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

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

From: <Kris@meridian-ds.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 16:52:56 -0500
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF480B6F41.05153FA0-ON86257030.007833D0-86257030.007833F9@meridian-ds.com>


On 6/30/05, Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com> wrote:

>> Concerning Firefox again...  I agree... if Microsoft plays their hand
>> perfectly, they might be able to turn Firefox into a foot note in
history.
>> However I find that unlikely.  MS is stuck supporting a regime of
webpages
>> that are IE specific... specifically they don't support most of CSS, and
>> use IE specific html code.  Often this is bloated code from frontpage or
>> word...  Support for "standards" other than their own would break most
of
>> those legacy webpages.
>
>Here I don't agree. Microsoft has a lot of practice making things work
>despite changes in their code and other people's code. Their stance of
>"it should just work" has meant that even when the platform changed,
>user's software still worked. I can't say this about my experience
>with Linux distributions that I've tried, though I'll admit that was
>in 2002/2003. Trust me Microsoft will support standards if it wants to
>and it will support their own specifications. Microsoft here has the
>advantage in that it can make people work on a project not because
>they want to, but because they are paid to.

This is where I'd like to point out again that it is Microsoft's own
specifications that have allowed the spyware beast into our homes...

>> What I'm trying to illustrate is this.  Open Source (as of today) has
>> better products all around.  Conforming to standards reduced time to
>> produce product, and promotes usability on multiple platforms.
Konqueror's
>> css renderer as well as gecko's renderer both render most websites
>> beautifully.  W3C has been kind enough to provide us with the !important
>> portion of css which gives us the power to easily code css for legacy IE
>> stupidity.
>
>Having not looked at the open source software you're talking about
>recently, I can't evaluate it on its own, but I can say that not
>interoperating with the rest of office as is and not having the
>support system that windows and office has is a major strike against
>it. To truly evaluate software, I feel we must look at it from many
>angles including the non-technical ones. These are were I think
>Microsoft shines and Open Office does not.

How can you truly sit there and tell me that software you haven't used
can't possibly be better than the MS equivalent?  Just because someone got
paid to produce it does not make it better code.  In fact, quite the
opposite could be true... a person who WANTS to make something often does a
better job than the person who HAS to make something... but that's really
neither here nor there.  The point is, you haven't tried to products in
question, so how would you know?  I on the other hand have dealt with both
sides on numerous occasions, and I can tell you that Open Office does
everything MS Office does, operates in a manner that MS users will find
easy and familiar, and on top of all that it has implementation for all
sorts of additional "super user" type things... thus... "Better".

>> The truth is that MS is responsible for the lack of acceptence of
standards
>> in the main stream.  Whether the general public understands that, or
likes
>> it, is rather irrelivant to me.  I'm a designer.  I've been exposed to
the
>> standards, and I use them.  Thus far they've made my life infinitely
>> easier... not harder.  I know other designers (the people who actually
use
>> css on a daily basis) and we are always delving deeper into css, and
>> understanding more about what it does.  CSS is far from "doomed" in my
>> opinion.  It's quite possible W3C's greatest gift to designers.  I use
>> Firefox because the CSS I like, and want to use is working there...  I
use
>> !important (again a wonderful portion of the standards) to make my sites
>> look good to IE users.  But, I pitty them.  MS's standards and
additional
>> abilities in IE have largely led to the problems of spyware and
viruses...
>> is that truly a standard you wish to continue using?  If so be my guest.
>> At least computer repair techs will continue to have a job.  But as for
me,
>> I'll pick standards compliant technology that truly works the way it was
>> intended and doesn't open my computer up to 99.999% of the worlds hacks.
>> I'm not alone in this opinion, and the Open Source balls is already
>> rolling... stopping it's gonna be difficult.
>
>Microsoft has no magic wand that made developers turn their backs on
>standards. Standards were ignored because web authors decided that the
>technology that was easiest for them to use didn't use it. This is an
>argument that comes up a lot, but I've never understood. Microsoft
>can't brainwash people beyond their ability to advertise and if that
>were all it took then Open Source should simply compete on that level,
>but that isn't the whole story. The whole story is that Microsoft has
>a habit of making its platforms attractive to developers and users
>(often through 3rd party software developed because it's attractive to
>developers). What's before, they ruined it the standards? How did they
>make people forgo them? There are many groups here and any one of them
>could have taken a stand if they truly cared, but they didn't. They
>just wanted it to work.

Your arguement fails to take into account money.  On multiple fronts, but
we can adress that.  Advertising takes money.  Firefox has already done a
bit of this with a full page add in the New York Times... however that add
was paid for by donations...  MS has a bad habit of BUYING 3rd party
companies developing products that look lucrative.  These products are not
always designed specifically for the purpose MS redesigns them for.  Halo
immediately comes to mind.  Money again gets developers writing for MS.
This is because they're a monopoly, not because their product is superior.
If you want your product to make money, you write it for MS... end of
story.  That's the advantage of being a monopoly. These statements are all
made to illustrate that MS is NOT superior, just monopolizing.

