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: <ryan@ryancannon.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2005 12:20:47 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <61008.192.101.250.250.1112642447.spork@webmail.ryancannon.com>
To: "Barry" <wassercrats@hotmail.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

Barry wrote:

> 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.
>
> ...
>
> 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?

The problem with conditional comments and browser-sniffing is that they
imply a finite set of UAs (often two) for which to test and design. This
outdated model simply does not exist anymore, and would be incredibly
taxing if web designers even attempted to code for them.

Imagine: In a few months, you'll have to sniff for three different
versions of Internet Explorer (5, 6, 7), two versions of Gecko Browsers
(1.7 for corporate Mozilla, 1.8 for Firefox/Camino/K-Meleon, etc.), Opera,
Safari and Konqueror. When finished, you'll then have to look at IE for
Windows CE (which reports itself as IE 4), Opera Embeded and WAP. You'll
then have to check the various voice browsers to make sure that they do
what they should instead of erroneously trying to parse visual CSS, and
double check it on Lynx or Elinks to make sure that the base code is still
comprehensible, and worry about non-browsing XHTML/CSS parsers like
Prince. Did you forget Omniweb and Shiira? And then there's this new
close-source browser we'd like to add.

The only way for web designers to stay sane, is to stick to standards.
Sure IE might offer a wonderful tool in the <marquee> tag or the
expression() property, but how helpful will this extension be to the
world-wide web if it only works for a small fraction of your audience? Is
it worth your time to develop for it?

Every layout engine will have bugs. If you're looking for
pixel-perfection, HTML is the wrong medium. A strong core of standards
gives wiley web designers the tools they need.

And if you want to see a good example of innovative web browser design
that doesn't flaunt web standards, check out Omniweb[1]. It's features are
impressive and original.

[1] http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniweb/

Ryan Cannon
http://ryancannon.com
Received on Monday, 4 April 2005 19:20:49 GMT

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