Re: Can cascading work?

 From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>

| In short, I think that the cascade is a technological solution to a
| problem that cannot be solved technologically (unfortunately). 3rd
| parties must make accessible stylesheets. Authors must take
| responsibility for accessability. Casual users must stick to well-known
| DTDs (or DTD variants as in HTML w/ a particular CLASS set) with an
| existing accessibility infrastructure. Professionals and corporate users
| should only undertake to create a new DTD, tagset or "class set" when
| they intend to back it up with an accessibility infrastructure. What I
| mean by accessibility infrastructure is stylesheets, parameters, public
| identifiers, "proper use" documentation, etc. We have a lot of work
| ahead of us.

While I agree with Paul that cascading on top of an arbitrary stylesheet
is unlikely to be useful, I don't agree that that makes cascading
useless.  On the contrary, it still leaves cascading on top of a *known*
stylesheet as a viable and useful capability.  In the open Internet,
that capability will be of limited utility until a few common
stylesheets come to dominate net publishing; I suspect that will take a
couple of years, but I'm reasonably confident it will happen.  In
intranets, however, the ability to have a corporate stylesheet and
cascade divisional, group, and personal stylesheets on top of it would be
immediately useful.

I'd like to see someone develop good tools for automatic generation of
overlay stylesheets - a tool that would put up, for instance, all of the
unique fonts and colors that it would use based on an input cascade,
which the user could then manipulate for personal preferences and save
as the personal stylesheet to use whenever that underlying cascade is
seen.  I think you could develop a tool that showed all the unique cases
in a sample (greeked) document and allowed the user to click an element
to change it, with a feasible amount of work.


scott preece
motorola/css urbana design center	1101 e. university, urbana, il   61801
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