W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2008

Re: flowing around both sides of a float

From: James Elmore <James.Elmore@cox.net>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2008 09:05:31 -0800
Message-Id: <10904B3D-8513-4BEF-BB63-68AE1287EC15@cox.net>
To: Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>, CSS <www-style@w3.org>

On Jan 3, 2008, at 1:39 AM, Philip TAYLOR wrote:

> How can CSS "style the page in a predictable way"
> when the effects of the cascade are unpredictable
> to the page author ?
> Philip TAYLOR

Not exactly unpredictable. Some people (a very small percentage that  
I am aware of) have !important styles which override the browser and  
the author. It is possible that someone would make an important style  
rule such as

     * { display: none; !important }

This would make every element invisible. But who would want to?

Author style rules overrule user style rules, except when the user  
rule is !important. The reason for this (as I just learned from  
reading the specification) is so users with special requirements  
(e.g., limited vision -- requiring larger fonts, or color blindness  
-- limiting color combinations) can provide for their own needs when  
viewing the web. The reason author rules override user rules -- in  
all other cases -- is so the author can style the page in a  
predictable way, especially to override the rules from the browser.

If even one percent of the users have their own style rules, I would  
be surprised. Of these, perhaps a small number have !important rules  
in their personal styles. This means that, for well over 99% of the  
users, the page would be predictable. (Of course, some browsers don't  
follow the rules, but this is a different problem and has no bearing  
on the current discussion.)

Authors/designers need to test their pages in a variety of browsers  
and on many different sized screens, but that is part of the process  
of making the pages 'predictable'. Notice that nowhere is the term  
'exact' used. As discussed in other postings, exact layout is not  
what CSS is designed for. But if it isn't predictable, then we all  
need to collect our marbles and go sit in the dark by ourselves --  
CSS is designed to allow authors to control what pages look like.

If you don't want CSS to provide better control, stick with plain  
HTML. Don't argue that the rest of us who want to improve the things  
CSS can do, and make it easier to use, are asking for 'free word  
processing software'.

Is there anyone in this group who has connections with the unicode  
group? We need to add a straw-man character to the character set, so  
we can can easily dismiss arguments which have little basis in  
reality. (;-)

Philip -- I recognize what you are saying; but I won't let the design  
preferences of a small minority of users stop me from expressing my  
own design preferences on my own web pages.

James Elmore
Received on Thursday, 3 January 2008 17:05:44 UTC

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