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CSS Regions considered harmful (was: [css-regions] issue 16858 redux)

From: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2014 18:28:23 +0100
Message-ID: <21215.65463.169066.432642@gargle.gargle.HOWL>
To: Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com>
Cc: "CSS WWW Style \(www-style\@w3.org\)" <www-style@w3.org>
Alan Stearns wrote:

 > The main remaining issue in the CSS Regions specification is 16858 [1]. It
 > proposes to make flow-from not apply to elements, in favor of making it
 > apply to CSS-generated containers only. I will be asking the working group
 > to resolve to close this issue when we meet in Seattle, but I would like
 > to prime that discussion with some debate on the list, as I think there's
 > only a handful of people who are passionately interested in this issue.

Your proposed solution goes against a fundamental principle of style
sheets: to separate style from structure. It relies on Regions being
represented by dummy HTML elements instead of writing them in CSS
(which would have been easy). Therefore, this is not a CSS-only issue,
but also an HTML issue. You should therefore also consult the HTML
communities to see if they are fine with promoting presentational HTML
elements.

Further, I believe that CSS Regions leads to unresponsive designs, a
confusing text flow, verbose CSS code, and style sheets that cannot be
reused. I've expanded on these views here:

  http://alistapart.com/blog/post/css-regions-considered-harmful

I could probably add complex scripting to the list of problems. 

  https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/d/msg/blink-dev/kTktlHPJn4Q/gybVJbHCjw0J

These problems have been pointed out in the past, so I don't have high
hopes seeing any changes in the specification. As it now stands, I
believe CSS Regions will be harmful to the web and the specification
should therefore not be progressed.

Cheers,

-h&kon
              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome@opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome
Received on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 17:29:00 UTC

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