Full Article Attached MozillaZine on Skins

Tuesday April 11th, 2000

I have decided to put my own head on the chopping block and weigh in on the Mozilla skins and native widgets debate. To read more, click "Full Article" below.

#22 Re: Re: A new OS has born

by briansmith <>

Wednesday April 12th, 2000 2:20 AM

You are replying to this message

" If CSS requires that (I didn't check it), the spec is flawed. " I agree.

"It requires widget to be able to have style applied." It is possible that CSS requires the style elements to be attached to the controls, but I am not sure it requires any specific rendering.

Where can I find the information about styling widgets and/or form elements in CSS1/CSS2 or any other web standard document? I'm curious because I did a text search on the CSS1/CSS2 specifications for "form," "widget," "input,", "button," etc. and I couldn't find any relevent information.

It doesn't make sense for W3 to REQUIRE styling of HTML form controls (which are the only widgets it could know about). Most native control toolkits do not have the functionality to support a full range of CSS properties. In order to bear this unreasonable burden, UA providers would have to:

a) make numerous changes to the native widgets (something only the OS provider could realistically do)

b) extend the behavior of the native widgets (which is not realistically possible on many OS's)

c) create their own widget toolkits. Being a HTML/CSS UA shouldn't require implementing a nearly-complete set of widgets.


The HTML 4.01 spec. vaguely mentions styling forms, but doesn't give specific information about the actual controls (widgets).

The "User Interface for CSS3" working document from indicates that they are working on a replacement for HTML forms by adding styling to DIV's and other currently-non-editable elements. Similiarly, the XForms working group (again W3) seems to be completely redesigning the forms functionality into a layered architecture. It also mentions vaguely that it should be possible to style forms, but it isn't specific either. If mozilla implements these (proposed) standards, then they will have to throw out a lot of what they've been already done anyway.

I would sincerely appreciate any specific information about web standards that require widgets to be styled. I would especially appreciate any corrections to my above understanding of the situation (that is, if I misread the above standards).

- Brian