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

Re: Alternative Style Sheets

From: Antony Kennedy <antony@silversquid.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:15:52 +0100
Message-id: <7D75F65A-5C78-4D3B-85A1-7994FED14935@silversquid.com>
Cc: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
To: "Eric A. Meyer" <eric@meyerweb.com>
The best use for this is for accessibility. High contrast, high visibility, large don't sizes, simpler layouts - all good proposals for alternative stylesheets. And they allow the author more control than just modifying the page in place. 

The BBC used something called Barlesque to create predictable markup that alternative stylesheets could tie in to to achieve this. 

Although text resizing is unknown to many, for those that need it it is a godsend. 

Performance is a different conversation, but I'd suggest that they were not preloaded at all, and only applied when the user selected an alternative. 

AK

Sent from my iPhone

On 12 Oct 2012, at 15:58, "Eric A. Meyer" <eric@meyerweb.com> wrote:

> 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 15:16:25 GMT

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