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

Re: Proposal: :column pseudo-class

From: Andrew Fedoniouk <news@terrainformatica.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 19:32:16 -0700
Message-ID: <003101c58042$7bb4a3c0$3201a8c0@TERRA>
To: "Orion Adrian" <orion.adrian@gmail.com>, <www-style@w3.org>

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Orion Adrian" <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
To: <www-style@w3.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2005 7:35 AM
Subject: Re: Proposal: :column pseudo-class

| On 7/3/05, David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk> wrote:
| >
| > > 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.)
| Well Netscape was right though. The original constructs that Netscape
| offered in the short term view were good for users. Color is an
| important part of usability. Attractive objects are easier to use than
| unattractive ones according to a series of studies done in Japan and
| Europe.
| But what they wanted was the ability to create web applications. When
| this was realized it should have been up to the W3C to make a Web App
| language that would handle that need. No one rose to the task, instead
| clogging up a document language with what are needs for web
| applications.
| It should be noted that Micsosoft's upcoming XAML/Metro offering
| separates documents from interfaces. Please no more religious wars. If
| Abode was doing it, I'd say so.
| > > 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.
| Yeah, we shoot those programmers. But most applications don't have any
| custom widgets for the sake of custom widgets at least on the
| platform. As for computing being a fashion industry, I think that's an
| unfair assesment. What has happened is that usability studies have
| shown that attractive interfaces are in fact more usable. There is an
| excellent explanation in "Emotional Design" by Don Norman,
| Also there is more to computers than raw computing applications (as I
| understand what you're talking about above). While I don't personally
| like the idea of applications, but rather loose interfaces, that's
| what applications are. Each is attempting to specialize itself to a
| particular set of tasks. That's not fashion, that's what's needed.
| > > 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 
| > 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).
| I'm not saying the web isn't great for web applications. But the
| languages should have been separate. One for interfaces, one for
| documents. Now we have this mix that refuses to separate. As for DLL
| hell, it was solved a number of years ago by some of the platforms
| that had it (namely Microsoft, the biggest headache). As far as the
| other problem of maintenance, Microsoft has also solved that problem
| with zero-touch deployment (I think that's the name).
| > Games, in particular, tend not to follow user interface guidelines,
| > nor to media players these days.  DVDs don't use consistent styling
| > of menus.
| Games can't follow interface guidelines since their entire purpose is
| to be hard to use and also to immerse you in the world. A game that
| followed proper application guidelines would be a small window with a
| single button called "I win" which would state that you won. Not very
| fun really. Media players do follow guidelines. It just depends on
| which ones you're talking about. DVD's are very problematic.
| > 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.
| Yes they do and it's perfectly normal behavior. It's also the right
| thing to do. The issue at hand is that it's not doing that everywhere.
| A good application should look and feel like a Windows application on
| Windows, a Mac application on a Mac and a Linux application on Linux
| (with proper Gnome and KDE variants). This, by the way, is also the
| failure of Java UI. It wants to create its own user interface design
| foreign to the platforms it runs on. That and it's ugly.

"failure of Java UI. It wants to create its own user interface design...."

Not exactly...

First was Java AWT. And it was built on top of native OS widgets and is
using them. But it was not extendible - only basic set - pretty much
what HTML has now: button, edit, list.

Java UI architects decided to implement extensibility by providing
everything home-brewed but highly extensible so came SWING.
But "Garbage Collectible Euphoria" made a bad joke with them.
It is terribly slow and heavy - and this is why it almost failed.
On the other side - Sun is not interested in Java UI (it seems so) as
nobody knows of how to make money on GUI. On server side -
it is clear how, and Java is there.

OT: Java can handle fast and lightweight UI.
To prove this I did this experiment:

Andrew Fedoniouk.
Received on Monday, 4 July 2005 02:46:02 UTC

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