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

Re: thoughts on non-compliant browsers

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 21:42:51 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200403102142.i2ALgqm02688@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-style@w3.org

> No, the 'OP' (me) was writing that it made the (standards compliant) 
> site unusable in a browser that was adhering to the spec -- is that 

Standards are more subtle than you allow for.  Standards have to be
viewed in terms of the policies that they implement and in terms of
what they say that you cannot assume.  In particular, CSS is careful
to say that it provides hints on rendering, and that users can override
any detail of the rendering.

HTML/CSS really is not an appropriate tool if you want pixel perfect
rendition.  You should be using SVG/CSS if you want to stay within
the W3C world, or PDF if you want some expectation that the man in the
street will have a viewer.  Also tagged PDF allows you to retain
the deep structure of the document in a way that SVG doesn't; you
may have problems meeting accessibilty constraints with SVG.

I think you raised the issue that a general purpose graphics language
is over-kill for formatted text, but the standard way of producing
high quality printouts of textual documents, from before the dawn of
HTML has been exactly that.  If you have a PostScript printer, that
is what gets sent to the printer.  PDF is a very close relative of

As to zooming pages versus zooming text only, for a page that is designed
for screen use, zooming text should allow you to avoid side scrolling.
One of the most irritating things I find with reading PDF online is 
two column layouts, where I have to scroll from side to side and up and
down to read each page at a sensible magnification.  I don't know how
the reflow option in the reader works, as I haven't read any tagged PDF
in anger, yet.
Received on Wednesday, 10 March 2004 17:20:40 UTC

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