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

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 14:05:50 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c80105063011058aa3069@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

On 6/30/05, Kris@meridian-ds.com <Kris@meridian-ds.com> wrote:
> 
> Orion Adrian,
> 
> I've read everything you've had to say thus far, and while you're
> arguements have some merrit... they're essentially flawed.  The flaw is
> this:
> 
> You are depending on microsoft to do a number of things they historically
> have refused to do.  Specifically, MS has refused to comply with any
> standard they didn't invent.  This is painfully obvious in IE, especially
> concerning CSS.  Just because MS hasn't done it does not doom the product
> in question.  With the continuing success of Gecko as a CSS renderer, the
> responsibility of implementation for the css standards is on the general
> open source public who chooses to implement it.  With that said, it is
> quite plausible to, after the css revision is finalized, expect a possible
> implementation on major browsers (IE Firefox and other Gecko based
> products) within months, not years.  HOWEVER, that has a lot to do with how
> those open source contributors view the material put out by w3c.  If it's
> compelling and exciting (as I find nth-child and the css 3 column support)
> it could see implementation rather quickly.
> 
> For example:  CSS 3 column support is already seeing the light of day, and
> we haven't even finalized CSS 2.1...  Firefox 1.1's implementation of it
> conforms to the standards that are currently published, and while they're
> moz specific tags, it would take very little effort for these tag
> references to be changed to the actual tags in question.  The only
> difference between their names is a -moz...
> 
> With that in mind, I've got a couple of closing statement.
> 
> MS Obviously doesn't care about standards at all.  I say this because MS
> publically had no plans to update IE at all until Firefox started kicking
> their pants in the new "browser war".  And the only reason that IE7 might
> support the standards is because a serious % of users are using Firefox for
> specifically that reason (not to mention that it blocks the whole Spyware
> issue)... with that in mind, I submit to you that we'll be lucky to see any
> CSS implementation over what which we've got currently.  Is that CSS's
> fault?  No it's MicroSoft's, and until they're willing to actually adhere
> to the standard (which they'll never be) IE cannot be our litmus test.
> 
> With that in mind, if we take your approach, we might as well disband all
> companies everywhere that support standards and the production of Open
> Source products.  The reason is that MS's tendancy has always been to
> obscure what they do, and dominate the competition.  They don't want anyone
> else to be able to adhere to their "standards".  Control is their game and
> that's why they fight the standard... because they can't control it.
> 
> Finally, I'd like to submit to you that your arguement is flawed because we
> are in a unique time.  Never in the history of mankind have we had this
> much communication between people.  And during a large portion of that
> time, our communication has been dominated by MS and their software.  They
> refused to update their software for multiple years, and with the
> advancement of CSS during a large portion of those years... any numbers we
> have concerning it are going to be heavily skewed.  The tendancy to stray
> from that which we know is very limited, and only with the eventual
> addoption of browsers other that IE will the standards even matter.
> Without competition there's no need for a standard.  MS has illustrated
> that rather nicely at this point, and I don't think that you can really
> base your arguement on that extremely skewed perspective.
> 
> This is all meant to be as peacefully said as possible.  I'm just
> presenting the reasons I think your arguement concerning css is flawed...
> or at the very least a decade or two pre-mature.

Few people moved to Firefox because of it's improved rendering engine.

Firefox's sucess has been entirely based on its usability improvements
and the increased security if offers.

And lets' not jump the gun; Microsoft still has the vast majority of
the market. If Microsoft does it right Firefox will be another
footnote in history before it gets to 35% market share.

That being said, it's nice when things interoperate and are technology
agnostic, but the key problem I see is this: I have enough trouble
remembering what I just said or wrote, beyond the fact that you're
asking me to accomplish true platform independance which requires me
to duplicate the exact meaning on a platform with a different model.

Historically no major technology has been able to port platforms and
behave exactly the same. Look at text files; line endings still
haven't been solved in over 20 years of use.

So what is being asked of these developers is to implement a standard
duplicating it perfectly. Why the need for perfection? Because authors
can only use the least common denominator. That or everyone has to
back the same horse (in this case: Microsoft).

My mother, who isn't involved in this debate, has stated on several
occasions that she loves what Microsoft did when they became a
monopoly. I asked her why and her answer was surprising. She said that
when Microsoft became the standard, everything worked. She no longer
had to worry about this working or that working. She no longer had to
deal with multiple programs trying to interoperate: everything just
worked.

This is still the foundation of Microsoft development. It is their
slogan and it appears on their products: "Play for Sure". Users don't
care about how developers do it, they only care that they do. They
hate that there are subtle or major differences between applications.
They don't understand it and they don't care. From a typical user's
perspective, IE is correct and Mozilla, Opera and Safari are broken.
Why? Because features work on IE that don't work elsewhere. Is this
because authors coded for IE? YES!, but it's a moot point since users
only care about sucess.

Orion Adrian
Received on Thursday, 30 June 2005 18:06:16 GMT

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