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RE: Warnings with valid background-color

From: Matt LaPlante <mcd@cyberdogtech.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 08:22:11 -0400
To: "'Jukka K. Korpela'" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Cc: <www-validator-css@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000501c5d0b9$edfb6550$fe04a8c0@cyberdogt42>

I respect your opinion, but I think it reads too much into the purpose of
the tool.  A validator should be just that: a validator.  It's not a "better
idea recommender".  The code as presented is 100% undeniably valid, so I
don't see on what grounds a validator should have the job of questioning
someone's technique.  Just because some may think writing a sentence in all
caps is bad form, doesn't mean it gives the HTML validator cause to throw
warnings when someone does this.  It's just not what the tool is for.  A
validator should be concerned strictly with how code follows spec, not how a
designer follows "good" or "bad" technique outside of the spec.
I understand the desire to guide some of the more ignorant developers of the
world, but that's a job for a tutorial, not a validation tool.  One should
only have to look at the name "validator" to know it shouldn't be presenting
opinions.  And if something is fully valid in the specification, even if the
specification might be considered lacking by some or many, it remains an
opinion at that point.

-
Matt

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jukka K. Korpela [mailto:jkorpela@cs.tut.fi]
> Sent: Friday, October 14, 2005 2:31 AM
> To: Matt LaPlante
> Cc: www-validator-css@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Warnings with valid background-color
> 
> On Thu, 13 Oct 2005, Matt LaPlante wrote:
> 
> > According to CSS 1 & 2 specs, transparent is a valid background-color
> > attribute,
> 
> It is (modulo the definition of "valid"), and it is even the initial
> value, or "default" in a certain sense.
> 
> > so I see no reason it should generate a warning.
> 
> Setting both content color and background color to white is surely
> "valid", but it should probably generate a warning.
> 
> > I read the FAQ
> > regarding background-color, and I'm assuming it wants me to specify a
> color
> > rather than allow transparency.
> 
> Yes.
> 
> > I think this is logically flawed;
> 
> Maybe, but the flaw is in the CSS specifications, not in the warning.
> The cascade principles imply that by setting color to something specific
> and setting or defaulting background-color to transparent, you make
> your text appear in that color against a background whose color you cannot
> reliably predict, even assuming that user and browser style sheets have
> been written consistently. When people fail to understand this, the reason
> is almost always insufficient (or maybe completely wrong) understanding of
> the cascade. (A typical symptom is to confuse cascade with inheritance.)
> 
> > obviously
> > if the designer has taken the trouble to specify transparency
> explicitly,
> > they intend to allow the lower level color to support the color:
> attribute.
> 
> They do, but it is part of the cascading principles that the lower level
> colors (background color and text color, or even just one of them in a
> poorly designed style sheet) can be determined by another style sheet,
> which the author cannot control or even see.
> 
> CSS would be much easier without the "C" part, and a little less useful.
> 
> --
> Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Friday, 14 October 2005 13:18:55 GMT

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