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Re: Alternative Style Sheets

From: Eric A. Meyer <eric@meyerweb.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 10:58:52 -0400
Message-Id: <p06230903cc9dde54e946@[192.168.1.5]>
To: www-style@w3.org
At 22:24 -0500 10/8/12, Perry Smith wrote:

>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.

    For all the reasons people have articulated, it's basically long 
since faded away.  Style switching was a bit of a fad a decade ago-- 
see the publication date on 
http://alistapart.com/articles/alternate/, for example-- but the lack 
of user agent interface support pretty well doomed it in the same way 
that removing the text-resize buttons from browser toolbars in the 
late 1990s doomed awareness of that feature.
    Even if browsers were suddenly to promote alternative style sheets 
front and center, I'd be concerned about performance.  With five 
alternate style sheets, I'd expect UAs to prefetch all five, and 
possibly also all the images they all reference, and on and on. 
There would likely also be privacy questions to worry about.
    And in all honesty, I'm not sure how interested users are (or ever 
were) in "re-skinning" the sites they visit.  I used to promote 
different site themes on meyerweb, and we promoted a few themes on 
Netscape DevEdge.  I doubt more than a few percent of users ever did 
more than play with it once, maybe arch an eyebrow, and then never 
touch it again.

-- 
Eric A. Meyer (eric@meyerweb.com)     http://meyerweb.com/
Received on Friday, 12 October 2012 14:59:17 GMT

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