Re: Issue 1: Font-weight and headings

At 4:01 PM -0700 7/27/97, E. Stephen Mack wrote:
>Todd Fahrner <> wrote:
>> [...] So what do y'all say we harness some of the smarts and
>> energy here to produce an exhaustively-specified "default"
>> stylesheet for all HTML 4 elements? [...]
>> If not us, who?

heh. If we do it, there's a chance that multiple vendors will latch on and
incorporate it into documentation. If MS does it, it will be a plot. Some
think CSS is a MS plot. That and XML. MS can have all the good ideas to
itself, it seems, as most anything they do becomes a plot that others
resist. <g>

>Seriously, IE 4.0 pp2 must have its default style sheet
>embedded *somewhere* within it.  It's clear that IE's initial
>values are outweighing inheritance, so these initial values
>must be codified in an internal style sheet format somehow.
>If this can be made available, then it will save us all the effort.

Key phrase: "codified in an internal style sheet format somehow". Not CSS.

>I agree with Todd that:
>> Prudent CSS authors, hoping to avoid damaging interactions with user
>> style sheets, can link to this sheet (@import) as a base. It will be
>> easier and better to edit this sheet than to create new ones from
>> scratch, complicating them incrementally as HTML content grows.
>There will be some speed and compatibility issues to consider,
>and it will be difficult to create a default style sheet that
>works for IE 3.x and 4.x and Navigator 4.x.  It's probably
>worthwhile to ignore the various preview releases; it may
>also be worth waiting until IE 4.0 is released.

Legacy stuff can be scripted out of the loop if necessary. NS4 doesn't do
@import, so it takes care of itself. It shouldn't be pegged to IE4's
release, as that might imply that it was custom-crafted for it. It
shouldn't be.

>The first issue that will be problematic is specifying a default
>font size -- what units?  What face?  Perhaps this is one area
>where we shouldn't have our "default" stylesheet make a declaration.

12-point Times is the default for <body>; 12-point Courier for <code> and
like elements. This stylesheet would be designed to be overridden in the
cascade (including user "appearance dialog" settings), so it doesn't really
matter what the initial values are.

>If it's impossible to get one universal working style sheet,
>then we'll have to resort to different versions and the use of
>Todd's infamous script.

The one universal stylesheet, again, will be beholden to no real
implementation, but to the spec and to the pretty consistent "consensus"
rendering of plain HTML between NS and MS. If it breaks substandard
browsers, then we'll know it's authentic. As for real world implementations
- that's for real-world hacks like the script to deal with. It will still
be useful to have an ideal base. I would think underdogs and newcomers to
the browser wars would appreciate it.

>(Perhaps we can get the "default" style sheet to be stored at W3C
>along with some other accepted "library" styles?)


Todd Fahrner

The printed page transcends space and time. The printed page, the
infinitude of books, must be transcended. THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY.

--El Lissitzky, 1923

Received on Sunday, 27 July 1997 21:03:25 UTC