personal stylesheets and 4.0 browsers
It is possible to build and ship a 100%-CSS-conformant browser and still
not "get" stylesheets. I am referring to the absence of any mechanism to
select a personal style sheet in the 4.0 preview releases of both Netscape
and IE. Instead, we still see the "appearance" dialog as a weak editor for
the UA default stylesheet, which we all know is dangerously ugly -
dangerous because it encourages bad markup (like blockquote to produce a
This is an appeal to Netscape and Microsoft to get rid of the appearance
dialogs and replace them with stylesheet dialogs. Let reader/authors choose
from among existing complete or partial stylesheets, either by pathname or
URL. You could grow this into a full-blown stylesheet editor in future
releases, with real-time previews. Have a pulldown/popup or other quick way
to toggle among known stylesheets.
A quick toggle mechanism is essential, because most current Web content
relies on the Netscape/IE UA defaults to be intelligible. So have one
stylesheet express the current UA defaults, in order to preserve legacy
GIF-and-table hack designs, which your authoring tools continue to produce.
Call this stylesheet explicitly in these tools.
I think both vendors have a long-term strategic interest in a web where
content and presentation are rich and separate. A personal style sheet
selection mechanism will encourage a speedy transition.