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

Re: Proposal: :column pseudo-class

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 08:50:47 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200507030750.j637ol805483@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-style@w3.org

> Let the user's be damned? Is that the attitude? I'm not saying, don't
> give them the ability to brand, but don't give them the ability to
> abuse.

That's the attitude of commercial web browser developers. W3C has
a more enlightened attitude, but it knows that if it deliberately
ignores what businesses developing web pages *want* the browser
developers will simply provide those features anyway.  (The
original concept paper for HTML said colours had no place in HTML,
but that didn't stop Netscape adding them.)

> Operating systems have had a pretty good run and have managed to not
> give application developers that much control. The operating system
> still controls the location of icons, titles, menus, toolbars, status
> bars along with a host of other layouts. Why is the web so different?

In a lot of cases, developers re-implement widgets because they 
don't like the GUI platform's widgets.  There are very few new
computing applications, so computing is becoming more and more 
a fashion industry.

> Is it that we gave up where they didn't? Is it that they did a better
> job of education? Is it that they made it easier?

To the extent that developers don't try and better the standard mechanisms,
it is partly because the platforms are designed for applications, but
HTML is designed for documents.  It is used for applications because
web browsers come pre-installed, so it removes a major cost in 
maintaining applications of installing them and managing conflict
with other applications (e.g. DLL hell).

Games, in particular, tend not to follow user interface guidelines,
nor to media players these days.  DVDs don't use consistent styling
of menus.

Another aspect of this is that marketing people often want web 
applications to emualate the widgets of their preferred GUI platform,
and, where it isn't going into artistic metaphors, development effort
goes into forcing that behaviour.
Received on Sunday, 3 July 2005 08:23:08 UTC

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