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Re: [css-shapes] basic shape syntax in prose

From: Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 13:06:34 -0700
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, Dirk Schulze <dschulze@adobe.com>
CC: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CE6B2C47.3068B%stearns@adobe.com>
On 9/27/13 12:26 PM, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:

>On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:11 PM, Dirk Schulze <dschulze@adobe.com> wrote:
>> That seems quite unusual. Why not do both. The official CSS property
>>definition and the prose text? I for instance like to read the grammar
>>defined by CSS Values and Units better.
>
>Yes, having just prose is a recipe for disaster.  Feel free to include
>prose-based descriptions *in addition to* the normative grammar-based
>definition, but don't remove the grammar.  It's the least ambiguous
>way to indicate this stuff.
>
>~TJ

The normative grammar-based definition is not readable when precise, and
not precise when readable. I think there's a false sense of accuracy in
the format for functional notation, as we seem to be willing to fudge
whitespace rules everywhere. And I'm not sure how we expect people to find
their way to [1] to decipher the grammar scribblings.

I'm not willing to add back in what was in the draft:

rectangle([<length>|<percentage>][, [<length>|<percentage>]]{3,5})


As there are too few people who have any idea what {3,5} means here, and I
think it's unfortunate that I have to use the numbers 3 and 5 to mean "4
to 6". But I could add back in something more readable, based on the
examples I see in CSS3-Color:

rectangle() = rectangle( <arg>, <arg>, <arg>, <arg> [, <arg>]? [, <arg>]? )
<arg> = <length>|<percentage>

Would that be satisfactory?

Thanks,

Alan

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-values/#value-defs
Received on Friday, 27 September 2013 20:07:05 UTC

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