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RE: CSS 2: priorities in cascading order

From: Charles (Chuck) Oppermann <chuckop@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 20:23:12 -0800
Message-ID: <E3A3FFB80F5CD1119CED00805FBECA2F013BBAC5@red-msg-55.dns.microsoft.com>
To: "'Jason White'" <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>, WAI HC Working Group <w3c-wai-hc@w3.org>
I think we're in agreement.  Going back to my original message, and ignoring
the browser UI option (#3), which of the other two options do you prefer?
Option #1 which defines a new directive, or Option #2 which changes the
ordering of the rules?

Shouldn't adding new directives be a last resort?

Charles Oppermann
Active Accessibility, Microsoft Corporation
mailto:chuckop@microsoft.com http://microsoft.com/enable/
"A computer on every desk and in every home, usable by everyone!"

	-----Original Message-----
	From:	Jason White [SMTP:jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU]
	Sent:	Thursday, December 18, 1997 4:55 PM
	To:	WAI HC Working Group
	Subject:	RE: CSS 2: priorities in cascading order

	On Thu, 18 Dec 1997, Charles (Chuck) Oppermann wrote:

	> If we add more attributes, what's to prevent someone from always
using the
site simply
	> because it's a guarantee of appearance.

	The purpose of my proposed change to !important; (or the proposed
	!absolute; directive) is to prevent this from happening. It does so
	ensuring that, once a style rule has been marked as important, no
	rule (whether supplied by the author or not) will change the
properties in
	question, irrespective of whether the subsequent rule is marked as
	!important; or not. This is what is meant by saying that all of the
	author's rules will carry normal weight, regardless of whether they
	marked as important. The effect is that the !important; directive,
or the
	!absolute; directive would have no effect if included in an author's

	As to the suggestion that the problem is best dealt with by a
	user interface, I disagree with it for the following reasons.
Firstly, by
	allowing a directive to be included in the style sheet which gives
	precedence to certain of its rules at the expense of those of the
	all that the reader must do is download (or write) the style sheet.
	user interface changes are required. Secondly, my proposal enables
	precedence of the reader's vs. the author's preferences to be
	at the level of the individual style rule, which user interface
	may not do. The reader may have certain essential presentation
	requirements which are indispensable to accessibility, and others
	are not. The style sheet language should enable these to be
	Thirdly, if the mechanism whereby the reader's needs are met is
built into
	CSS, it becomes part of the standard itself and is hence mandatory,
	than being a user interface guideline which software developers may,
	may not, choose to implement. Fourthly, the two approaches are not
	inconsistent. The user interface could allow the user to set various
	options, and implement this by making changes automatically to a
	style sheet and marking relevant items as important. Thus I do not
	there is any need to choose between the two approaches, but rather
	insist on both. Fifthly, it is a central tenet of the Web
	Initiative that where possible, W3C protocols and formats should
	facilitate access to documents in different media. As it stands, CSS
	fails to do this in as much as it offers no means for the reader to
	that her/his presentational requirements are met. For this reason it
	desirable that changes be made at this stage of development so that
	requirements are satisfied, in a convenient and predictable way.
Received on Thursday, 18 December 1997 23:23:34 UTC

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