W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > August 2013

Re: [cssom] Drop support for alternative stylesheets?

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2013 15:15:19 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDChWZJnfDqHH=WwJBFeODp0ERTQVq6oKNmpTNrivSm9gQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sebastian Zartner <sebastianzartner@gmail.com>
Cc: Zack Weinberg <zackw@panix.com>, Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>, www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 2:59 PM, Sebastian Zartner
<sebastianzartner@gmail.com> wrote:
> Personally I believe the low percentage on sites using alternative style
> sheets is having reasons:
> 1. The web authors don't know this feature exists or tend to forget about
> it.
> 2. The sites don't need them.
>
> The former is due to missing implementations and a lack of resources telling
> about it. The latter can have more reasons, e.g. it's time consuming to
> create several style sheets for one site or there's a corporate design.
>
> The JavaScript argument doesn't count, IMO, because some pages must work
> without JavaScript or the browser doesn't support it. Though it's also not
> coercing to allow switching between different style sheets.

Believe me, I'm the last person to give a knee-jerk "just do it with
JS" response.  ^_^  I *hate* it when people argue that if an author
can do it in JS, then the platform shouldn't touch it - having the
ability to do it yourself is *a* valid argument against putting
something in the platform, but it's far from a decisive one.

Similarly, "no one uses it" isn't a strong argument against a feature
either, but it is *a* valid argument.  Some features are very
important, but also very niche - that doesn't reduce their necessity
for the audience that uses them.  And "but X Browser never supported
it/supported it buggily, so it doesn't count" isn't a good response -
for features that are worthwhile, people tend to complain and get
things fixed.  It's not a foolproof measure, but it's right often
enough.

For a feature like this, where the usage is extremely low (so there's
only a weak backward-compat argument), it doesn't seem strongly
important for any group (moderate argument against), it's quite easy
to do yourself (weak argument against), and the feature doesn't even
work very well in the first place since it doesn't persist across
navigations (moderate argument against), I think it's quite reasonable
to conclude that we should go ahead and drop the feature.

~TJ
Received on Thursday, 29 August 2013 22:16:06 UTC

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