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

Re: css21 list-style-type dropped types

From: Jungshik Shin <jshin@i18nl10n.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2003 18:43:56 +0900 (KST)
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.58.0311091824100.21615@jshin.net>

On Sat, 8 Nov 2003, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

> On Sat, 8 Nov 2003, Tex Texin wrote:
> > The section on list-style-type no longer references several international
> > styles.
> - -
> > They have been implemented by some browsers.
> A few, but CSS 2.1 apparently tries to cover CSS du jour as implemented by
> most browsers as counted by frequency of use, and a little more. This is a
> somewhat debatable move, but it has good practical reasons. In any case,
> deviating from the basic idea in some details tends to lead to confusion
> and could make CSS 2.1 lose its point and identity.

  I understand your point about having to adhere to the basic idea of CSS 2.1,
but still I don't feel comfortable about what you described as

> You might have some arguments in favor of restoring lower-greek, which
> is supported e.g. by Mozilla at least from version 1.2 onwards.

 Because Tex already has given an elaborate argument against using
frequency and popularity as a guideline for standard-writing, I'll just
point out that Mozilla has supported all those list styles dropped in
CSS2.1  for a long time (since sometime 2000 when Mozilla 1.0 was not
yet released.) In addition, it has supported a whole bunch of more in
CSS3 module:list [1] draft with '-moz' prepended because CSS3 module:list
is not yet a W3C recommendation). For instance, I added several list styles for
Ethiopic and Korean almost three years ago. See the full list of
list styles supported by Mozilla at

 Konqueror (and by extension, Safari on Mac OS X) at least supports
Hebrew and Lower Greek. Opera 7.21 supports Hebrew and Armenian and I
expect it to support some more if not all. [2].  Even if not right now,
I guess Opera will add them soon enough. It's unfortunate that MS IE
doesn't supprot any of them but would that be a sufficient ground for
dropping those styles?

 Besides, I don't see what practical reason there could be. I mean,
if a particular list style is not supported by a browser, it's supposed
to fall back (gracefully) to 'the default'. That fallback doesn't lead
to any information loss nor otherwise hamper the content comprehension.
That is, with the graceful degradation possible in _virtually all_
web clients(UNLIKE some other features of CSS 2), what harm is done
by keeping the full set of list style in CSS 2 in CSS 2.1.  Moreover,
unlike some other features of CSS 2 that may take considerable amount of
developer time and resources (and possibly restructuring of the client
code) with not so high chance of being implemented in the near future,
it would take very little development effort to add support for list
styles dropped in CSS 2.1. (I might be wrong without access to the
source code, but I can hardly imagine it would take something major).
Given these, I find it hard to come up with a practical reason for
dropping them.


[1] BTW, list styles in CSS3 list draft have some mistakes as pointed
out by me and Frank Tang earlier this year. See

Three files refered to in the second message are available at


[2] I put up a test page at
Received on Sunday, 9 November 2003 04:43:59 UTC

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