Re: CSS 2.1 WD and non-CSS presentational hints

[Tue, 13 Aug 2002 10:32:31 -0700] Tantek Çelik:
>It still seems that folks are very much confused about this change. (So
>perhaps we need to simply reword the text to be more clear!)

The text is clear.  I don't see much if any confusion evident regarding
what the proposed change is.  What is unclear (or at least in dispute) is
what practical effects would result from the proposed change.

>Reread that last sentence quoted from CSS 2.1 above:
> "Note that non-CSS presentational hints had a higher weight in CSS2."
>This means that <FONT> 'bgcolor' etc. have LESS weight in CSS2.1.
>This is a good thing.

I submit that the cascade rules (and, in fact, web standards in general)
are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.  Whether the change is a
"good thing" or a "bad thing" is determined by what it would accomplish.

In this case, the only thing I can see it would accomplish is to cause user
style sheets to interact with "legacy" pages differently than with pages
coded to contemporary standards.  The only possible interpretation of this
as a "good thing" that I see is that you would choose to make users pawns
in a campaign to "deprecate" older standards by making legacy pages display
erratically.  Perhaps you would consider that an achievement; I would not.

>This is what users/authors want (CSS _should_
>override legacy non-CSS presentational hints).

Author CSS overrides legacy non-CSS presentational hints in all existing
and proposed CSS specifications.  The proposed change has no effect on
authors using CSS to control presentation.

I question the assertion that users would want this.  Please explain why
a user would want or expect the effect of entries in a user style sheet
to depend on whether the author specified presentation using CSS or HTML.

>And this is what has been implemented.

Not in IE 5-6 for Windows (which, as far as I can tell, implement
the cascade rules from CSS2 correctly); and not in Opera for Windows
(which treats the user style sheet as if it were the first imported author
style sheet --- that's inconsistent with any CSS specification).  I don't
have experience with any other browsers, so I can't comment on them.
Randall Joseph Fellmy aka

Received on Tuesday, 13 August 2002 19:05:09 UTC