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

Re: [css3-ui] Problems with :read-only and :read-write

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 17:55:31 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c801050802145541549cce@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

On 8/2/05, Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl> wrote:
> Orion Adrian wrote:
> > Users be damned eh?
> >
> I am a user of many many websites, and am absolutely thrilled by the
> fact that they don't all look the same. I gladly recall when I first
> browsed around the Zen garden, and am a happy user of many other
> prettily styled (but more informational :)) websites, such as Wikipedia.
> It seems you are a minority of the users that you want it otherwise.

I'm not asking for everything to look the same. Theme capabilities
exist in almost every OS on the market and dozens of applications. A
unifed system wouldn't be bad and CSS would have a place there in
styling documents on the system. And while you state you like the fact
that web sites look different, they also act differently and that is a
problem. Links end up different colors, text ends up too small or too
big or an unreadable font and rather than making it totally controlled
by the web author, I thought it would be nice not to tick off the

> > I guess I find major issue with the approach the W3C is taking with
> > its two biggest specs. Users be damned. Nothing like sanctioned abuse
> > huh?
> >
> If you don't like CSS (and that other spec), then why post here. It's
> not going to change, its design and goals have been set long long ago,
> it has too much progress and has gained too much support from various
> parties who apparently *do* think it is a good idea. Doing it
> differently would be another language, not CSS.

Because before I spend the monumental effort of overturning CSS with a
new design, I thought I'd offer the opportunity for change. As for the
working group itself, I wonder how often it gets new blood and new
ideas from the inside. You say it won't change. How many would I need
to overturn it from within?

> My opinion on what your ideas in this subject is perhaps 'noble', but
> also very naive. Additionally, as long as the underlying markup is
> semantic, a website is accessible. Nothing is withholding anyone from
> representing that content in an accessible way, in case that is necessary.

CSS's approach to styling forces non-semantic elements to appear in
otherwise semantic code. And the HTML working group has also been
working on including elements that aren't document based, but rather
UI based. I would say that denying that CSS's approach to layout has
no affect on HTML's approach to content is naive.

> Repeating yourself over and over is only annoying, I understood your
> point a long time ago.

While you seem to feel to the need to respond to me again and again
there are others here. Besides that, I seek to hear debate on the
issue. Why is it people don't seem to rise to the challenge of debate
here? Why is it most people would rather ignore the issue?

> Additionally, you have both objections against using CSS as a styling
> language as as a layout language, and that makes me wonder: what's left
> then? Why do you need CSS *at all*? XHTML lets the authors mark up their
> documents semantically, and XHTML 2.0 even lets you specify roles for
> different sections of the document so that you can arrange them all over
> your screen exactly how you like it, even in separate windows if you
> would want that. And you can make a stylesheet such that every website
> blends right into your OS. What else do you need?

I have no objection against CSS as styling language (layout or
formatting), but I suggested a separation in syntax and several
adjustments. I also never said I wanted it phased out. What I want is
for it to move to the client almost exclusively and to take the steps
needed to make sure that content written for the web is not only
accessible in theory, but is accessible as a default state.

The issue is that the HTML/CSS consortium is affecting not just
myself, but millions if not billions of users around the world, many
of whom don't have a voice here. I hear everyday from people about the
annoyances of the web and when I don't hear it, I see it. And you're
saying it's too entrenched? I can't imagine a more strained argument
against progress.

The issue at hand is that yes there's a lot of people invented in HTML
and a lot of people invested in CSS and Javascript and XML. They will
continue down the path of HTML/CSS/Javascript long after it proves to
have been a bad idea. Why? Because people go with what they know. So I
seek change in the most effective manner I can. Whatever is decided
here will be implemented by some if not most no matter how good it is
until it is shown that there is a much better way.

> So, I would still like to hear your view on simply turning off the CSS
> on websites and using a custom stylesheet of your own. Given that you
> dislike CSS's current functionality and use so much, surely you must be
> doing it your own way? If not, you are preaching something that you do
> not practice.

This is what I'm talking about. There are a lot of websites out there
that if you turn off CSS, they stop working. Not all, but a lot. There
are even more websites that stop working if you turn off Javascript.
But either way, they stop working. CSS has been interwoven into the UI
above and beyond the document itself. So I'd love to be able to
completely override it, but I can't. Why? Because of the way it was
designed and the way it's being used. Hopefully you understand my


Orion Adrian
Received on Tuesday, 2 August 2005 21:55:34 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 2 May 2016 14:27:20 UTC