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

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

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 10:18:17 +0200
Message-ID: <42F07DC9.30607@students.cs.uu.nl>
To: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

Orion Adrian schreef:
> I'm not asking for everything to look the same. Theme capabilities
> exist in almost every OS on the market and dozens of applications.

Per-application theming? And how many people are actually using that? 
The number of people I know that have themed their Windows OS beyond the 
default ‘classic’ and ‘teletubby’ themes is minimal.

Additionally, styling of websites often reflect the product and the 
brand. How can the OS know what kind of product you are using, and what 
theme it should apply, and how to do proper branding? Specifying a theme 
manually for every application sure would be bothersome...

This is nonsense, you *are* asking for everything to look the same (just 
not on every computer, perhaps, for the few who do it differently).

> 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
> masses.

The thing is, this will take care of its own. Sites which are unusable 
will get less visitors. That *is* an incentive to do things better.

Additionally, there are better ways to improve this situation than 
bluntly disallowing page authors to use CSS at all. Things like setting 
minimum font sizes, overriding link colours with custom colours 
(automatically selecting the colour with the most contrast), etc. 
Educating website authors is an important as well, and I think that is 
going well nowadays.

I do not have much problems with web sites, and for the ones where I do, 
I simply don’t visit or I e.g. increase the font size to make them more 

> 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?

Overturning CSS. You sure have great ambitions!

Anyways, if that is your goal, you’re not very successful so far.

>>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?

I am sure that just like me, the others on this list have read what you 
have to say as often as I have. How could they not?

If they ignore it, then they probably don’t really have a response to it 
aside from what others have already said.

> 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.

But CSS + HTML has been around for a long time now. Surely if there was 
a better way, people would know about it by now...

Also, I think that you are not giving the people a lot of credit here. 
Apparantly, you seem to have seen the light, and everyone else are just 
sheep who blindly follow what they are told?

>>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
> frustration.

That is the fault of the website author then, which doesn’t use semantic 
markup. If he does, even when he uses a number of <div> elements for 
styling purposes, there should be no problem.

No matter what language you invent, there is no way to stop some authors 
from using <p class="heading">Title</p> instead of <h1>Title</h1>.

Well, there is, if you take the styling entirely out of the hands of the 
authors so that <p> can simply never be made to look like a heading 
(which I guess is what you’re saying). But if you do that, in my opinion 
you sacrifice much much more than what you gain.

And I certainly think that there are better ways to fix those problem 
sites, as mentioned before, such as by educating website authors about 


Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san nan da!!
Received on Wednesday, 3 August 2005 08:53:26 UTC

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