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What happens if ... we drop @style (was: Re: Wiki page for style attribute)

From: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>
Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2007 18:23:46 +0200
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <20070704162346.301250@gmx.net>
To: public-html@w3.org

I'm sorry (only due the fact that I just love maintaining sites that truly separate structure from presentation), but I judge the @style discussion as becoming far from reality.

So here's some "what happens if" concerning the "style" attribute.

1. Advertiser A ...

  ... doesn't care. There's still support for "border", "height", "width", and "align" attributes, among others. It works.

2. Advertiser B ...

  ... likes web standards. However, the ads he used to distribute along his network can't use "style" anymore. His approach to persuade his partners to integrate his style sheets on their pages fails. "Too big", says Customer X, and Customer Y, who would like to do that, but only likes to output external style sheets when external content's actually delivered, cannot manage that with his system. Advertiser B goes bankrupt. (Kidding.)

3. Advertiser C ...

  ... equals Advertiser B. She just decides to send all styling information along with her ads, packaged within a "style" element. Since all ads appear to be styled correctly, neither she nor her customers complain about the wrong "style" element placement (within "body"), only few customers notice the failing validation at all.

4. Content Provider A ...

  ... likes the new HTML. He delivers his content together with nice externally linked styling information just to become angry that nobody of his customers actually embeds it. "It collides with our CI, and we cannot change your style sheets," they complain.

5. Content Provider B ...

  ... faces the same problems as Advertiser B (except for the bankruptcy thing).

6. Content Provider C ...

  ... is smart and strong and forces all customers to adopt their style sheets to meet her needs. He just delivers some XML based content that they need to take care of. His customers denounce due to the large expenses he causes.

7. Customer A ...

  ... spends just too much money on doing business with those advertisers and content providers.

8. Customer B ...

  ... dislikes flickering of images but luckily, she has a clever web developer. He just creates a few hundred classes for image measurements (".h050" to ".h500" and ".w050" to ".w500") and is happy about not using IDs. Since Customer B has a lot of images coming from different sources and even result from former site versions, it's cool to create an "images.css" file along with "ie5.css", "ie6.css", "default.css", "print.css", "ads.css", "content.css", and some additional style sheets. "This freaky new web development world," she thinks, "everything's soo easy to maintain! 'love it!"

9. Customer C ...

  ... just doesn't care. The site works, that's all that counts.

Well, I exaggerated once, I repeated twice, it's whatever, too, and I also repeated formerly discussed problems. But the thing is, we will still need the "style" attribute in HTML 5, and be it as a "bridge".

It might be dropped with XHTML 2, as long as we manage to educate more people, but for the next years, "style" will continue to be useful in one or the other case.

Jens Meiert
Received on Wednesday, 4 July 2007 16:24:01 UTC

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