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

Re: [cssom] Drop support for alternative stylesheets?

From: Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2013 19:37:43 -0400
Message-ID: <521FDB47.50803@earthlink.net>
To: www-style@w3.org
On 2013-08-29 15:15 (GMT-0700) Tab Atkins Jr. composed:

> ..."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...
>  ...I think it's quite reasonable
> to conclude that we should go ahead and drop the feature.

IMO, lack of usage for this is hugely due to lack of implementation. In the 
distant past, there was a time of really was only one browser. What it 
offered authors was all that mattered. Later, Mozilla made it two, and 
occasionally new things started to matter. Without digging deeply into the 
distant past, I'm guessing http://dbaron.org/css/ssui/ had a lot to do with 
why this was ever implemented at all, and that NIH played no small part in 
why, other than minor roles[1], it never got beyond Mozilla.

This was all before WebKit even existed, much less morphed into an organ of 
the giant Google. The young WebKit didn't need it, because IE didn't have it. 
As WebKit grew beyond Mozilla, it turned into chicken & egg, neither needing 
it because the other giant didn't have it.

Meanwhile, few people have been using it precisely because of its limited 
support. Why should any but a niche put effort into something only a small 
fraction of people would ever enjoy? Widespread use without IE and Web^HBlink 
support would be no small shock.

Given what I know of the history, lack of use in this case seems more like a 
counter-argument to removal. Mozilla does have it. People do use it. Its 
existence makes a marketing case in favor of player #3 Mozilla, which removed 
would provide increased disincentive for users not to switch to Chrome, or 
not to switch back to IE, all the while trashing the work of authors who took 
the trouble to learn and provide it to web surfers.

To me, http://dbaron.org/css/ssui/ makes no less sense now than when it was 
written. Support for enhanced power to the user should only be removed for 
compelling reason(s). I've seen not one such reason in this thread.

[1] ISTR Opera working with http://fm.no-ip.com/Auth/Font/fonts-face-samplesM 
and my other pages with AltSS, which do work in the ancient Konqueror 3.5.1x 
I keep open 24/7, which still supports pt, in, cm, etc. according to desktop 
density rather than arbitrarily WRT a px unit.
"The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

  Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/
Received on Thursday, 29 August 2013 23:38:10 UTC

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