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Re: Alternative Style Sheets

From: Antony Kennedy <antony@silversquid.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 10:27:49 +0100
Cc: Anton Prowse <prowse@moonhenge.net>, www-style@w3.org, Perry Smith <pedzsan@gmail.com>
Message-Id: <96427F3E-FB80-40EF-8068-43A22520E112@silversquid.com>
To: Sebastian Zartner <sebastianzartner@gmail.com>
In which case, stating that the choice should be persisted (over sessions, at the very least) seems a great addition to the spec to maintain clarity.

Being buried in the view menu is not such a bad thing. It's not like VoiceOver is obvious to enable to most users, but those that need it know where it is.

AK

On 12 Oct 2012, at 10:23, Sebastian Zartner <sebastianzartner@gmail.com> wrote:

> Opera and IE also have support for alternative styles via their View menus. Chrome doesn't offer this by default but has extensions to add this functionality[1]. Unfortunately Opera and Firefox switch back to the default stylesheet as soon as the page is reloaded. For Firefox there were extensions available earlier, which allowed to persist the choice[2][3], but it is not maintained anymore. I tested this using a W3C page[4].
> 
> The question is if a persistent behavior can/should be defined by some CSS spec.
> 
> Sebastian
> 
> [1] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/alternative%20stylesheet
> [2] https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/style-sheet-chooser-ii/
> [3] https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/stylesheet-chooser-plus
> [4] http://www.w3.org/Style/Examples/007/alternatives.html
> 
> On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM, Antony Kennedy <antony@silversquid.com> wrote:
> I would agree that the alternative stylesheets are a great concept, and one that makes adding accessible or alternative views an easy thing to achieve without having to clutter your UI with icons to point to them.
> 
> But as Anton points out, without wide browser support and an easy method of discovery, we have to implement those icons and ugly JS switching mechanisms. Such a shame.
> 
> On 12 Oct 2012, at 09:08, Anton Prowse <prowse@moonhenge.net> wrote:
> 
> > On 09/10/2012 04:24, Perry Smith wrote:
> >> I've recently bumped into the concept of alternative style sheets.
> >> e.g. @import can have a name or an HTML link tag can have a title.
> >>
> >> Firefox provides a way to pick between them.  I don't see a method
> >> with Chrome or Safari.
> >
> > :-(
> >
> >> The one thing I thought
> >> perhaps FF would do is remember the style I picked if I went back to
> >> a page but it does not.
> >
> > Still not?
> >
> > In the early days of Firefox (before it had come to be called Firefox, IIRC) there used to be a statusbar icon which would indicate when a site provided alternative stylesheets.  That's how I discovered the concept, in fact.  I thought it was a great idea, and I was pretty disappointed when they pulled the icon.  I argued against it, but the team who made the browser said that the implementation was too buggy (and gave the example you just mentioned as a supporting argument!).  It seems they left it in the menu, though, which didn't really address my concern.  My argument was that the concept is only useful if it is discoverable.
> >
> >> It just seems like a cool idea that has potential.  Mostly I'm
> >> wondering if anyone is using it or if it is likely to fade away.
> >
> > Without a visible indication of the existence of an alternative stylesheet, the concept seems doomed.  Browser makers will argue that nobody uses it, but that's because nobody's going to visit the menu on every site on the off-chance that there might be an alternative stylesheet available.  Authors are unlikely to spend much time making alternatives knowing that some browsers don't support switching and those that do don't make it friendly.  (Perhaps governmental organizations etc might offer alternative stylesheets to address legal obligations on accessibility.)  So it's a vicious circle.
> >
> > RIP statusbar icon.  I still miss you!
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Anton Prowse
> > http://dev.moonhenge.net
> >
> 
> 
> 
Received on Friday, 12 October 2012 09:28:22 GMT

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