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Re: IDs, Classes : could CSS usefully use a third (abstract) concept ?

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 00:12:53 +0100
Message-ID: <423225F5.4010808@students.cs.uu.nl>
To: Ben Curtis <bcurtis@bivia.com>, www-style@w3.org

Ben Curtis wrote:
>> Also a syntax like @define could allow great interaction with imported 
>> stylesheets. If the format were strict such that the  CSS document  
>> would have to be structured  as
>>
>>  - @definitions
>>  - @imports
>>  - css rules
> 
> It is worth noting that this functionality, being client-side, offers 
> abilities that are impossible or highly convoluted server-side. 
> Therefore, @define or similar syntax serves a valuable and practical 
> purpose.
> 
> Some example uses that would be exceedingly difficult server-side:
> 
> 1. An XML-syndicated content provider supplies an accompanying embedded 
> stylesheet that handles layout, sourced from their server and adjusted 
> on occasion to take into account new content styles. The content is 
> included in an XHTML web page on the client, and the author of this 
> webpage would like the syndicated content to match his page's color and 
> style schemes. She could compose her own stylesheet, but delivering it 
> to override the embedded stylesheet so that her styles take effect 
> through the cascade is difficult without making everything !important. 
> She could have the server parse the embedded stylesheet and change it, 
> but then as the publisher changes things so must she. Or, with @define, 
> the publisher could use defined values and the page author supply those 
> values once.

For this and 2. as well goes: How is the publisher agreeing with the 
client on a fixed set of @defined names different from them agreeing on 
a fixed set of class names? I can answer that question myself: it is not.

As far as !important goes, just place your own stylesheet after the 
publisher's one and the cascade will make the last definition take 
precedence. Besides, what if the publisher specifies a default set of 
@defines. Use @define xxx yyy !important? -_-;;

I really don't see the big use in defines. If you need to apply the same 
colour to different elements, say a level 1 heading, a div containing 
navigation, and a date, then just do:

h1, #nav, .date {
    background-color: #AAF;
    color: white;
}

The only difference compared to @define is the place where you have your 
selectors. In this case, they are placed at the definition of the colour 
property, where in the case of @define they are elsewhere, with a 
reference to the @define.

On one hand one might argue that the current CSS way is annoying when 
you want to group related stuff together in your CSS file, however on 
the other hand I think it is also convenient to be able to directly see 
which elements the colour applies to, and it really isn't unlogical.

Both work equally well however. So, is this slight difference in 
notation worth adding a new redundant mechanism to CSS which will still 
take years before it is available in all mainstream browsers?


~Grauw

-- 
Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san!!
Received on Friday, 11 March 2005 23:12:47 GMT

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