Re: CSS WG - Pulling Back the Curtains

On Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 3:54 AM, Alan Gresley <> wrote:
>  HI Everyone.
>  Seeing that I didn't get one challenge from my latest list message. I am either correct or what I said was totally irrelevant. But having no indication either way I can not be in any possition to know.
>  Here is a few extracts from Fantaisai' blog, "Pulling Back the Curtain: Opening up the CSS Working Group":
>  1. In my opinion, the CSS Working Group has been too dominated by browser implementors and gives too little weight to what web designers really want.
YOu noticed huh?

>  2. Recently the increased participation of Adobe (Steve Zilles), HP (Melinda Grant), and even Microsoft has helped a lot to balance the excessive bugwards-compatibility bias we had for several years, but we're still not aligning our work with the needs of the web design community as well as we should. It's not an easy problem to fix. We need more dialogue between the CSS Working Group and the web design community, but simply putting some web designers on the working group doesn't make that happen.

The CSS WG has so many problems on so many levels, technically,
process-wise, and the whole pay-to-play leading to corruption.

The paying members (Opera, Apple, et c) don't listen to ideas.
Instead, they push their own ideas.

The CSS WG is so out of touch with reality.

It is painfully frustrating to observe and do nothing. They're now
talking about some silly filters proposal, yet I can't even get:-

document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(el, '').getPropertyValue('margin')

To work in any browser.

In safari 3.1, this doesn't even work:-
document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(el, '').getPropertyValue('left')

It's retarded. These guys just dream up endless crap, probably feeling
so smug about their acid 3 result, meanwhile relevant, practical
things (e.g. reading an element's style) are either A) Buggy, or B)
Not part of any spec.

>  4. But I don't think adopting the HTMLWG model is the best way forward. Critical people like Boris Zbarsky (Mozilla) and Markus Mielke (Microsoft) have already commented that they can't keep up with the influx of mail there, and feedback from people like them isn't something we can afford to lose. Above all else, the spec has to be something the implementors can and want to implement.

First of, I agree that Boris has useful feedback, however, the focus
should be on the feedback, not Boris.

In CSSWG, the person is the focus.

If a homeless walked into the library, and typed up the best ideas to
the CSSWG, then those ideas should win.

Sadly, the CSSWG is more of a "who's who" group, and if you're not a
paying member, be prepared for your ideas to be ignored. This is not
something fixable. It is what you get with such a model.

Look back eight years ago to something useful:

If that had had financial backing by [insert_big_co_here], we'd
actually have this missing feature:

>  5. The CSSWG doesn't need a radical restructuring to be more open. We have a structure that, IMHO, works reasonably well, and we have a working group culture that is internally pretty open, amicable, and flexible. What's missing is collaboration with talented and knowledgeable people outside the working group and an open, two-way, quality conversation with the web design community.

You're right. The CSSWG does not need something radical. The CSSWG
needs to be replaced. What's missing is talent, commnunication (you
called this "two-way" communication), and collaboration. The
pay-to=play model is a mistake that led the group where it is today.

The CSS WG needs to be replaced by something useful, where the idea,
not the person, wins.

The only problem with that is money. Writing specs is not a
particularly lucrative career. The key players already have a seat.


>  Alan

Received on Friday, 28 March 2008 16:54:52 UTC