W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > June 2006

Re: specificity and user style sheets

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 12:39:26 +0200
To: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <jaft72hf2ii9a3lchc7v2puodf07apuqav@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>

* Jonathan Chetwynd wrote:
>My expertise as is with people that have learning disabilities, and  
>it is evident to me that someone wishing to use a style sheet, and  
>thus learn about CSS would prefer to start with something simple such  
>body {background:black; color:white;}
>however whilst there expectation might be that this would provide a  
>universal solution to their reading difficulties, in reality it  
>achieves almost nothing due to the approach to specificity taken by  
>the WG.

Stanimir already pointed !important out. Where this is inconvenient, it
is certainly possbile for user agents to implement a feature by which an
entire user stylesheet becomes !important and there've been proposals to
add a @important block in which all rules are important even if they do
not have the !important modifier.

In practise user style sheets don't work very well though as author
styles are typically not robust enough to cope with the differences. As
an example, I use one to override font family and font size settings. It
is very common, even on W3C web sites, that this wreaks havoc onto the
page layout, navigation bars that float below the content, content that
floats below very large vertical navigation bars, and content that sits
below ads, navigation aids, or other layout features are a common sight.
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Weinh. Str. 22 · Telefon: +49(0)621/4309674 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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Received on Thursday, 1 June 2006 10:39:35 UTC

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