Default styling recommendations (was Re: Please Specify Behavior for @rel="next | prev")

On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 1:36 AM, Toby Inkster<> wrote:
> On 23 Aug 2009, at 14:00, Karl Dubost wrote:
> * Opera implements it in View > Toolbars > Navigation
>   (still available in 10. just tested it.)
> Pretty sure that Opera's "fast forward" feature uses rel=next too.
> That said, I agree with Maciej that the specification should not mandate
> browser behaviour in this area. I would hope that instead most browser
> vendors would independently decide that such features are helpful.

I actually think there is a more general case to make for HTML to
provide a description of what a "default display" of every element
should be, if there is one. This would not necessarily be inside the
HTML spec, but could be a companion document.

Some of the elements in HTML5 already have these recommendations -
there is even a whole section on rendering expectations, see . It for
example states that the new nav, article, aside, and section elements
are block elements and thus behave like div tags.

Any of these rendering expectations can be overruled by author styling
and that is good. But it would be appropriate to recommend some more
of the default rendering, such that authors have an expectation across
browsers what the display would be without providing extra styling

For example, there are styling expectations provided for the new menu
element (which, incidentally, I recently wanted to use and was unhappy
to find that no browser implements yet):
"For example, the following represents a toolbar with three menu
buttons on it, each of which has a dropdown menu with a series of

As another example, there are styling expectations provided for the
new video element:
"The video element's controls attribute is not expected to affect the
size of the rendering; controls are expected to be overlaid with the
page content without causing any layout changes, and are expected to
disappear when the user does not need them."
"When a video element represents its poster frame, the poster frame is
expected to be rendered at the largest size that maintains the poster
frame's aspect ratio without being taller or wider than the video
element itself, and is expected to be centered in the video element."
Also, in the video section we find:
"Video content should be rendered inside the element's playback area
such that the video content is shown centered in the playback area at
the largest possible size that fits completely within it, with the
video content's aspect ratio being preserved. "
"User agents should provide controls to enable or disable the display
of closed captions associated with the video stream, though such
features should, again, not interfere with the page's normal
And further in the media element section we find a whole section on
how to expose a user interface to the user:

I think describing these default displays is important and a very good thing.

As said, I believe they may not need to be in the HTML5 spec itself,
but I think they should be given for every element, such that web
developers know what to expect if they use a particular element. The
description would of course need to be careful to provide the absolute
minimum necessary for interoperability (e.g. the general positioning
and expanse) but not remove the ability of browser vendors to provide
their specific styling (colours, shades, shape of buttons etc).

That we are doing it for some elements and are ignoring others is IMHO
a mistake.


Received on Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:17:23 UTC