[whatwg] How not to fix HTML

Håkon Wium Lie howcome at opera.com
Mon Oct 30 14:40:45 PST 2006

Joe Clark wrote:

 > http://blog.fawny.org/2006/10/28/tbl-html/
 > This is a classic problem in HTML development: The people doing the work 
 > are geeks with computer-science interests who do not understand, for 
 > example, newspapers, or screenplays, or, really, print publishing in 
 > general. In some obscure way, they disdain print publishing, as the Web 
 > is not print. Indeed it isn't, but print has structures the Web doesn't, 
 > and it doesn't have them because people like these refuse to acknowledge 
 > they exist or simply refuse to consider them.

In the development of CSS, I actually think we erred on the side of
traditional print-based documents rather than paying attention to
computer science problems. For example, the existence of :first-line
(which is a classic print-oriented feature) complicated the otherwise
simple CSS1. CSS ignored, on the other hand, the interaction with
programming languages (JavaScript) for too long. I think the CSS DOM
would have been simpler if addressed in CSS2.

Speaking for myself, I'm a print guy at heart. I publish newspapers
[1], screenplays [2], novels [3] and specifications for print
publishing in general [4][5]. All by way of HTML and CSS.

[1] http://www.princexml.com/samples/
[2] http://people.opera.com/howcome/2006/ibsen
[3] http://www.princexml.com/howcome/2006/slogans/slogans.pdf
[4] http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-gcpm
[5] http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-multicol

              Håkon Wium Lie
howcome at opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome
howcome at princexml.com             http://www.princexml.com/howcome

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