RE: [whatwg] Default (informal) Style Sheet

> [] On Behalf Of Asbjørn Ulsberg
> While HTML is a semantic markup language, it's not something 
> to ignore that it's mostly used for visual rendering of 
> content, often accompanied by a CSS document. While I'm a 
> strong believer of separation between structure (HTML), 
> presentation (CSS) and functionality (JavaScript), I think it 
> could be useful for the HTML specification to -- within 
> limits -- define how each and every element's default CSS 
> properties and values should be like.

I totally agree with you at the point of the importance of layer separation, but I'm not sure about specifying the default CSS values. There are a few options: 

* let the CSS be built from scratch *
No styles are defined, so by default the CSS values are empty. I don't think this a good option, because people won't define their styles from scratch, resulting in vendors still needing to define default styles. So that's no solution.

* Vendors keep defining the default values for every element *
If a web developer disagrees with the vendors, he will just define it in his CSS.

* the HTML WG defines default values for every element *
This can be a solution for HTML as web representation. Defining defaults can result in vendors implementing the same defaults, so it looks the same in every browser by default. I think it's good to think about these things, but I wonder if it would change anything.

What exactly are you looking for? Defining that 'normal' text is black by default and links are blue-ish? Because that's done already, most default styles are uniformly, but maybe informally, defined.
As the new HTML spec is gradually being developed, a new document could be written about default styles, but I don't think this should be in the new HTML spec.
I personally think such a complementary document, about the default styles, is a good idea. These issues should certainly be addressed in cooperation with the CSS WG.

Any other thoughts?

Erik van Kempen <>
Student, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands

Received on Sunday, 1 April 2007 10:36:59 UTC