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Re: A CSS equivalent of HTML's DOCTYPE trigger

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 18:00:21 -0800
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDDXXCe2czTqbp1RSFNVDTbwSCZVQCv8tEjObOT3H1kSpQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Matthew Wilcox <elvendil@gmail.com>
Cc: "www-style@w3.org Style" <www-style@w3.org>
On Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 11:28 AM, Matthew Wilcox <elvendil@gmail.com> wrote:
> HTML has a useful property whereby the DOCTYPE was hijacked to trigger standards compliant rendering modes.
>
> Some of CSS is sub-optimally implemented from a designer/typographer standpoint and there's not much tht can be done about it by us without breaking backward compatibility.
>
> Has thought been put into an equivalent strategy for CSS? For example, opting into which branch or module we'd like to work?
>
> I bring this up because I think the way typography is handled in CSS is simply fundamentally flawed from a typographers perspective, and un-resquable as is. If we could wind back the clock we could fix it, but we can't. How about we reset the clock? Allowing the author to choose which versions of the spec to adhere to?
>
> That would allow us to, for example, re-write the way that font's are used in CSS, without breaking backward compatibility. User Agents that don't understand the trigger would simply ignore it.

Doctype switching isn't really a "useful" property.  We employed it as
a last resort to help with compat in the bad old days of IE
domination, when there was a major irreconcilable difference between
what IE did and what the specs wanted.  If the modern WG was
transported back to that time we probably wouldn't have done it - more
likely, we'd have adopted IE's box model and added the box-sizing
property earlier.

Similarly, here, if we find parts of text layout that we want to
change, we'll just add properties to allow changing it.  If it ends up
being unfixable, we can make a new layout mode that does things right.
 There's no reason to reach for the nuclear option of a version
switch.

~TJ
Received on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 02:01:11 GMT

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