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

Scott E. Preece (
Thu, 7 Dec 1995 19:29:55 -0600

| From: lilley <>
| As you say, the mental model counts. Why is para 14 in strike through mode?
| Perhaps because it is text from an earlier draft that must be present, but
| shown as ready for removal or replacement?

Perhaps it's strike-through to simulate writing something, crossing it out, and writing something else after it. It's the only strike-through in the document and, though I may someday want to use the same hackneyed literary device again, I have for the moment sworn it off as atrite and don't want to bless it with a name I can use again.

|   In which case, my mental model would be to write <p class="deleted"> and
|   keep right on typing. I would then go back and add to the stylesheet
|   to describe how I want to render deleted text.

It's a weak example anyway - I expect the HTML3 text revision modes to leak into common use anyway, despite the lack of a standard...

|   Note that the in-line, ad-hoc style usage you seem so keen to promote
|   denies the ability for either the author or the reader to apply a 
|   different style.
Allowing is not the same as promoting, just as facilitating is not the
same as catering to the lazy.
|	 Using your method, people using a speech synth or a 
|   braille device or a device that can't do strike-through has no option 
|   but to miss the distinction between para 14 and the rest. You have removed
|   the ability of print-disabled users to configure their browser and 
|   extract the most meaning from your document.
That's true.  In this case it happens to be a visual joke anyway, but
that is a valid issue if, in fact, people do use speech synthesis
browsers and such browsers do, in fact, pronounce the names of classes.
On the other hand, using an ID as a selector in a STYLE element would
have exactly the same impact.  I don't know that I'm ready to say we
have to design the language so that everything presented is
pronounceable.  Other instances are probably a wash on this issue -
"column group class emphasis 1" is not noticeably better than "column
group style color red", and "this word is span class large text big" is not
noticeably better than "this word is span style font.size plus two".
I;m not sure this herring is completely un-red.
|   Someone who personally hates strike-through but their device supports it
|   has no option but to live with it. Their style sheet cannot over-ride 
|   yours. You have removed freedom of choice from the reader by not naming 
|   the distinctiveness of your para 14
That's true - if I have specifically chosen strike-through for a
semantic meaning (as in the cited, hackneyed example), the reader has no
choice but to live with it, anymore than if the reader prefers the word
"structure" to the word "building" and I happen to have used the latter.
|   That is what "the separation of form and content" is about. It's not 
|   some religious principle that is nodded to for no good reason. It is 
|   a design goal that has real, practical benefits; benefits that you seem 
|   desparate to throw away. 
As mentioned elsewhere, I'm not desperate and I have no desire to throw
away anything.  *I'm* the one who wants to include something that *you*
want to throw away.  As alluded to in the strike-through as part of a
visual device, some content *is* form.  Or do you think I should use a
GIF for anything that isn't strictly words?


scott preece
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