>As for the rolling ball. I've heard this argument for years and so
>far, open source has been a non-starter. It's there and people
>recognize its impact, but I feel that while dealing with it, no one
>truly fears that it will take over the world. It's wonderful
>propaganda, but it's propaganda. Microsoft has their own propaganda
>(usually advertising), but let's look at the numbers. Open source
>doesn't have numbers that show it's going to rule the world anytime
>soon.

Well, I'm not sure where you get your numbers, but open source already
out-competes MS in the server environment.  Again this is because the
product is BETTER... otherwise people would just stick with MS.  The rest
of the world is only a matter of time.  (That is an opinion and I freely
admit it.  I think that the server percentages lend some creedence to it.)

>> Again, I understand what you're saying, but my basic point is that:
>>
>> 1.) MS's monopoly has undermined the way the web SHOULD have worked
years
>> ago... we are only now starting to correct that problem.
>
>Actually I blame the W3C working groups. To me, the working groups
>ignored key features of the languages they were creating which allowed
>Microsoft to come along with a more programmer friendly and user
>friendly spec and take everyone to town.

And again I point out that MS, in doing so, has allowed for the spyware
beast to come into existance.  If that weren't bad enough, they allowed it
to persist and only strove to make changes once Firefox had a significant
portion of the browser market.  MS's perogative to make something else.
MS's perogative to implement something else... MS's fault for where we are.
The Working Groups do no controll anything that happens at MS.  MS will
always strive for total control of anything they touch.  Thus they will
always implement their own standards, and the current state of the web is
largely their fault.  They try to prevent interoperability so that they
maintain their monopoly.  It is their fault, pure, plain, and simple.

>> 2.) Open Source products are better, and work the way I expect them to.
>
>Microsoft products are better and they work the way I expect them to.
>See I can do it too. These are opinions. I would surmise that a major
>value for you is that software is open source adding to the "are
>better" part of your statement. Values are tricky, but to the populace
>at large, Microsoft products "are better".

I adressed this earlier, but sure... that's a value statement and those are
hard to quantify.  So, I'll restate it.  The products I'm speaking of
operate similarly (sometimes identically) to MS products.  They do
virtually everything that MS products do, and in many instances, they do
more.  That is my definition of "better".  Which Firefox, Thunderbird, and
Open Office all qualify for in my mind.  Just to get that out in the open.
:-)

>> 3.) Standards have helped me infinitely more than they've hindered me.
I
>> cannot say the same for MicroSoft.
>
>Yet millions of developers can. Visual Basic was and may still be the
>most programmed for language in the years it was around. Microsoft
>made the platform easy to program for and the developers thanked them
>by giving Microsoft a platform with more titles than anyone could ever
>catalogue.

Fair enough, but I point back to my monopoly statement earlier.  Developers
had little choice but to program for MS if they ever wanted their product
to see the light of day.  MS could have developed the worst designed
programming language in history and because of the monopoly of their
operating system, little of history would have changed.

>> 4.) The average user is becoming more educated about these issues all
the
>> time, and MicroSoft's backed themselves into a corner that's going to
make
>> them have to lie cheat and steal to get out of it again.  It's only a
>> matter of time before some Open Source product unseats the MS beast and
>> puts it in its grave.  I hope it's Firefox, it may not be, but I can
hope
>> and support it.  If everyone just decided that it was all hopeless, no
one
>> would ever beat MS.
>
>The average user still doesn't care. The average user just wants a
>product that they can open up, hit a button and the machine will do
>what they wanted it to do. That is the average user. Your friends,
>your collegues probably aren't the average user. The average user
>bought an iPod. Open source? far from it. They also bought an Intel
>machine with Windows XP on it. Open source? far from it.

Sure, and when MS falls apart (more often than not due to viruses and spy
ware allowed in by IE and outlook) they've come to us, and we've set them
back upon their feat cleaned their machine up and in moderate cases handed
them Firefox and Thunderbird, and in major cases, formatted their hardrive
and subscribed them to Linspire or some other linux distribusion.

>At some point open source became the end instead of the means. It's
>just not a value most people share and a lot have even heard of.

>Orion Adrian

I understand that sentiment Orion.  I really do.  I can see how my
propagation of open source could be seen as an end instead of a means.
However I use the software I speak of every day.  I have to deal with MS
products on a regular basis as well, so I'm exposed there as well.  I pick
open source products because they perform.  They do what my
customers/co-workers need and I continue to implement them.  You can sit
around and tell me that you've not used the products but that they can't be
as good as MS products.  But that's just an opinion... it's a value based
on half an equation.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, go give them a try before you
tell me that MS's products are inherently better.  That's really all I have
to say.

Kris
Received on Thursday, 30 June 2005 21:53:25 GMT

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