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Re: CSS 2.1 to become a recommendation?

From: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 09:10:34 +0200
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <20050415071034.GB1460@Candy.local>

On Thu, Apr 14, 2005 at 04:02:43PM -0400, Ryan Cannon wrote:
> When IE was mentioned on this list, something clicked in my mind in 
> relation to what I've read on the IE Blog[1]:
> >By contrast, vague demands for open-ended ???standards support???, or
> > requests for various standards that aren???t (yet, at least) standards
> > (there is no CSS3 standard yet, nor is XUL a standard), don???t really
> > help us drive our development very much.
> I'm wondering if MS would consider CSS 2.1 a "standard", as it is still 
> a candidate recommendation. Since the six-month CR time has passed, 
> what, if anything, is the WG waiting on in order to fully recommend the 
> revision?

Three things, in fact:

  - Some work in the working group to produce an updated
    specification. We found another hundred or so underspecified
    things in the spec, which we fixed. CSS 2.1 will be re-published
    soon. (We thought it might be March, but we'll need a week or two
    more, it seems.)

  - A test suite. There is a very incomplete first version[2]. We need
    much more. (If you have test suites, consider donating them to W3C!)

  - Implementations! Most W3C specs, including the revised version of
    CSS 2, cannot become Recommendations without a report that shows
    interoperability of a certain number of implementations. At the
    moment, there are still too many bugs in the browsers. So we have
    two options: drop everything that hasn't been implemented and make
    a REC out of the rest, or wait a bit longer.

We have to wait for the test suite to grow anyway, so we'll wait for
the browsers to improve further.

[2] http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Test/#CSS2.1

> 	[1] http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/03/09/391362.aspx
> Based on the Charter[1], I'm having a little bit of trouble determining 
> the schedule of drafts; css3-selectors will have a test suite before its 
> new Last Call, but css21 will have it the other way around, and PR is 
> not at all on the three-year plan.

Selectors is CR at the moment. It needs some changes (partly
editorial, partly dropping unimplemented features) before it can
become REC. Therefore it has to be published one more time as either
CR or WD before it can become PR and then REC. We plan to publish it
as WD and invite comments. Unless those comments uncover anything
unforeseen, we'll go to PR immediately afterwards, without another CR
in between, because everything that will be in the spec at that moment
has been implemented. The test suite has gone through a few versions
already. There will be another version (and maybe more after that),
but it is basically good enough for our purposes.

CSS 2.1 is also in CR at the moment and will also have another WD (any
day now). But unlike for Selectors, we don't have a good test suite
yet nor enough implementations, so CSS 2.1 will go back to CR, instead
of straight to PR.

CSS 2.1 is big and we need a big test suite. We think we may have one
by the end of the year, but it will need a few rounds of testing
itself. We'll also have to see what the next releases of the browsers
are like. Maybe CSS 2.1 can become REC next year. We hope so, but it's
hard to predict.

> 	[1] http://www.w3.org/Style/2004/css-charter.html
> Forgive my ignorance, but I am anxious to see a legitimate level for 
> which web designers can aim (even /with/ bugs???I'm not that na??ve). It 
> would be a shame for the latest Microsoft browser to pass on support for 
> mature CSS based solely on its lack of a "recommendation".

I don't think that will happen. As far as I know, all the well-known
browser makers are aiming for CSS 2.1. In the W3C process,
implementations come *before* Recommendations. (That was different
back when CSS1 and CSS2 were written, but nowadays we have CR.)

Support for CSS 2.1 will steadily improve and we hope that people also
start using more and more of it in their style sheets. At some point,
there will be enough interoperability to write an implementation
report and submit it to the W3C Director, for making CSS 2.1 a

  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/people/bos                               W3C/ERCIM
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 (0)4 92 38 76 92            06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Friday, 15 April 2005 07:10:40 UTC

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