Re: User Style Sheets in PP2 (was Re: Issue 1: Font-weight and headings)

E. Stephen Mack wrote:
> I wrote:
> >> And I can have an ! important declaration
> >> in my own user style sheet that will save me from seeing it
> >> when I'm viewing on-screen (I prefer Verdana now).
> Paul Prescod asked me:
> >How would you do that?
> IE 4.0 pp2 allows user style sheets. Create a style sheet file
> (such as mystyle.css) and put in it whatever rules you want,
> such as
>     BODY { font-family: verdana ! important; }

That will stop you from seeing Times, or whatever other font you hated.
It won't affect explicitly set titles, paragraphs, spans or classes
(with or without ! important).
> Hopes sink.  Fiddle with some menus a bit, but then realize you've
> made a mistake in your style sheet (D'oh, I meant font-family, not
> font-style.  I need a KGV for style sheets baaaaad...)  Exit from
> IE, rerun it again, reload the simple document.  Success!  Verdana.
> No more will hideous fonts like Times darken my screen.  This is
> almost as good as when Mosaic came out and let me customize
> fonts.  

Exactly. Except Mosaic, could, in principle, have an option that said:
"Don't ever show me Times, *ever*" and that option would stick, no
matter what the author wanted. You can't say that with CSS. More
important, you can't say: "I can't distinguish blues from greens...don't
use those colors to distinguish meaning." Again, old fashioned browser
options could, in principle, do that, if only by knocking everything
back to black and white. CSS can't do this explicitly or by knocking
things back to black and white.

Any UA vendor who depends on CSS to do things it cannot do, like this,
is robbing their user. They need to go back to putting in old fashioned
.X-preferences, .ini items to do these sorts of things.

> Marvel at the wondrousness.

Huh? You've just admitted that the feature isn't new. Mosaic provided
it. And I've now pointed out that it doesn't accomplish what you said it
would. There is no reader/author balance. The author knows what elements
and classes she is going to use, and you do not. Thus she has all of the
power unless you are going to rewrite your browser stylesheet for each
document. They only way to restore that balance is to allow the user's
stylesheet to work on the *result* of the formatting operation. You must
be able to map blue to grey, Times to Verdana, small fonts to large
fonts -- but that would be a very different language from CSS.
 Paul Prescod

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