[whatwg] Styling <details>

Jukka K. Korpela jkorpela at cs.tut.fi
Fri Apr 8 04:55:11 PDT 2011

James Graham wrote:

> On 04/07/2011 05:55 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 6:09 AM, Lachlan
>> Hunt<lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au>  wrote:
>>> 3. We'd like to get some feedback from web developers, and
>>> agreement from other browser vendors, about exactly which glyphs
>>> are most appropriate to use for these disclosure states.  We
>>> considered two alternatives, but we think these three glyphs are
>>> the most appropriate. U+25B8 (▸) BLACK RIGHT-POINTING SMALL TRIANGLE
>> Yup, looks good.
> FWIW I don't think we need cross-browser agreement here.

I strongly agree, because agreement on icons would work against the idea of 
competition and variation between platforms and browsers as well as the idea 
of platform-wide conventions that users may be accustomed to.

On the technical side, the characters proposed are not visually obvious - 
being regular triangles, they are subject to variation on how they are seen 
as pointing somewhere. U+25C2, especially in isolation, might be seen as 
pointing to northeast...

Besides, when I first looked at the quoted text, I was using an Android, and 
all the triangles appeared as replaced by small rectangles. So their font 
coverage isn't particularly good.

> In particular I think browsers should be free to implement <details>
> using a platform-native disclose widget if they like. These are not
> all alike e.g. OSX uses something like ▸, Windows something like [+]
> (I think?) and Gnome (at least with the skin I have) something like ▷.

A key issue in making <details> work for users, and therefore motivating 
authors into using it, is how to make it as obvious as possible to 
understand that there is some detailed information available, though 
currently hidden, and that there is an obvious way to get to it. This is 
quite a challenge - but to visual designers and usability experts and 
implementors, not to people who write general specifications.

Hopefully, _several_ essentially different experimental (or other) 
implementations will emerge, will be discussed and tested, and some 
successful ideas will prevail.

Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/ 

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