W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2012

Re: [css3-images] Fwd: CSS Gradient Notation

From: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2012 17:34:56 +0100
Message-ID: <4F32A430.2040705@inkedblade.net>
To: www-style@w3.org
On 01/17/2012 11:51 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> On Sun, 15 Jan 2012 17:37:52 -0800, Robert Biggs<rbiggs@ymail.com>  wrote:
>> I was checking out the latest document http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-images
>> to check up on the status of CSS gradients. I have to say I was shocked and
>> dismayed to see that you're proposition the requirement for prepositions to
>> be used with the positional keywords. I was scratching my head for quite
>> some time. Is that to make it clearer to English speakers what the keywords
>> do? Requiring English preposition will not make it clearer to people who
>> don't speak English. If you want to make it more grammatical English, you
>> should include the indefinite article, e.g. "to the bottom left". Or maybe
>> an adverb or a gerund: "flowing towards the bottom right". And for radial
>> gradients: "positioned at the closest side". And while you're at it, you
>> could get rid of the hyphens in the radial keywords.
>>
>> I'm being facetious. When the Webkit guys first presented CSS gradients, the
>> Mozilla people complained about the notation being too complicated and came
>> up with a simpler notation. I'm sure you laughed at being required to write
>> from(color), to(color). Funny how you're now suggesting that we have to use
>> prepositions ("to" and "at") with keywords. Don't hobble CSS with English
>> grammatical requirements. No body needs an understanding of English grammar
>> to write HTML or JavaScript or CSS, until now.
>>
>> By the way, in Spanish, the word for "to" is "a" and the word for at is "a".
>> Spanish speakers will not see your prepositions as a clarification of
>> anything.
>
> The "to" keyword was added to linear gradients because there was
> significant confusion about whether "top" meant "start from the top
> (put the 0% color on the top)" or "point toward the top (put the 100%
> color on the top)".
>
> ...
>
> I've not made a change to the draft based on this feedback.  If this
> is acceptable, please reply!  (If it's unacceptable, I expect you'll
> reply as well. ^_^)

So, I see two technical arguments in favor of reverting the change and
none in favor. Based on that I can't really justify keeping the 'to'.
The arguments are:
   1. Reverting is more compatible with existing usage out there, since
      the older variants of linear-gradient() are compatible with the
      request to not use 'to'.
   2. The 'to' preposition is incompatible with the functional notation
      principles you sent out, and the CSSWG adopted, in
        http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2012Jan/0933.html
      Namely, that keywords are only to be used as a last resort for
      parsing disambiguation where needed.

The argument in favor of rejecting the comment is that the WG discussed
the issue already and made a resolution on it and therefore doesn't want
to reopen the issue. This is an argument, but not a technical one. I'll
also note we do have additional information, i.e. principle #2, that we
didn't have when we made that resolution.

So, weighing the arguments, I'm uncomfortable with rejecting this comment
without a change.

~fantasai
Received on Wednesday, 8 February 2012 16:38:19 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 26 March 2013 17:20:50 GMT