W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > April 2004

Re: Controlling structure with CSS

From: Adam Kuehn <akuehn@nc.rr.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 16:29:28 -0400
Message-Id: <p0601020dbca9e2dc7c8c@[]>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>, David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, www-style@w3.org

Ian Hickson wrote:
>  >>> So if an author wants functional flexibility, why not require the
>>>>  author to explicitly rethink the structure so as to allow for it?
>>>  Because the stylesheet author might not have any control over the
>>>  markup.
>>  Then change my question to read "authors", plural.  If functional
>>  flexibility is required, it needs to be designed in - by whomever is
>>  doing the designing.
>The person wanting to do the presentation might not have any control over
>the author whatsoever. For example, a user writing a user stylesheet for a
>site that he wants to rearrange.

Yes, that could happen; but that's a mighty small use case to justify 
expanding the complexity of the language for the other 99.99% of the 
world.  Maybe someday user style sheets will become a dominant, 
ubiquitous tool - but I have trouble envisioning a scenario within 
the next ten years wherein it would be common for a user to want to 
completely and arbitrarily rearrange a document.  If the document was 
designed with decent care to begin with, a user shouldn't even need 
to make wholesale changes in the presentation order.  As far as I can 
tell from what you've argued, we are talking about a relatively small 
change in a niche market.

Does that really justify adding a significant level of complexity to 
a language aimed at non-programmer page authors?  Particularly when 
that complexity comes at the cost of loosening restrictions on 
document structure, which in turn invites abuse?  As Ernest Cline 
wrote, if it can be done without adding much complexity, then I'm not 
opposed.  But as it stands now, I'm skeptical.


-Adam Kuehn
Received on Monday, 19 April 2004 16:29:39 UTC

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