W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2003

Re: [CSS21] 'page' and 'size' removal

From: Christian Roth <roth@visualclick.de>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 11:23:29 +0100
To: "www-style Mailing List" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20030225102330.11976@mail.visualclick.de>

Tantek Çelik wrote:

>>  They will still appear in the relevant CSS3 module, most likely.
>Most likely yes.  They may be improved in response to analyses made since
>CSS2 was published.

I am assuming that stylesheets written to the CSS2 spec will not break in
a future incarnation of CSS by giving properties that were meanwhile
(=CSS 2.1) defunct different semantics than they had in CSS2. Is this correct?

Maybe a little background for my question is in order:

I am working on a CSS based product (so I am an implementor) that is near
release (within 1 month). I'm using 'size' for specifying the paper size,
custom page selectors for distributing document contents on differently
sized/margined pages along an XML instance document and the 'widows'/
'orphans' properties for specifying if widow-/orphan-control is to be
turned on in the rendering engine (value >= 2) or not (< 2). I am aware
of the fact that the rendering engine (which is out of my control) does
not support the full semantics of each of these properties, but based on
the declaration the best approximating configuration is used.

Checking our implementation just recently against the CSS21 WD, I found
that the mentioned properties are to be dropped. So my question simply is
whether I should make them proprietary properties (see my earlier
questions on this issue) prior to release to decouple them from any
further work done on CSS in the paged media realm, or if we can leave
them as is without fear to have them semantically clash in the future,
when stylesheets written for our product (an XML+CSS-to-RTF converter)
will/should be used unchanged with other, possibly future products.

As to the decision why we're using CSS when we could have used XSL-FO: At
the time of project start (March-02) an estimated 90% of what needed to
be expressed was in CSS2. We discussed the approach of a proprietary
style language, but finally settled on CSS as documentation and knowledge
regarding syntax and semantics was considered widespread. The 10%
proprietary properties are essentially specific rendering hints for the
RTF back-end to make the resulting document more accessible to editing,
as well as stand-in's for missing paged media properties for rendering
e.g. footnotes, headers/footers and references. UAs that do not
understand our proprietary properties will still be able to render the
document without major visual discrepancies (except for footnotes,
headers and footers, but I guess there isn't any UA supporting them since
they are not yet defined).

Well, this was more background than you probably cared to know. But I
hope it makes clear why I am asking my original question.

- Christian
Received on Tuesday, 25 February 2003 05:23:50 UTC

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