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overspecification (was Re: [css3-background], comments on 'border-radius')

From: Carl Mäsak <cmasak@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2005 10:42:53 +0100
Message-ID: <16d769b7050227014236ba8d22@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 01:25:11 +0100, Allan Sandfeld Jensen
<kde@carewolf.com> wrote:
> > Human languages aren't very regular. How would you do it?
> >
> >
> I am not sure, but I don't most languages in the world use letters as
> substitutes for numbers as we do with latin letters. And even if they did, I
> really got scared when I saw the lower- and upper-norwegian values in the
> list.. If they are in, what about all the other languages in Europe with
> extra letters? We could have over 100 values and enumerations just to cover
> european languages, we could have a 1000 more just to cover Indian languages,
> and so on. It just not feasable.

I agree. Let me first emphasize that I greatly admire the work of the
CSS WG, and I trust them. But maybe this is a sign of a larger issue:
How does one know when to stop implementing features and leave the
details to the end user of the standard? I'd choose a flexible, small
spec any day over a bloated, overspecified one. It's still likely that
some details will be missed and will have to be worked around anyway,
and many details, as you point out, will perhaps not even be

In "Tools For Dreamers: Strategies for Creativity" [1], the authors
list the Dreamer, the Realist and the Critic as three vital aspects of
every innovative effort. With perhaps too little humility, I ask: who
plays the Realist in this important effort? Someone please reassure me
on this one.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0916990265/104-2683354-2044742

Carl Mäsak
☎ office: +46184714159, home: +4618501392
✉ work: masak@ibg.uu.se, other: cmasak@gmail.comhttp://carl.masak.org
Received on Sunday, 27 February 2005 16:11:53 UTC

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