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

Scott E. Preece (
Fri, 8 Dec 1995 10:29:26 -0600

<<I'm not going to say anything more on this point for a while, unless
seriously provoked>>

From: Glenn Adams <>
| That's the trouble. You are attempting language design based on your
| speculations about perceived needs. As I have said very early in these
| threads, one shouldn't design compromise into a language (or anything
| else) unless one had either good empirical data on hand or clear historical
| compability requirements.


I don't believe the STYLE attribute represents "designing compromise into the language". I think it is very natural to allow styling information to be recorded in in the same format either in-situ, indirectly through a local stylesheet, indirectly through a referenced stylesheet, or externally through the reader's browser. This seems like reasonably elegant mechanism to me. I understand it fails to implement the policy you prefer, but taken just as mechanism I think it is no less elegant and no less supportable than the restricted version you suggest.

| I don't believe that historical requirements | can be invoked here so we're left with empirical requirements for which | we have no real data. Given this fact (and I'd challenge anyone to | effectively dispute this as a fact) and given that the STYLE attribute | as has been discussed violates basic principles on at least two counts: | (1) don't provide multiple ways of saying the same thing when one will | suffice;


Actually, I don't think it provides "another way of saying the same thing", it simply allows the recording of the same styling information in an additional place; since the information is already allowed to be in an open sequence of places, I don't think the addition pollutes the model.

| and (2) don't mix form and content,

It simply allows recording the form information by value rather than by name. This is a notational convenience. Since the in-situ form is mechanically transformable to the stylesheet form and back, I claim they are equivalent from a "separation of form and content" point of view.

|					 I'd suggest that the authors
|   of DRAFT-IETF-HTML-STYLE-00.TXT remove or modify their proposed use of
|   a STYLE attribute as a binding mechanism.  A modification which would
|   be acceptable to me is to specify the declared value of the STYLE
|   attribute to be either NAME or NAMES.

I, obviously, suggest that the authors of the the draft leave STYLE as it is or indicate that the content can either be a value in the syntax of whatever style notation is in effect or be a name resolvable by the style mechanism.


scott preece
motorola/mcg urbana design center	1101 e. university, urbana, il   61801
phone:	217-384-8589			  fax:	217-384-8550
internet mail: