W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > April 2010

T&A thoughts

From: Perry Smith <pedzsan@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2010 09:05:35 -0500
Message-Id: <D356EF0F-1FE7-4B71-AC51-7F3287C58202@gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
The current transitions and animations, to me, do not do enough.  It  
appears that the focus in on syntax and sometimes drifts into "event  
based" or "state based" discussions.  I'd like to have a clear set of  
objectives and desires.  We probably need to agree to stop at some  
limit or it will go on forever.  But I believe that we can "shove"  
anything we come up with into the existing syntax somehow.  I'd like  
to start with a clear list of objectives and a clear line that says  
"no... lets do that next time".  My belief is that after that, the  
list of attributes and use patterns will fall out.

The difficult part is to give authors enough rope where they will use  
it.  By that I mean that if the CSS animations and transitions fall  
short, people will just continue to use javascript for everything.   
The one clear benefit to doing in CSS is that the user can customize  
it after the author.  And, it is a place to clearly tie states back to  
intentions and meaning in a way that screen readers can help with  

Lets start with Maciej's point: animations and transitions are  
different.  transitions are a state change; what I call "going from  
state A to state B".  animations are (his terms) "tied to a state" or  
my phrase "going from state A to state A".

In both cases, I believe we want two things: a sequence of  
simultaneous actions.  A sequence of actions would be to have the box  
go north and then west.  Two simultaneous actions would be to have the  
box go directly northwest.  I believe we would like the ability to go  
northwest, then darken, then go down, etc -- thus, a sequence of  
simultaneous actions.

Perhaps it has been mentioned but I have missed it.  With transitions  
in particular, we want sounds added.  A "clickie" sound when I click  
or a swoosh sound when a dialog box opens.

And, as someone points out (sorry I forgot who), we need ties back to  
the accessibility part of the user experience.  For example, with a  
transition it would be nice if I could specify:

spoken: "the dialog box is opening"

Or perhaps more realistic:

spoken: "the submit button has been enabled"

Clearly we do not want to replicate other attributes from other pars  
of CSS.  For example, we do not want to reinvent attributes to help  

And, obviously, we want graceful failure.

Here is where I fear I may want too much.  But I want reusability and  
reusability implies parameter passing -- one way or the other.

Instead of a javascript library to do animations and transitions, I  
dream of a CSS library to do that.  Why?

First, it will be one step deeper into the browser and so it will be  
less overhead.

Second, because it will be based upon standardized attributes, readers  
and other things can tie in much more easily.

Third, because users can specify their own stylesheets, it will be  
much more customizable by the end users.  For example, if an author  
puts in way too much cute stuff with sounds and twirls than I care  
for, I can trim it back myself.

Fourth, if we do this right, many artists will be able to use them  
directly.  And, applications like Dream Weaver will be able to create  
wonderful GUIs to help the other artists create with them.

I'd like to pause here and see if anyone agrees or disagrees.  I have  
ideas of how to do all of the above but I'd like to see if there is  
general interest here first.

Received on Wednesday, 7 April 2010 14:06:12 UTC

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