RE: draft-ietf-html-style-00.txt & class as a general selector

Chris Wilson (
Thu, 7 Dec 1995 08:41:22 -0800

Chris Lilley wrote:
> wrote:
>> There are
>> still lots of people who will set the font for each section of text in
>> Microsoft Word, instead of using the stylesheet support, because it is
>> easier for them to author that way.
>Actually it is not easier and it takes them longer to do and longer to get
>the look that they want. People do this because they are unaware of any
>other way. People do this because the manual covered on the fly formatting
>changes early on and made out that using a named style was hard.

I said "easier for them to author," not quicker or more productive. Mindset
is an important factor. Many people do this because they don't understand
why they should go through creating a new style and selecting it when all
they really want is a font change, and the font selection is staring them in
the face. It's a matter of complexity. I imagine it's the same reason
Netscape did "<FONT SIZE+=3>" instead of "<STRONG value="+3">" or some such.

I'm not saying this is RIGHT, remember. I'm certainly not saying it is a
replacement for style-based formatting - if you asked me to choose between
HTML with stylesheets or RTF for document authoring, RTF would have boot
marks all over it. :^)

>I have shown people how to do this. They "get it", they work faster, and
>they produce better looking documents. This is an education and
>documentation issue.

Your experience is different from mine. I have taught several people how to
do this, and they dislike it. I agree it is the "right" way to do things -
meaning more productive; I use styles pretty much exclusively over explicit
font changes in Word. I still would not take that functionality out of Word
- it is useful.

>The next generation of "how to write an HTML document" primers just
>needs to be well written, and to be designed with care, that is all.

Hmm. True, and even more so, I feel future authoring tools need to present
the stylesheet functionality in an intuitive manner. That will, I believe,
influence authoring styles more than anything else.