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Re: FAQ about reasons behind CSS

From: Mikko Rantalainen <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 13:26:56 +0300
Message-ID: <42C3C8F0.3090804@peda.net>
To: www-style@w3.org

Laurens Holst wrote:
> With the recent discussions in mind, and the doubts some people have 
> about why things were done a certain way in CSS, I have attempted to 
> create a FAQ:
> 
> http://www.grauw.nl/articles/css-faq.php

I scanned the FAQ briefly and I noticed that it uses a lot of 
abbreviations (or acronyms...) without explaining those. For example:

CSS WG
WD
CR (granted, this is explained at the END of the document)
XSLT
XSL-FO

Perhaps there should be an FAQ item to explain the whole process 
with WGs, WDs, CRs and stuff so it wouldn't need to be explained in 
every (future) answer?

Remember that FAQs are most used by newcomers and they are not 
familiar with all the TLAs.

If this is supposed to be THE CSS FAQ, it would be better to explain 
basic stuff like inheritance and box model before explaining the 
more complex issues.

Also, the FAQ takes it as given that there's following constraint 
for CSS:

   "Incremental rendering (no reflow)"

I don't agree with this. CSS already has ::nth-last-child(), among 
other things, which cannot be used with incremental rendering.

I cannot agree with a view that some layouts should be forbidden 
because they cannot be achieved with incremental rendering. The CSS 
specification could do better job pointing out which features do 
mess up the incremental rendering, though. If style author (as 
opposed to content author) decides to sacrifice rendering speed for 
nicer final result, who am I to tell otherwise?

Do you really think that CSS should never ever provide a way to 
automatically generate TOC because that would require looking 
forward in the document if the TOC were to be placed before the 
content? Is TOC really part of the content or is it part of the 
presentation?


In addition, some of the questions could be relabeled to better 
match the answer. For example, instead of

"Q: How long does it take for new CSS features to be available"

following would match the given answer much better

"Q: Why shouldn't I start using a new CSS feature immediately after 
it has been invented?"

[IMO the new feature is available immediately after it has been 
implemented in *some* UA. There're practical reasons to wait for 
broader support, though.]


As a whole, it seems that this FAQ mixes the practical view (MSIE 
has abysmal support for CSS) with the specification and claims that 
the CSS (specification) as a whole doesn't support layout, tables 
and what-not.

-- 
Mikko
Received on Thursday, 30 June 2005 10:27:09 GMT

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