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Re: The Core Beliefs of Usability and Their CSS Application

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 13:09:53 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c801050706100934e1be7c@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

On 7/5/05, David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> > How things are cached and managed is unimportant to the existance of
> The details of caching are actually pretty important and a large
> part of HTTP/1.1 is about them.  It's unlikely that defaults truly
> reflect the appropriate values.

But not to content authors. They only care about the content. And yes,
it's part of the spec and it should certainly be possible for
developers of web software to turn it on by default or for web authors
to say, "hey, we need this feature".

> > such a feature to the web author. They need only know that it's turned
> > on.
> Actually, if you look at people's attempts to control caching with
> meta elements (often theoretically unsound) you will quickly realise
> that designers don't want to know what the caching settings are, they
> simply want to force them to no caching at all.

And given the design of the web and what they're trying to do with it,
a lot of authors see that it's not condusive to web applications. I
think the largest fault of the web was that when authors were
clamoring for application behavior, rather than given them an
application language we bastardized the document language.

> > Actually most that I've seen are in fact fairly complex. They often
> > handle server script (PHP, ASP, CGI), they handle page instructions
> These are usually conceptually handled by plug-ins, outside of the
> core server engine.

Yes and this could also be handled by plugins if it's not handled
already by the underlying system. IIS and Apache I know for certain
have the ability to have plugins handle this kind of thing.

> > I'm sure that's exactly what the web authors had in mind with
> > spacer.gif . The truth I think is that visual designers think in
> Although its certainly arguable, I think that weakens your argument
> that if browsers had implemented your five zones internally designers
> wouldn't have tried to do their own layouts with tables.

I think what it says is that people will use whatever means they have
in front of them to get the job done. Give them the tools to do it and
they won't mishandle the tools that don't do the job as well.

People use one of two mechanisms during work. At first, they follow
the path of least resistance until they find something that works. If
one path fails, they fall back and try the next path of the
resistance. After that's done however, they'll continue to use the
path they discovered until something is presented to them that is far

> > pictures and when asked why all there <p> elements are empty except
> > for a src attribute, they're going to say, "that's how you do images
> Hopefully, that sort of designer will realise that they should be
> using HTML 4.01 Transitional.  Unfortunately, computing now being
> a fashion industry, they probably will try and misuse XHTML 2.0

I disagree very strongly that computing is a fashion industry. I think
what they have discovered is that attractive applications are more
usable than unattractive ones. This knowledge has only recently (last
10 years) been discovered and hasn't propigated to a lot of design
firms. That doesn't mean that people aren't trying to improve the
applications they have or come up with new things to do (think

Now don't be mistaken, customers have reported to Microsoft after
doing a study that what they want most is for the features they use
every day to be improved rather than adding more features. Well
designed products are more important than feature rich ones.


Orion Adrian
Received on Wednesday, 6 July 2005 17:10:05 UTC

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