 
design communities that they want to use or develop pre-processing as a 

* Until there's a standard ("official" or de-facto), any solution one 
design shop uses won't be used at the next. That's a non-transferable 
job skill and thus not very attractive for your average web designer

* Demand for font and color name aliasing isn't going away. Most people 
seem to think it would lead to more readable and more logically 
specified stylesheets. Introducing classes with no semantic meaning 
purely to achieve "fake" variables is a poor workaround at best

* Javascript and server side generation have their uses, but they 
suffer from the same drawbacks or worse in many cases of actual use.

David: I'm not really replying directly to your comments, you just 
happened to be the latest person to state a position that's been 
discussed at length in the past. The discussion refuses to die because 
- I believe - there's a real unsatisfied need for some kind of aliasing 
facility that's never been addressed.

AndyT (lordpixel - the cat who walks through walls)
A little bigger on the inside

         (see you later space cowboy ...)
Received on Sunday, 15 June 2003 19:30:50 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 2 May 2016 14:27:07 UTC