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

Re: @useragent (was Proposal: version at-rule)

From: Maxwell Terpstra <terpstra@myrealbox.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 03:14:29 -0800
Message-ID: <40641095.6070809@myrealbox.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

I strongly agree with Felipe here..

Furthermore, standardizing a way of detecting the browser will only
encourage developers to develop sites "for" a specific browser, which is
totally against the purpose of creating standards like CSS in the first
place.  Browser detection in Javascript is a wonderfully horrible
example of this as others have already pointed out.

Also, the argument that javascript has shown the /need/ for browser and
version-sniffing is not a suitable parallel here. Javascript's history
is filled with competing and non-interoperatable scripting languages and
their various contortions through versions. In contrast, there is only
one authoritive version of CSS, the W3C version.  Also, an error in
javascript can cause a whole page go floundering.  Oversights in CSS
rarely have such dramatic effects.

I am a web developer, and I have never yet used a CSS hack. Every
situation where I've been tempted to try one was solved either by a
little more creative thought, or a slight reduction of my ego. CSS is
never mission critical - all html is perfectly viewable without an
attached style-sheet.

--Maxwell Terpstra

Felipe Gasper wrote:
> Allowing an explicit user agent at-rule flies in the face of the 
> principle of coding for a generic standard rather than specific user 
> agents, which I believe, is much of the reason why there are W3C 
> standards at all.
> Having this would also encourage browser makers to say "well, our 
> browser has this quirk, but rather than us take the time to fix it, why 
> don't you just use the at-rule that we *do* support?"
> Browser sniffing is a necessary evil, but I think codifying what, by its 
> very nature, is a hack into official specifications is a pretty bad idea.
> -Felipe Gasper
> Quoth Lachlan Hunt on 3/25/2004 6:34 PM...
Received on Saturday, 27 March 2004 00:10:57 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 2 May 2016 14:27:12 UTC