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

Re: CSS is doomed (10 years per version ?!?)

From: <Kris@meridian-ds.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2005 08:50:57 -0500
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF4C52FB60.8DB94DDE-ON86257031.004C1356-86257031.004C1395@meridian-ds.com>


Orion,  I'm not gonna quote anything from your last post for a couple
reasons.

1.) Concerning brand, I completely agree with you.

2.) I do think we're off the topic at this point (definitely a religious
point) so I'm just gonna gloss over your statements, and take a few steps
back.

First off, to address your "branding" statements, let me first say that I
agree 100%.  MS definitely has the upper hand in that market.  Again,
taking into account that they're a monopoly, it's difficult to get one up
on them.  With that said, Firefox IS trying to brand itself in the physical
sense and get a following.  I've beent through all sorts of Corporate
Identity classes, and worked in that environment for a fair period of time
too... I think the "FFOOo" branding (Firefox, Open Office.org... yes they
really branded the box "FFOOo") is goofy, but at least they've having a go
at it.  I personally would have spent some time on inter-operability
between the two (for the sake of the seamlessness you speak of... although
there's not much need between the moz suite of products and Open Office)
but still, all I'm pointing out is that people are attempting to compete on
that level.

Your admitted distrust of anything in a linux environment only points out
what I've been trying to say this whole time.  Unfamiliarity in the user,
does not dictate that we should give up what we're doing in order to let MS
(the familiar product) rule the world.  That'd be like America setting up a
monarchy instead of a democracy, just because it was what they were
familiar with.  New ideas need some testing, hammering out, and eventually
implementation.  Perhaps the "America" example is not the best, but you get
my point.

And now, back to the topic at hand:

You again suppose that CSS is doomed simply because it's taken so long to
implement the first few versions.  I identify with your feelings on this,
but (and this is how we got onto the topic of MS vs open source to begin
with) I want to point out that expecting immediate implementation in a
closed source product from a company like MS is unreasonable.  And on top
of that, you can't use it as your litmus test for whether a product is
doomed or not.  Again, I don't know how you can blame anyone but MS for it
not already being implemented in Internet Explorer.  They've had better
than 4 years in which they made no such updates to IE... they made it clear
they had no intention of making any updates, and until Firefox became a
feasable competitor, we saw no updates of any sort.  (Even those that would
have made MS customers more secure)  I've said it to you before, and I'm
sure I'll say it again... lack of support for css in IE does not imply that
the standard is unusable, nor does it imply that the standard is doomed.
It also doesn't imply a responsibility on the w3c for lack of mainstream
implementation.  That fault/responsibility still falls squarely on MS... no
matter how you look at it.  Telling me you blame the working groups is a
crock, and I'd expect you to be smart enough to know that no one but MS can
implement something into their software.

With that all said (again) let's talk about the standard itself.  I use CSS
daily.  For simple styling of inline objects and tags in general, it's
fantastic.  Argue that if you like, but I'll just ignore you.  Concerning
layout, sure I'll agree it's a little goofy at first, I'll even agree that
there are a couple things I'd love to see implemented (align:center; for
example would be great to apply to things like we did the center tag as
opposed to left:50%;margin-left-1/2your px count; but again, that's just a
little awkward, not problematic)  But overall, CSS layout has empowered
users.  There are a ton of fantastic examples of exactly this at
http://csszengarden.com/ and if you've never been you should really go.
Again, is the layout a little odd at first?  sure, that doesn't mean that
implementation won't get a little better later.  Besides, there are tons of
how-tos on the net and if you really want to know, a couple minutes of
research and you'll have an answer.  On top of all that if you actually
read the w3 standards for things like relative, absolute, and static
positioning you get a feel for how it works very quickly.  There's only one
thing that I can't seem to duplicate in css that I can do in tables
(height:100% issues) and for the sake of my html codes simplicity, I'll
sacrifice that one thing on the alter of css any day of the week.  Heck,
it's a seldome used thing anyway, and with one quick containing table, I'm
empowered again.  Add on top of that all the benefits of using css for
layout styling (namely ease of maintenance and better search engine
results) and there's no reason to not learn it.  On top of that other w3c
specs that build on top of it already (can anyone say xml/xslt/css combo?
heck ya!) and I think you've got a winning combo for some time to come yet.
Any "standard" MS tried to implement as a MS specific counter to css would
need acceptance in the Open Source Mainstream before it were implemented,
and that would mean that any site that used it before that implementation
would loose up to 25% of all browsers that visit it.  (Yes the browser
numbers are arguable, but I used the high end number and I freely admit it)

CSS as a spec could use improvement, but that's what this is all about
anyway isn't it?  If MS would get off their butt and actually bother to
implement it, your arguement would fall apart over night (which COULD
happen... although it's not particularly likely) and again I'll point out
that MS had 4 stagnate years of time that they COULD have implemented it,
and didn't.  Lack of competition does not drive a standard.  I we really
care about standards at all, we'll back anyone conforming to our standard
who is not MS.  MS proven themselves a bad steward of the standards
already, and any support in favor of MS being in control again is a voice
that doesn't want to see standards continue to move forward.  This is
really not about MS as a company, this is about their track record.  Their
track record screams "We don't care about your computer's security, we
don't care about standards compliancy, all we care about is being in
control, and taking your money." and if you'll stand up and recognize that
I think you'll see that backing a non-MS standard is the only way to start
on the path of ensuring a better internet tomorrow.  I'm not saying the MS
hasn't contributed great things in the past.  I'm not saying that they
won't contribute great things in the future.  What I'm saying is that
they're more likely to contribute better things if they have some
competition.  We watched them during the browser wars... things were
changing and improving on a daily basis... we watched them after they won
the browser war (4 years of nothing) I know what I'd rather see happen.

Kris
Received on Friday, 1 July 2005 13:51:30 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 27 April 2009 13:54:39 GMT