W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 2005

Re: The Conflicting Notions of Ease of Use and Need for Authoring Tools

From: Andrew Fedoniouk <news@terrainformatica.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 12:15:39 -0800
Message-ID: <001301c4f29a$29609f60$bd02000a@ANDREWF>
To: "Orion Adrian" <orion.adrian@gmail.com>, <www-style@w3.org>, <www-html@w3.org>

Orion Adrian:
| Though I believe that this definately belongs in www-style and
| www-html. CSS relies heavily on the concept of class-based styling.
| Those classes are, in the case of HTML, semantic. CSS revolves around
| the idea of styling semantic information, but is rarely used that way,
| especially since most people could care about semantics as you say.


The problem is even deeper I think.

We are trying to mix in one entity (HTML/CSS) two completely different 

1) Presentation elements definition. (those side bars, menus and other 
decoration elements)
2) Content elements definition. (and this is the only real subject of 
WYSIWYG editing )

As we can see now, for defining content elements it is enough to have 
simplified Wiki style markup - wiki itself, bbcodes, blogcodes and the like. 
And for presentation it should be other tools/methods to define *layout* 
more naturally - alignments, form style positioning, etc.

As for now (IMHO) HTML and CSS do not serve equally good for *both* tasks as 
these two areas have sometimes orthogonal demands. And conflict between them 
will as further as deeper. We've almost reached some manageable complexity 
level with CSS3. XHTML is on the way too.  We are keeping to add new 
attributes / elements without solving even basics e.g. vertical alignment - 
a must for presentation.

I think that evolution whould split HTML/CSS into two groups/entities. It 
would be good if they will integrate with each other. I think that main 
effort should be focused not on trying to put all eggs into one super 
CSS3/XHTML basket but on manageable and carefull process of splitting 
HTML/CSS technologies on two entities or sub-languages with clear 
understanding: "this is for presentation/decoration and that is the 

Orion's point (as I can see it)  - to split one huge style rack onto 
different functional groups of attributes is definitely about this I guess.

I think it makes real sense to take a deep look on Wiki (e.g. wikipedia.org) 
fenomena and community efforts  and get some ideas from there.

I think that analysis of system of styles of wikipedia.org, structure and 
tasks of script files (in encyclopedia, sic!) there
is a good example of what level of problems we've already got.

Andrew Fedoniouk.
Received on Tuesday, 4 January 2005 20:15:47 UTC

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