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

RE: [css-variables] CSS Variables are a NEW kind of variable

From: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 01:48:18 +0000
To: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>, Chris Eppstein <chris@eppsteins.net>
CC: Divya Manian <manian@adobe.com>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <3C4041FF83E1E04A986B6DC50F0178290A36194E@TK5EX14MBXC262.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>

[Tab Atkins Jr.:]
> You seem to be saying that if variable declarations look like properties,
> then they must be identical to properties (and properties must be
> identical to variable declarations), and if they're different at all, then
> they must look different.

Fwiw that is not how I read Chris or Divya's comments. What I hear them saying
is that the distinction you are making flies at an optimistic minimum of 50,000ft 
above the head of 99.99% of the people who will use this, ever. Given the syntax 
model we currently have I hear them both suggesting it would be *natural* for the 
vast majority of users to expect property references to also work, a pattern which 
the feature designer - you - says should not work. (Or not for some time, at least)

Though I need to noodle on this some more I agree such an impedance mismatch would be 
a real concern as a source of confusion and usability fails. And 10+ years of 'how 
come I can't reference the other properties' mails/tweets/blog posts, heavens forbid 
JS 'framework' attempts to fill gap at who knows what runtime cost. 

So. If understanding why property references don't work involves the depth of knowledge 
and time required to follow this mailing list then yes, I think we have an open issue.

Assuming I read all this right, the suggestions were to either:
1. Give users the extra capability suggested to them by the syntax 


2. Adjust the syntax in such a manner that 'universal' property references are 
unambiguously out of scope.

Hopefully this helps a bit?

Though to be fair I would like to see proposals or #2. Or a pointer to them if I
missed it...

Received on Thursday, 14 June 2012 01:48:52 UTC

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