Personal stylesheet UI in 4.0 releases (was Re: CSS and presentational markup)

At 22:50 +0200 6.7.97, Arnoud "Galactus" Engelfriet wrote:

> "Chris Wilson (PSD)" <cwilso@MICROSOFT.com> wrote:
> > ... look in View...Options, Advanced tab, and
> > click "Accessibility".
> This is probably more a UI issue, but why that deep? I believe there
> is a recommendation that you can change stylesheets with something like
> a dropdown menu (using the text in the LINK element as title or
> something like that), and I'd like to be able to define more than
> one stylesheet and switch between those depending on what I'm reading
> and what I'm doing.

Hear hear! I'll add that the ability to cycle rapidly through several
(generic) stylesheets for the same content will help authors
enormously in checking their work for "CSS-readiness." Sadly, most
current Web content will break with personal stylesheets enabled.
Without a one-step way to toggle to something closer to the
"consensus" UA default stylesheet, personal stylesheets will rarely
be used. This will contribute to CSS abuse by authors, making a
mockery of its positioning as an "accessibility" enhancement.

Further, consider the possibilities for intranet or special-interest
use with defined sets of class markup: users could display/not
display classes as appropriate for their department or interest - a
kind of proto-XML. Finally, if you intend to support XML extensively
in IE5, stylesheets will no longer be an obscure accessibility
option, but absolutely critical for meaningful access of any kind.
The better your UI anticipates this, the smoother, more natural, and
more powerful will be the transition.

Sounds like a strategic competitive opportunity to me. I'll run
Virtual PC on my Mac to run IE4 if Netscape 4 won't offer a personal
stylesheet UI. But not if it's buried as an "advanced accessibility
option." Personal stylesheets are not just for the visually impaired.

Todd Fahrner

The printed page transcends space and time. The printed page, the
infinitude of books, must be transcended. THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY.

--El Lissitzky, 1923