Re: Processing instructions for style tweaks?

Patrick Stickler (
Tue, 6 Dec 94 07:48:43 +0100

> From! Tue Dec 6 03:24:05 1994
> Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 18:46:55 -0500
> From:
> To:,
> Subject: Re: Processing instructions for style tweaks?
> Content-Length: 2737
> > Liam Quin ( writes:
> To be honest, I think it's awfully silly worrying about overriding style
> sheets on a per-element basis when you don't even have style sheets working.

I strongly disagree. Format-specification attributes are doable *now*,
and already it may be too late to get folks to think in terms of
content markup rather than appearance. It would be fairly
straightforward to define a few basic architectural forms for HTML that
will provide authors the ability to define formatting preferences *now*
-- and style sheets can be added later (hopefully ASAP) which would
mirror those architectural forms; i.e. the style sheets would define
the default values of attributes such as FONT or SIZE based on generic
identifiers/context; with those definitions in the style sheet being
overridden by specific, local definitions in the document instance.

A solution must be implemented quickly (though not sloppily) which will
hopefully stem the tide of poorly encoded HTML documents -- and the
solution must make content-markup *attractive* to authors and viewers
alike. I see the solution being a combination of formatting attributes
and style sheets, with the attributes being defined now and integrated
into existing browsers ASAP, to be supplimented by style sheets as soon
as a satisfactory format can be agreed upon and they can be integrated
into the various HTML browsers/editors/tools. Authors can then fully
specify the formatting/presentation of their documents without having
to resort to the mis-use of tags *and* users can (eventually) define
style sheets for how they would like documents to appear on their
particular machine -- with the ability to choose between the author's
reccomended formatting (encoded in the style sheet provided with the
HTML document, and in attribute values defined within the document
itself), or the reader's own preferences encoded in one or more of
their own local style sheets. This is how SGML/HTML should work, IMHO.

I would appreciate hearing from folks involved with the support and
further development of the most commonly used browsers (Mosaic, Lynx,
Netscape, etc.) as to their views of supporting attribute encoded
formatting specifications in the (very) near future, and to the general
solution detailed above.

> Lee

Patrick Stickler Email:
Senior Computer Systems Engineer Phone: (407) 356-9852 Office
Information Group 356-6094 Lab 1
Martin Marietta Corporation 356-7725 Lab 2
MP1270, 12506 Lake Underhill Rd. 356-5685 Lab 3
Orlando, Florida 32825 U.S.A. Fax: (407) 356-8949
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