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: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 11:11:58 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c80105080408112eb1a898@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

On 8/4/05, Adam Kuehn <akuehn@nc.rr.com> wrote:
> Orion Adrian wrote:
> >Is the consensus of people not me in this group that HTML/CSS can't be
> >made accessible by default?
> I've not been following this whole discussion, but this point
> confused me.  In my view, HTML/CSS *is* "accessible by default", in
> so far as it allows a designer to semantically mark up any page, and
> then present it visually (or otherwise) in the manner that they
> choose.  A competent designer can achieve nearly any look they want
> and still use solid, informational markup.  How is that not being
> "accessible by default"?

This is like saying an automatic transition in in drive by default.
Just because something can be put into a state doesn't mean it's there
all the time or by default.
> Of course, HTML/CSS is a very powerful system, so it also allows
> incompetent designers to completely screw things up.  In fact, part
> of the problem with the system is that the legacy methods for visual
> presentation, which were inadequately represented in the system, made
> abuse the standard practice.  But abuse is no longer built into the
> system.  This group and some others have fought very hard for that
> exact result.

You can keep the expressiveness without allowing for the abuse. You
can also keep support for the legacy apps without staying the course
in future design. And I have given many instances in many posts of
examples of abuse.

> >We don't live in a world limited by
> >physics (outside of hardware) so why not come up with a solution that
> >doesn't allow people to abuse it?
> But we do live in a world with hundreds of millions of existing pages
> and terabytes of useful information that were built on abuse.
> Support for that abuse, as awful as it is, simply cannot be
> discontinued, because the market won't stand it.  This is a social
> question, not one of physics.  As I see it, the *potential* for abuse
> will always be present in the system until the web itself undergoes a
> major paradigm shift, or becomes entirely obsolete (neither of which
> seems likely to happen anytime soon, quite frankly).  It is no longer
> possible to design away the potential for abuse, even as we strive to
> make non-abusive design progressively easier.

The web can go under a major paradigm shift without losing support of
existing application much like I can still use command line and DOS
apps more than a decade after the command line / WIMP shift.

> >And I'm not saying follow the desires of the member companies. I'm
> >saying follow the needs of the users of the web and not the web
> >designers. Though I'm confident the web designers will thank you in
> >the end.
> Sorry, but you cannot ignore the developers and designers, even if
> you want to.  If a system is easy for users but difficult for
> developers, developers will generally find an easier system, even if
> that costs the users in the end.  Leaving out the developers
> typically means leaving the users with nothing to use.  This
> principal was pretty convincingly illustrated by Apple vs. Microsoft,
> in my view (although we should not debate the merits of OS design on
> this list).  The point is, developers are a very important
> constituency, and ease of development should be a major goal, even if
> it isn't the only (or even the primary) goal.

I don't igore them. I think they'll be happy with the change once it's
presented to them and they've gotten used to the idea. I'm talking
about a solution that helps both parties developers and users and even
marketing people if done right. You can get the best of all worlds,
but I have to get everybody on board that it's a good idea. That
change, even major change, can benefit all parties while not leaving
anyone behind. This isn't a zero-sum game. That's what I was getting
at when I say no one has to loose.

> >HTTP was designed not for stated application, but for
> >stateless documents. HTML was originally made as document language,
> >but is migrating to an application language.
> It is migrating that way because of the extensive demand for it.
> Users want the ability to do their banking online.  They want to
> order books, music, toys, electronics, hardware, and many (if not
> most) other consumer goods from the convenience of their living room.
> It is efficient for the consumer.  There's seems little point in
> lamenting that the language wasn't designed for the purpose.

And I say let them have it, but in a way where we don't loose the
progress made on the client. Let's move towards a scalable system
where the work is done on the client and the server is responsible for
maintaining content and services. I am a big fan of web services.

> >We lost drag/drop in the early days so it had to be added back and it
> >still isn't there really. We lost accessible design, which isn't
> >really being added back. We lost file explorers for dealing with our
> >files and so I can only organize now what's local, and not all the
> >things out there. We've lost so much and all I hear is, well we just
> >need to progress some more.
> What concrete proposals for changes in the CSS model can you make to
> fix these perceived problems?  Stop complaining and start proposing
> something concrete and actually relevant to the list.  If your
> proposal is to entirely abandon the CSS model and use something else,
> I would suggest that a list devoted to the design of CSS itself is
> not the right place to do that.  Perhaps you should check with the
> W3C Technical Architecture Group <http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/>.

This is where the catch 22 comes in. I've been told there's no
problem, everything is peachy. When I say, hey things could be better,
I'm then told make something up. After I'm told to make something up I
do and then people say there's no problem. When confronted, I'm
usually just told to go away and start something somewhere else. The
rediculousness of it all is just a little insane.

> >So I say let the web be about sharing content and not applications.
> You are holding back the tide with your hands.  You don't get to
> decide what the web is used for.  It's as simple as that.

I know I don't decide what it's used for. I'm talking about giving
everyone what they want while making the entire process simpler. I've
presented some solutions before and I've been told everything is fine.
I'm for making everything better, not one thing at the cost of the

The one thing I am talking about getting rid of is the market's
differentiation of websites based on how bad the user interface is.
That's gotta go in my opinion.


Orion Adrian
Received on Thursday, 4 August 2005 15:12:04 UTC

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