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: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 09:24:48 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c80105080306243958b0bb@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

On 8/2/05, Kelly Miller <lightsolphoenix@gmail.com> wrote:
> Orion Adrian wrote:
> >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.
> Unfortunately, that is because it takes more effort to write accessible
> websites than it does to simply assume everyone uses the same settings
> you do and design that way.  Why do you think most people still do
> positioning using pixels?  For that matter, why do you think so many
> designers still use tables to do their layouts, even though layout
> tables are more inaccessible than both floating and positioning?  Why do
> you think most people size fonts using points, when points are a
> terrible sizing mechanism on the web (due to their being a real-world
> measurement, and not having an agreed-upon  conversion ratio to screen
> pixels)?

And I say adopt grammar and vocabulary for the language that prevents
the abuse. I can totally abuse the system in assembler, but I choose
to limit my options so that I can't abuse it as easily and secondly so
that the work goes faster. Designers are going to use what's easiest
and if CSS made layout easier than tables, they'd use it.
> People are inherently lazy, and will normally take the easiest route to
> the solution, unless they believe there is a good reason to do
> otherwise.  That is why there are still many users that browse with
> browsers that are so old, they don't support most of CSS2 and DOM2.  I
> make it a point to run my pages through as many different settings as I
> can think of; different browsers, different screen sizes, different font
> sizes, and I view it in Lynx at the end to see how it looks and operates
> with no CSS and no Javascript at all.  But that's mostly because I want
> to make sure my website designs are accessible.  Joe Average using a
> tool like Frontpage isn't likely to go through all that; if it looks
> good to Joe Average, he'll assume it looks good to everyone else.

Yes, people are inherently lazy and take the easiest route and I love
them for it. If you're saying we should all just work harder, then I
say something not very nice in return. My position on the matter is
very consistent. The designers of a product should make the product as
easy as possible to use and hard as possible to screw up with and hope
that the platform designers we're working on did the same. We should
never ask the users of our product to work harder or complain that
they're lazy.

As to your other point if we had stuck to document markup and not
moved into application development then we wouldn't be having this

> Isn't this why the accessibility guidelines were created?  Though I
> disagree with some of them (failure for using ANY absolute units is
> stupid, for example; images and padding for images is better set using
> pixels simply because images have an intrinsic pixel width and height),
> if more people followed them, you probably wouldn't end up with so many
> sites that break without certain technologies.

I've been called naive, or variations of it, quite at bit on this
list. What makes us think that we are going to be able to get all the
web authors out there to learn, understand and adopt usability
guidelines? Usability is its own career path. It takes a lot of work
to get it right and frankly I think it's unreasonable to ask someone
who spent 4 years in college working on art and design to also learn 4
years worth of usability plus all the experience it requires.

I'm pusing for new design goals for HTML and CSS. CSS should be a
language that makes it as impossible to screw up as it can while
making it very easy to do the work. HTML could use a little of that


Orion Adrian
Received on Wednesday, 3 August 2005 13:24:54 UTC

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