Re: Alternative Style Sheets

Opera and IE also have support for alternative styles via their
*View*menus. Chrome doesn't offer this by default but has extensions
to add this
functionality[1]. Unfortunately Opera and Firefox switch back to the
default stylesheet as soon as the page is reloaded. For Firefox there were
extensions available earlier, which allowed to persist the choice[2][3],
but it is not maintained anymore. I tested this using a W3C page[4].

The question is if a persistent behavior can/should be defined by some CSS



On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM, Antony Kennedy <>wrote:

> I would agree that the alternative stylesheets are a great concept, and
> one that makes adding accessible or alternative views an easy thing to
> achieve without having to clutter your UI with icons to point to them.
> But as Anton points out, without wide browser support and an easy method
> of discovery, we have to implement those icons and ugly JS switching
> mechanisms. Such a shame.
> On 12 Oct 2012, at 09:08, Anton Prowse <> wrote:
> > On 09/10/2012 04:24, Perry Smith wrote:
> >> I've recently bumped into the concept of alternative style sheets.
> >> e.g. @import can have a name or an HTML link tag can have a title.
> >>
> >> Firefox provides a way to pick between them.  I don't see a method
> >> with Chrome or Safari.
> >
> > :-(
> >
> >> The one thing I thought
> >> perhaps FF would do is remember the style I picked if I went back to
> >> a page but it does not.
> >
> > Still not?
> >
> > In the early days of Firefox (before it had come to be called Firefox,
> IIRC) there used to be a statusbar icon which would indicate when a site
> provided alternative stylesheets.  That's how I discovered the concept, in
> fact.  I thought it was a great idea, and I was pretty disappointed when
> they pulled the icon.  I argued against it, but the team who made the
> browser said that the implementation was too buggy (and gave the example
> you just mentioned as a supporting argument!).  It seems they left it in
> the menu, though, which didn't really address my concern.  My argument was
> that the concept is only useful if it is discoverable.
> >
> >> It just seems like a cool idea that has potential.  Mostly I'm
> >> wondering if anyone is using it or if it is likely to fade away.
> >
> > Without a visible indication of the existence of an alternative
> stylesheet, the concept seems doomed.  Browser makers will argue that
> nobody uses it, but that's because nobody's going to visit the menu on
> every site on the off-chance that there might be an alternative stylesheet
> available.  Authors are unlikely to spend much time making alternatives
> knowing that some browsers don't support switching and those that do don't
> make it friendly.  (Perhaps governmental organizations etc might offer
> alternative stylesheets to address legal obligations on accessibility.)  So
> it's a vicious circle.
> >
> > RIP statusbar icon.  I still miss you!
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Anton Prowse
> >
> >

Received on Friday, 12 October 2012 09:23:56 UTC