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[whatwg] <nostyle> consideration

From: Thomas Powell <tpowell@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 16:22:02 -0700
Message-ID: <135ae1720906151622r2443004fka0297c9a95fa509a@mail.gmail.com>
On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 2:14 PM, Aryeh Gregor
<Simetrical+w3c at gmail.com<Simetrical%2Bw3c at gmail.com>
> wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 4:26 PM, Thomas Powell<tpowell at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Proposing <nostyle> in the spirit of <noscript>
> >
> > Examples
> > --------
> > 1) Head Usage
> > <nostyle>
> >  <meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="0;url=/errors/stylerequired.html">
> > </nostyle>
> >
> > 2) Body Usage
> > <nostyle>
> >  <h2>Warning: Styles required for correct rendering</h2>
> > </nostyle>
> The reason that <noscript> worked is because (IIRC) it was introduced
> at the same time as <script>.  All browsers that supported <script>
> also supported <noscript>.  <nostyle> would cause all legacy user
> agents to render the content even if they supported styles just fine.

Yes in the absence of our time machine it seems a bit late doesn't it.

> > And yes while that is true and for many situations will work fine, there
> are
> > other cases you won't and you can get a sloppy or even bad results
> because
> > of rendering engine paths.  For example, because style is not applied
> until
> > later you have an issue here
> >
> >  <h2 class="nostyle"><img src="error.gif">Warning: Styles required for
> > correct rendering</h2>
> >
> > The network request happens regardless of situation no assuming images
> on.
> That doesn't seem like a very serious issue.  Just don't use images if
> you care that much.  A large percentage of non-CSS browsers are
> probably text-based anyway.

It isn't but hints at what the motivation was from a real world request (see

> > For example, using the content property can be somewhat troubling if
> > style is removed.  For example, consider what happens if you are putting
> in
> > field required indicators
> > input[type=text].required:before {content: " (*) "}
> This should just use HTML5's required attribute instead of a class:
> http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-required-attribute
> Agreed that is the case, this is more documenting the usage of designers
not that there isn't an HTML 5  appropriate solution.

Conformant browsers should make it clear to the user that the field is
> required even if styles are disabled.

yes they should.

> > or for offsite links
> > a[href^="http://"]:after {content:' ( Offsite Link )';}
> This is non-essential info, and every browser I've heard of exposes it
> anyway (e.g., by hovering over the link and looking in the lower
> left).
> > or any other dynamic insert this way.
> Do you have any other examples where this is a significant issue?
> Those two don't seem like a big deal to me, honestly, even if it were
> logistically possible to get <nostyle> supported widely enough to be
> useful.

Those were just examples of more valid uses of content actually.  Of course
as I mentioned below people can abuse this property and then it does become
a big deal.  But dynamically having content jam in all sorts of stuff
client-side seems wrong-headed so I certainly don't suggest codifying bad
practices though mitigating them somehow seems appropriate.

> If CSS is necessary for a site to operate, it's probably being
> misused.  If an author is misusing CSS this badly, it's not clear to
> me why they could be expected to reliably use <nostyle>.  The contents
> of <nostyle> also don't make a difference to almost anyone, so authors
> who use it won't really understand the purpose it serves and it will
> probably be misused more often than used.

You may be quite right.  Understand my purpose of proposing this was mostly
due to some contrivances to determine style and no-style support for an
effort which is very contingency concerned.  The solution that was adopted
using scripting, server-side logging particularly triggered by image
requests from background-image values or their absence, etc. can figure all
cases but it was a mess and thus the "why not have a <nostyle> wouldn't life
be easier"  So from where you sit yes it is not that important likely, from
having to wrestle with it I would have loved to have an easy solution.

Anyway I will say that there is a
bit of symmetry of having on/off cases for all the various client-side
(img, script, object,
etc.), but I see that the off aspect of style could simply be thought
of as the markup itself and that is
certainly fine it has worked for most so far.
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