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Re: [csswg-drafts] [css-page] <page-size> Keywords

From: Tab Atkins Jr. via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2017 22:25:58 +0000
To: public-css-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-327930572-1504819216-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
> I always considered CSS to be driven by specifications not by implementations, i.e. W3C invents something, then asks vendors to implement it and if they don't, drops it.

Nope, the W3C *is* vendors (plus some subject-matter experts).  While ideas can come from many sources (sometimes coming from browsers, sometimes from experts, sometimes from the community), ultimately a healthy standard is one that proceeds with vendor support thru its entire lifecycle.  The "spec first, hope that someone implements it someday" model doesn't work very well, as we've rediscovered repeatedly thruout history.  (This is why I keep my own "hopefully somebody wants to implement it someday" specs on my own GH repo; they don't get put into the CSSWG repo until someone wants to implement it and the group approves of it.)

> My general experience with asking vendors to implement something that is consistent with a standard but goes beyond its actual prose has been that they simply reject it because it is not required or recommended by the standard.

Florian wasn't saying you should ask browser vendors to *implement* these new values unilaterally, but rather to get someone there *interested* in the feature, so that they'd be willing to implement it if it were standardized.  Browsers are generally, rightfully, loathe to just unilaterally implement something.

> Standardization can be the act of documenting and harmonizing common practices to ensure interoperability, but this descriptive approach usually doesn't work well for web standards (although it has to be done like that frequently).

Correct, "cleaning up afterwards" is a useful thing for standards to do, but not the only thing. But forging too far ahead is a different failure mode, one which is way too easy to fall into.  Thus our general policy these days of getting as least some interest from browser vendors in a topic before pursuing it.

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Received on Thursday, 7 September 2017 22:25:56 UTC

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