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Re: Allow whitespace after "rect" function identifier (was: http://ww w.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/visufx.html)

From: Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Date: Sat, 03 Apr 2004 22:49:54 +0000
Message-ID: <406F3F92.6020403@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn <w3c@PointedEars.de>
Cc: www-style@w3.org



Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn wrote:

[snip]

 > Besides CSS being AIUI not a programming language and thus there are no
 > "CSS programmers" (but only CSS authors),

I would respectfully suggest that CSS is a declarative programming
language by any reasonable definition of that term.

 > style guides for programming
 > languages usually recommend to write whitespace before paranthesed
 > expressions only if it fits the previous code.  The "Code Conventions
 > for the Java Programming Language" [1], e.g., recommend to write
 > whitespace before conditional expressions being used as arguments of
 > conditional statements (in general: keywords followed by paranthesis):
 >
 >   ... if (x) ...
 >
 > to distinguish them clearly from method calls where the whitespace
 > should be left out:
 >
 >   ... foobar(x) ...

It would be interesting to know what fraction of practising Java programmers
(a) are aware of that recommendation, and (b) are prepared to follow it.

 > Since rect(...) is defined as a function by section 4.1.1 of the CSS2
 > Specification and its upcoming revision 1,

If "rect (...)" [sorry, space crept in automatically) is defined as
a function, does that not add weight to my argument that CSS is
a programming language ?

 > when it comes to code style
 > and thus legibility of code, it is IMO correct to disallow whitespace
 > here.

I find that a very proscriptive approach.  A programmer (or author, to
avoid further argument about the exact nature of CSS) should surely
be free to express his/her ideas in any way which seems to
him/her to clarify his/her intent, provided only that his/her chosen way
does not introduce ambiguity ?  For eample, I have always felt that the
Perl "rule" that requires an opening brace to occur at the end of line 1
and the matching close brace to be at the beginning of line-n to be totally
out of order.  This convention (which I believe originates in the C-programming
world) was unknown to those of us who honed our programming skills on Algol-68,
and remains (to my mind) an abomination to be avoided by all right-minded
individuals  ...

 > On the other hand, since CSS is not a programming language and the
 > "clip" property is a standalone one, I would not mind if whitespace
 > would be allowed there, but not to be recommended anyway.  However,
 > this nevertheless requires careful consideration: if "clip" is likely
 > to become part of a composed property (like "border"), the allowed
 > whitespace would then aggravate parsing of the value of that property.

That point I willing concede.

Philip Taylor, RHBNC
Received on Saturday, 3 April 2004 15:50:01 GMT

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