Re: Stand-in color before images load

On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 23:04:08 +0100 (BST), David Woolley  
<> wrote:

>> Yes it doesn't seem to degrade gracefully but that is the current
>> situation anyway, and this way the new generation will benefit while the

> Not if authored by a competent author who would accept that the effect
> is not a reasonable one to attempt.  Understanding the medium is a key
> part of design.

>> older will be served the same and will have to wait for the image to  
>> kick
>> in.

> That's an accessibility no-no.  Pages should not be authored to be
> dependent on text as images.  (If the page isn't essential for me,
> I'll just go to the next search engine hit if I abort the download
> then find it unusable.)

So, what you mean is that because CSS2 lacks that feature which will set  
webmasters free from thinking about what bad things would happen if user  
agents turned off images (when they are using reusable multibit images for  
their designs)   this should go on *forever* and at no point in time we  
should intervene. As the problem we try to solve is only when an alpha  
image is used, what you say is almost like "don't use PNG alphas for  
background, but feel free to use JPG and Gifs with jagged edges because  
you can set a replacement background color only then.". And maybe you'll  
oppose this for CSS4 and 5 and 6 because previous versions do not support  

>> *We have a damning limitation in the current CSS specs, that will be
>> effective long enough.

> I think you may have unreasonable expectations of CSS.  It's for hinting
> styling, not specifying exact appearence.  There are lots of things that
> it is not good at as a result.  If you want precise control of appearance
> you should be using SVG or PDF, not HTML.

Svg and pdf? You should forgive some ill-advised webmasters who'd like to  
do compelling designs using CSS and HTML tho.

I thought and still think this standin feature would 'enhance' the current  
situation, not make it worse in terms of accessibility. And this is only  
necessary for alpha images, another reminder. What is being proposed is an  
*extra* feature for those *who actually care* for a change. There are  
sites which already depend on bg-images with transparency, and some  
without transperancy and still not care to define a proper BG color, which  
is bad, I know.

Why not give future generations a system that will look both good when  
images load and do not load, and isn't that what is CSS is about,  
cross-browser, device-independent-access to content? Just like you say,  
what basically we are doing is 'hinting' the user agent what to do when  
the image fails to load. You told it yourself you like to hit that stop  
button before images load.

But what you imply is that we shouldn't be able to use an accessibility  
feature with PNG alpha images in given situation simply because 'CSS  
should only hint styling'. This is not a good reason not to implement such  
a feature. You mention Css is 'not for specifying exact appereance'. My  
proposal is exactly about this: defining how page would look if things  
wouldn't go *exactly as expected*.


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Received on Wednesday, 30 March 2005 08:33:17 UTC