[whatwg] Styling <details>

Jukka K. Korpela jkorpela at cs.tut.fi
Sat Apr 9 07:51:15 PDT 2011

Lachlan Hunt wrote:

> We would like our
> implementations to be compatible as far as author styling is
> concerned, and so it is very useful to discuss the fine-tuning of CSS
> styling before we ship. If we did not do this, then you and every
> other author would most certainly complain when Opera and Chrome ship
> incompatible implementations that require vastly different approaches
> to styling.

No, I would not, and when authors start using <details>, their first concern 
is, or should be, whether users will recognize the element's rendering as 
something that provides optional access to detailed information. This 
usability issue is crucial and should be tested widely, and we need 
_different_ implementations in order to be able to evaluate different 

> Authors have been yelling for author-styling in relation to many other
> elements in the past.

Authors yell a lot. You should care more about usability and other aspects 
of good design than the sounds of authors who are eager to author-style 
everything. You can't please everyone.

>> Why does <details> need to have any ”disclosure triangle”?
> The default appearance needs a disclosure widget of some kind, either
> a triangle or plus symbol or whatever.

It needs to convey the message of optional availability of additional 
information and an intuitive way of taking the option. It is far from clear 
how this could best be achieved. As I wrote, we would need to see some 
implementations before worrying about how to describe them in CSS terms.

When (or if) some reasonable implementation approaches will be found, they 
will most probably need some new features added to CSS.

>>>> I know that many CSS property names are misleading. But
>>>> list-style-type, as defined in published CSS recommendations, isn’t
>>>> bound to any ”::marker”.
>>> It certainly is, in the Lists spec.
>> Please cite the recommendation by its official name and/or URL.
> http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-lists/#marker-pseudoelement

The document says:
"This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other 
documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other 
than work in progress."

(Markers were in CSS 2.0, and they were dropped out in CSS 2.1. I'm not very 
optimistic about seeing them well designed and implemented anytime soon.)

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

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