W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > April 2005

Re: Targeting CSS3 only (evil?), either with pseudoclass or an extra syntax for properties.

From: Barry <wassercrats@hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2005 14:23:05 -0400
Message-ID: <BAY102-DAV752C10971E5BBEBDF1D26B93B0@phx.gbl>
To: <www-style@w3.org>

David, if conditional comments should be totally ignored, then I'm glad IE 
breaks the rules because I wouldn't know how to get around some of the 
problems I've had without them. Maybe I'll learn about custom DTDs when I 
get a chance.

Laurens, I know nothing about XML. All I know is that conditional comments 
greatly help me with HTML.

Lachlan, browser sniffing is good, and so is innovation in CSS 
development--even when it's outside of this mailing list. Standards are good 
too. They all have their place.

How do you stop a browser developer who has an idea for a great new HTML or 
CSS feature from implementing it? Freedom and innovation are the foundations 
of my country, and product development can be hugely successful the American 
way. The obvious benefit of standards is known to browser developers, but 
their hands shouldn't be tied. The CSS WG doesn't and shouldn't have 
absolute control over what browser developers do.

I don't use conditional comments in order to use non-standard CSS anyway. I 
use them when I can't get various versions of IE to render the way other 
browsers do, and I'd like to use it when the browser that renders 
differently isn't IE. I'm currently having that problem yet again, and the 
fix would be better if conditional comments worked for more than just IE.

The rendering problem isn't always due to non-compliance. My current problem 
is due to blinking when hovering over a background-image link who's 
background position changes. The fix required different padding for IE, 
Opera, and Firefox. The problem with the fix might be due to non-compliance 
by two out of three of the browsers, but not the blinking. I might use a 
conditional comment so IE will use plain text links, or else I'll have to 
use a browser sniffing script.

I'm not advocating insulting a browser by calling it down-level in a 
conditional comment, though I don't really care about that. I wouldn't see 
it as much of a problem to have the solution to browser incompatibilities 
itself be different for each browser, but I would like to see conditional 
comments standardized.

With no end of CSS versions in sight, we should realize that there will be 
different kinds of bugginess in different browsers for a long time to come, 
and even imperfect solutions like conditional comments or targeting CSS3 ( 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2005Apr/0015.html ) should be 

Is there an end in sight, or is it the intention of the CSS WG to add new 
CSS indefinitly in order to make it impractical for a company to develop a 
new, closed-source browser from scratch?


> David Woolley wrote:
"HTML comments are comments. They should be totally ignored in rendering. In 
fact they are really a null directive containing comments, as SGML has no 
document level comments. Although I'm not sure that they are allowed outside 
of DTDs, conditional sections are the SGML way of achieving selective 

> Laurens Holst wrote:
"So, to resolve a styling issue, you would want to change the content 
document??? Also, what about XML files, with <?xml-stylesheet ?> 
instructions? I don't think comments are allowed there. Just like a :css3 
selector, this is a bad idea."

> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
"Conditional comments are a dirty hack designed by Microsoft to promote the 
evil practice of browser sniffing, in order to...

"   '...take advantage of the enhanced features and performance offered by 
Internet Explorer 5 and later versions'. [1]

"Given that, that document refers to every non-IE-5/6 browser as downlevel, 
and the fact that every single modern browser available now is more advanced 
than IE6, I can't believe anyone would consider them a good idea for other 
browsers to implement.

"Their use encourages the practice of coding for specific browsers, which 
goes against the whole purpose of standardisation!  CSS hacks do too, but 
they don't pollute the document markup and they're more acceptable if used 
in moderation and when absolutely necessary to maintain accessibility."
Received on Monday, 4 April 2005 18:22:45 UTC

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