From: Jukka K. Korpela on 11 Aug 2010 13:22
> I take it that your idea is to do better than to simply disable
> all author styles and rely on the basic no frills styles provided
> by most browsers.
Yes, because many of the features of browser default rendering
a) are typographically inferior, like huge size of <h1> or monospace font
b) reflect bad habits of typewriters and word processors, as opposite to
typographic traditions, i.e. empty lines between paragraphs instead of
first-line indents and bullets as list markers
c) fail to reflect semantics at all, e.g. rendering <i>, <em>, <cite>, <var>
and maybe even <dfn> and <samp> the same way - as a user, you see just
italics, with no hint of the semantics expressed in markup.
> I am thinking that your aim is to give particularly distinct
> styles to elements, ones that are more prominent or more useful
> than the no frills one that browsers provide.
Indeed. It's in part a thought experiment what web authoring could be if
browsers had taken both markup and typography seriously from the beginning.
> The no frills ones could also come under the description of
> showing the semantics up to a point. The paragraphs, for example,
> in the no frills ones more or less get to look like paragraphs,
The look like "engineering paragraphs" as opposite to "literary paragraphs".
> links are underlined and blue and are instantly recognised as
.... because that's how links have been rendered on the Web, the thinking
goes. But messing around with link rendering has become so common that I'm
not sure whether such a "paradigm" still works. Most importantly, I decided
to play with the question "how would a nice browser render links if we did
not have this history of using underlining and blue color?" I think the
obvious answer is that an arrow or some similar symbol would be used, as in
encyclopedic tradition, and the link text would look just the same as normal
text or differ from it just slightly.
> I imagine that some people might find this useful and especially
> if they take their cue to fashion their version of your sheet to
> their own liking.
I hope so...
From: Swifty on 11 Aug 2010 14:02
On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 20:22:19 +0300, "Jukka K. Korpela"
>I think the
>obvious answer is that an arrow or some similar symbol would be used, as in
>encyclopedic tradition, and the link text would look just the same as normal
>text or differ from it just slightly.
If the link text were only slightly different from normal text, or the
same as normal text, then you wouldn't know exactly where you could
click. So people would start clicking on the arrow rather than the
link. But this makes the links much harder to "hit". I'm fairly sure
this would be unpopular.
As an example, I use both Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes for email
purposes. I find the Outlook GUI easier to use, because it allows
"near misses" with your mouse clicks, whereas Notes requires you to
hit the target, and not be off by so much as a pixel. I prefer a
forgiving interface, and I'm sure I'll prefer it even more when I join
the majority segment of the population - the Senior Citizens.
From: Jukka K. Korpela on 13 Aug 2010 14:21
> If the link text were only slightly different from normal text, or the
> same as normal text, then you wouldn't know exactly where you could
That's possible, and that's one reason why my "semantic" stylesheet puts a
blue outline around a link on mouseover.
My point with the arrow indicator is that the "traditional" style of link
rendering, color and underline, is much more disruptive than the print media
tradition for cross-references. Of course the setting is different, since
print media lacks hyperlinks. But basically, links - especially inline links
in text paragraphs - should not be too noticeable. The reader should be able
to read without distractions, then perhaps look at links.
Speech browsers have "links reading mode". Graphic browsers might need
something similar. Once you have finished with the content, to the extent it
interests you, you might want to see what links there are on the page - and
at the extreme, links might be indistinguishable from normal text until the
user switches to "links viewing mode". It might automatically show title
texts for links as well, and it might provide some numbering of links, so
that instead of getting troubled with a mouse, you could just type a digit,
or two digits, to follow a link. (The rendering part of this might be
handled by CSS as currently defined, but of course CSS cannot add
> So people would start clicking on the arrow rather than the
> link. But this makes the links much harder to "hit". I'm fairly sure
> this would be unpopular.
Well, probably, it you really needed to hit the arrow. But I guess most
people would guess that the entire link text is clickable at least if there
is an outline or another visible change (like change of background) on
By the way, radio buttons and checkboxes are often hard to hit. People
mostly don't know they can toggle the button or box by clicking on its label
as well - especially since it often _doesn't_ work that way (due to lack of
<label> markup). My "semantic" stylesheet tries to help with this by
providing a visual association between the label and the button or box, if
there is markup association (with <label>). I guess it could also enlangen
the button or box from the default size, but previous experiments have shown
that browsers handle such CSS settings inconsistently.
From: William Gill on 13 Aug 2010 19:31
On 8/13/2010 2:21 PM, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> ... since print media lacks hyperlinks...
It is also not very dynamic, so it typically has a hard time with things
like :hover, :active, and :focus.