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Proposal: useragent at-rule

From: Dave Shea <dave@mezzoblue.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 14:03:09 -0800
Message-ID: <40689D1D.7030004@mezzoblue.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

Pardon my delayed intrusion here.

In the thread titled "Proposal: version at-rule" from a few days back, I 
believe Chris Moschini started touching on some real problems that may 
arise from *not* introducing some form of version-specific control.

> But the discussion continues because this problem is very important to developers - all these inevitable "buts" take a lot of time to sort out and create very ugly hacks to work around, which in turn can cause their own problems.

I believe this is the crux of it. In a year or three I will no longer 
need to support IE5. I'll be perfectly content at that point to serve 
unstyled markup to it, the same as many of us do now with NN4.x:

       <style type="text/css">
         @import "filename.css";

Except that the mechanism to hide CSS from IE5 isn't quite so tidy as 
the @import rule that worked in NN4.x. I'd have to go to ridiculous 
lengths with the Box Model Hack to get it to work.

And that's just IE5. What about Opera 5, Safari 0.85, Netscape 6, etc. 
etc.? And what about browsers that we (the development community) don't 
discover hacks for?

Discouraging version-specific control is what has created a need for CSS 
hacks in the first place; the reality is that developers deal with 
flawed browsers.

Simply: we need a way to gracefully degrade our style for flawed and 
older browsers, so as not to hinder usability/accessibility for our end 

I don't see anything in the official spec that provides an opportunity 
to do this. I think that's a shame.

Received on Monday, 29 March 2004 17:03:13 UTC

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