W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 2014

Re: [selectors] Time-dimensional pseudo-classes and multiple timelines?

From: Josh Triplett <josh@joshtriplett.org>
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 2014 21:19:24 +0000
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20141208211847.GB10148@thin> (sfid-20141208_211932_391220_4EFC762D)
On Mon, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:34:07AM -0800, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 11:52 AM, Josh Triplett <josh@joshtriplett.org> wrote:
> > The examples given for the time-dimensional pseudo-classes (:current,
> > :past, :future) mention speech rendering of a document, which could
> > potentially apply to either built-in functionality of a page or to
> > third-party assistance software.  Other CSS specifications/drafts (such
> > as css2/2.1's aural stylesheets, or css3-speech) define CSS properties
> > that apply specifically to speech, and mention both accessibility
> > software and several other applications.
> >
> > In the case of those speech-related properties, typically one property
> > value would make sense for a given element; for instance, the CSS
> > associated with an audiobook could associate a given voice with a
> > particular character's lines.
> >
> > However, in the case of the time-dimensional pseudo-classes, it could
> > make sense to have multiple orthogonal users of these classes.  For
> > instance, one set of rules using these pseudo-classes might make sense
> > for use with assistive software, while another would make sense when
> > using those classes for a slide presentation.
> >
> > Given that flexibility, would it make sense to add a cross-reference to
> > CSS media types ("@media speech", "@media projection") as one possible
> > mechanism to apply different time-dimensional rules for different use
> > cases?  Something like this (with "CSS media types" as a link to
> > http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/media.html):
> >
> > """
> > Multiple timelines may apply to a given document; for instance, a
> > document presented via speech rendering may define a timeline based on
> > the current position in that rendering, while a document presented as a
> > series of projected slides may define a timeline based on the currently
> > projected slide and the presenter's current position in that slide.
> > Authors may wish to use CSS media types (e.g. "@media speech", "@media
> > projection") to apply different rules using time-dimensional
> > pseudo-classes to different types of timelines.
> > """
> >
> > Also, an additional example using several of these pseudo-classes to
> > style slides using incrementally revealed points, as well as
> > illustrating the concept of :current matching ancestors of the current
> > element:
> >
> > """
> > @media projection {
> >   .slide:matches(:past, :future) { display: none; }
> >   .slide:current { display: block; background-color: white; }
> >   .slide:current li:current { color: red; }
> >   .slide:current :future { opacity: 0.3; }
> > }
> >
> > This hides all slides except the current slide, highlights the current
> > point in red, and fades out future material.
> > """
> >
> > (I added "background-color: white;" to .slide to avoid having the
> > example contradict http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/color .)
> 
> While all of this is a good idea in theory, currently the only user of
> the time-dimensional pseudo-classes is in styling WebVTT subtitles via
> the ::cue pseudo-element.  While it's usually fine to add speculative
> examples for features that haven't yet been implemented, it's unclear
> to me if examples like what you provide will *ever* exist, and I think
> putting in examples that imply they do or will might confuse people
> more than it would illuminate things.

Fair enough; no sense putting in the "@media projection" example then.
(I'd imagined it as something supported by HTML5-based presentation
software, perhaps via a polyfill.)

However, despite the current use of this solely for WebVTT, I think it'd
be unfortunate if this had a generic (non-WebVTT-specific) name but
there could *never* be any other use of these selectors due to conflicts
between multiple uses.  So even without a projection-specific example,
could you add something providing guidance for the multiple-timeline
case?

> > Finally, I think it would make sense to elaborate a bit further on the
> > behavior of :current, :past, and :future with respect to ancestor
> > elements: :current applies to all ancestors of a :current element (all
> > the way to :root), but :future and :past do not, precisely because
> > :current does.  Any given element must match at most one of :current,
> > :past, or :future.
> 
> Yeah, that's definitely the intent.  Added.

Thanks!

Where does the current in-progress spec live, with the text you added?
Is there a version control repository somewhere, or a snapshot newer
than the 26 November 2014 version?  (I didn't see any references to
either on http://dev.w3.org/csswg/selectors4/ .)

- Josh Triplett
Received on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 12:46:53 UTC

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