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Re: several messages

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 08:38:57 -0600
Message-ID: <406D7B01.6030801@mit.edu>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>, www-style@w3.org

Ian Hickson wrote:
> Any technology in active development is a moving target. Would you
> rather CSS stagnate the way HTML has stagnated for the past few years?

Probably not.  I'm not offering solutions, really.  Just pointing out 
problems.

>>I understand that. You understand that. I would venture that most
>>people on this list understand that. Most people who complain about
>>the way UAs handle CSS clearly do NOT understand that.
> 
> Those people were not the focus of the discussion. The discussion
> started because you said that changes in the specs were an important
> reason for delays in UAs reaching good compliance levels.

Yes. And they are.  The key is the finiteness of developer time 
available.  Changes in the specs require changes in the UA to comply 
with the new spec, because:

1)  otherwise the UA is perceived as non-compliant by the authoring
     community (which effectively makes the community ignore it for
     authoring purposes unless it happens to be IE/Windows, which makes
     pages not usable in it, typically).
2)  otherwise the UA cannot implement the new spec level.

Since it seems that the authoring community (and with CSS2.1 the WG 
itself, even if for excellent reasons) constantly pushes to implement 
whatever the newest level is, effort is diverted to implementing bits of 
this instead of being focused on fixing issues in the existing 
implementation of the oldest spec level.  Hence the lack of bug-free 
CSS1 support in any browser currently on the market (I'm ignoring the 
places where CSS2 contradicts CSS1 for now; I believe even the rest of 
CSS1 is not properly implemented in anything in existence).

> But we were talking about implementors, not authors.

No, we're talking about authors, since they're the ones who make "CSS 
compliance charts" and bitch about "non-compliant UAs".  I was pointing 
out a significant reason for UAs being "non-compliant" by the authors' 
criteria (though in my opinion it also affects non-compliance by WG 
criteria, for the more complicated reasons explained above).

-Boris
Received on Friday, 2 April 2004 09:41:41 GMT

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