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Re: [css-cascade-4][css3-ui] naming collision: the "default" value

From: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 10:24:43 +0200
Cc: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>, Daniel Tan <lists@novalistic.com>, www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <273B1CF0-7C8F-43E8-B5BC-B126B590AB6D@rivoal.net>
To: Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>

> On 23 Apr 2015, at 10:03, Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com> wrote:
> 
> On Thu, 23 Apr 2015 08:33:55 +0200, Daniel Tan <lists@novalistic.com> wrote:
> 
>> On 4/23/2015 10:23 AM, Brad Kemper wrote:
>>> 
>>> 'ua-default' seems too jargony to me. I suspect there is a huge percentage of authors writing CSS that don't know what 'ua' stands for, or even what a "user agent" is.
>>> 
>> 
>> Unfortunately (?!) I can't claim to be one of those authors. The term "ua-default" makes perfect sense to me. Maybe we could take this opportunity to educate authors on the terminology used in the specifications?
> 
> People who are subscribed to www-style are not representative. We all know what "ua" and "user agent" means, but maybe many CSS authors do not. To those who don't, ua-default is like xy-default. I don't think that is a problem, though. If they want to know what it means, they can look it up. If they don't care, that's also fine, they can still use it and know what it does without knowing what "ua" means.
> 
> Case study: "px" is opaque to many CSS authors. Not everyone knows it expands to "pixel". Fewer still know that expands to "picture element". Not everyone knows CSS "px" is a visual angle rather than a device pixel. But everyone uses "px" and are happy with their understanding of what it does. That it is jargony or that their understanding is not technically accurate is not a problem in practice.
> 
> We have "user agent" or "ua" as part of the Web platform in various places already: the User-Agent header, navigator.userAgent, X-UA-Compatible, robots.txt.
> 
> Also, "ua" is the term that the developers of http://cssuseragent.org/ chose to expose to CSS authors.

Right. So I don't think "ua-default" is bad, even though it is a bit inaccurate in terms of what the value does to the cascade.

But I do think that "default-value" would serve us well. It is a bit verbose, but this isn't a value you should be typing over and over again, so I am not sure that's really so bad. As much as I wouldn't want red-green-blue-alpha() to replace rgba(), I'd rather have default-value than dftval or some such.

 - Florian
Received on Thursday, 23 April 2015 08:25:09 UTC

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