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Re: Frameset/Frame Specification Amendment (HTML+CSS)

From: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 12:37:06 +0200
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <201005261237.06422.bert@w3.org>
On Wednesday 07 April 2010 04:57:18 Axel Dahmen wrote:

> One new property I'm flirting with would be something like this:
> Name:   	width-behavior  /  height-behavior
> Value:   	static | interactive
> Initial:   	static
> Applies to:   	box elements
> Inherited:   	yes
> Percentages:   	no
> Media:   	visual
> Computed value:   	specified value
> Setting this new property to "interactive" would allow a block to be
> resizable.

The property already exists, under the name 'resize', see 

Aside: There is a more philosophical question if the existence of that 
property isn't misleading, to authors and readers alike.

A fundamental principle of the Web is that the user can always override 
the author. The author provides information, in as abstract (i.e., 
re-usable) a form as he is capable of, ultimately even in RDF. The 
author also provides hints for how to use the information, e.g., by 
means of style sheets, but the reader isn't forced to follow those 

The early Web browsers had more balance between the author and the 
reader. Current ones are more user-friendly for pure browsing, but they 
didn't develop the UI for interaction a lot. Most of them do allow the 
user to reformat, filter and transform the content (sometimes only 
after installing or activating an extension), but the target audience 
for those features is clearly advanced users. There has been little 
attempt at making this easy to use.

I've seen products under development that indeed allow a user to resize 
and suppress elements with a simple mouse click. The result can usually 
also be stored for re-use later (depending on the product as CSS, XSL, 
or some proprietary format). They're proposed mostly as a way to make 
the Web usable for small screens or rare kinds of devices.

Maybe if browsers offer the resize feature "out of the box" (e.g., Alt-R 
to turn on resize handles on the element under the cursor, or an item 
in the context menu), this somewhat neglected user interaction will 
start to develop again, eventually well beyond mere resizing.

> After reading through the Template Layout module I believe the
> Template Layout module is quite cumbersome, introducing too many new
> grammars, properties and complexity. I believe I could propose a more
> concise and still versatile approach.

That's a bold claim. :-)

A design goal of the Template Layout was to introduce as few new 
properties as possible, and especially not introduce properties that 
have complex interaction with (or mutually override) existing 
properties. A goal was also to make the high-level structure of a 
layout as visible as possible and fit on a handful of lines, certainly 
not more than one screenfull in a CSS editor.

> I'd very much propose that alternative approach. Is this something
> that is desired? What would I need to do to present my alternative
> suggestion?

The preferred place for proposals is this mailing list, 

  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/people/bos                               W3C/ERCIM
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 (0)4 92 38 76 92            06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 10:36:37 UTC

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