W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > August 2011

Re: [css3-gcpm] Printing backgrounds (thread reboot)

From: Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 20:25:19 -0700
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
CC: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CA7325AF.71D6%stearns@adobe.com>
On 8/18/11 2:41 PM, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM, Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com> wrote:
>> My read of the wiki is that solutions 2-6 are too polluted, and the
>> preferred solution 7 is subject to future pollution, so it isn't any better
>> aside from being new. When the new thing gets added to boilerplate and stops
>> being the "I've thought of print" flag will we go through this again?
> This isn't quite an accurate reading.  Solutions 2-5 are too polluted
> to use as a signal, yes, *but they weren't intended as a signal in the
> first place*.  The letter-spacing property is also too polluted to use
> as a signal of intent here.

I admit I don't know the history of CSS all that well, but I find it
improbable that media="print" was not intended as a signal that the author
had thought about print. If there's viable UI that lets the user choose
between the browser heuristics and the print stylesheet, perhaps the current
media="print" pollution can be remedied over time. If there are problems
with how "all" and "print" interact we should iterate on mediaqueries and
solve the problems there.

If the signal you're looking for is not actually "I've thought about print"
but instead is "These browser print heuristics should be overridden" then I
think the wiki page should be amended to reflect this, and my opinion will
likely be that we should not specify new CSS properties for that intent.

>> Despite its limitations, we already have media="print". It may be a polluted
>> signal or an intentionally malicious one, but it does appear sufficient to
>> express author intent. In the end it should up to the UI to present to the
>> user a way of determining whether that stylesheet is reasonable and meets
>> their printing needs.
> Yes, in the end it is.  As expressed on the wiki page, none of the
> solutions are anything more than a hint to the UA.  Hints can be
> useful for helping the UA present a good UI for the user.

As an aside (since the following would be useful with any of the proposed
solutions) a good print UI would show print previews with at least three

1. Current heuristics (suppressing backgrounds and whatever else)
2. Print stylesheet
3. Screen fidelity

The UI should not be a dialog with named options - I'd like it to show fully
rendered thumbnails that presented the user with what their options would
look like for their current page, shown side-by-side. Checkboxes or radio
buttons with poorly-comprehended text labels are entirely insufficient
controls for print options.

Received on Friday, 19 August 2011 03:25:45 UTC

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