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

Re: practicality of user styleshseets

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2010 07:22:23 +0100
Message-ID: <4CB6A19F.90700@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: www-style CSS <www-style@w3.org>
Felix Miata wrote:
> The user theoretically has ultimate control by applying his own stylesheet. I

I always assumed that this was an abstraction of what the user may be 
able to do by browser configuration, rather than literally requiring 
them to create a style sheet.

> Problem 1-CSS file compaction:
> This is the stripping of all forms of unnecessary whitespace, including
> newlines, from CSS files in order to minimize server load and maximize
> download speed. The use of this technique seems to be rapidly spreading.

I would have suspected deliberate obfuscation is a more likely reason. 
Another possibility is simply that CSS is seen as machine output for 
machine consumption.  As you say later, the real way to compact is 
actually to write good style sheets, rather than repeat full styles for 
each element, linked by id.

> Problem 2-ID and class proliferation:
> This should be self-explanatory. Authors don't seem to understand how to let
> inheritance do its job, preferring to apply at least one class and/or ID for
> virtually every element type and/or context.

I think this is a consequence of treating web design as a WYSIWYG 
process, and failing to formalise document structure or style rules.  If 
the style rules are formalised, they are implemented by people who apply 
them manually, then code the result, element by element, into computer, 
rather than by people with the ability to describe them to the computer.
David Woolley
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Received on Thursday, 14 October 2010 06:23:03 UTC

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