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

Re: Styling composite elements

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2013 15:03:44 -0800
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDByEG4eD4c-wS7Kbej4XR46OPbtUYLMcN1LYyxJBtUhQA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Antony Kennedy <antony@silversquid.com>
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 2:50 PM, Antony Kennedy <antony@silversquid.com> wrote:
> So, we are assuming that lots of authors are idiots and will make crappy
> websites, and so we should restrict everyone else?

No, we are assuming (correctly, given a long and consistent history)
that most authors don't test their pages on multiple devices (or even
multiple browsers on the same device).

Please don't try and cast this as an insult.  It's just a truth of
human behavior, verified through lots of experience.  If we ignore
this, we'll design bad things.

This does mean that sometimes we don't allow authors to do certain
types of things.  This is similar to security issues - because a tiny
number of authors are malicious, we sometimes have to restrict anyone
from doing useful things that can be abused.  Because security is very
hard and most authors get any non-trivial security wrong, we sometimes
have to restrict things *even if* a method to secure it exists.

Users are more important than authors.  Protecting their experience is
more important than giving authors new tools.  Simple fact of life -
there are lots more users than there are authors.

(For explanation, the "hierarchy of constituencies" that we generally
abide by is: technical purity < spec authors < implementors < authors
< users.  A large benefit to one group can override a small downside
to a higher group, but generally higher groups trump lower groups.  We
violate this hierarchy sometimes, but as a rule we stick to it.)

> And right now, people are downloading and implementing things like:
> http://www.bulgaria-web-developers.com/projects/javascript/selectbox/
> http://jamielottering.github.com/DropKick/
> http://harvesthq.github.com/chosen/
> http://www.queness.com/post/204/25-jquery-plugins-that-enhance-and-beautify-html-form-elements
> http://wellstyled.com/en/javascript-styleselect-jquery-plugin/

Yes, I'm quite aware of the workarounds that exist today - I was a
professional webdev before I moved to full-time standards.  They are
indeed terrible.  That doesn't make our job any easier, though - just
duplicating the terribleness of the existing workarounds doesn't bring
much benefit.

Received on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 23:04:36 UTC

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