MozillaZine Interviews Eric Meyer

Saturday January 25th, 2003 has an interview with Eric Meyer, who works as a Standards Evangelist for Netscape. Eric has written many books and articles about Web standards, runs his own weblog and regularly contributes to Netscape DevEdge. The interview concentrates on CSS and features a healthy amount of plugs for Eric's latest book, Eric Meyer on CSS.

#9 Re: Really???

by bzbarsky

Sunday January 26th, 2003 12:28 PM

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Please describe to me a <input type="file"> in terms of the CSS box model? Should one be able to style the button and textfield separately? If so, how? When one sets a border-color, does that mean a border around both the button and the textbox, borders on the button and textbox, or what?

What about <select size="1">? This has even worse problems.

Forget that; even the meaning of "border" for radio buttons and checkboxes is not portable across browsers (try it in IE/Windows and Mozilla, for example). Similarly, "padding" on buttons means totally different things in different browsers.

The list goes on and on.

The only input that is at all close to being portably stylable is the text input and even _that_ is different between IE6 standards and quirks modes, eg.

The kicker, though, is that a browser should be able to use the platform's native widgets for its form controls. This means they will look like the OS widgets, _period_, and not be stylable.

The references are in the www-style archives.... a good one is <…w-style/1999Apr/0019.html> (this one talks about <select> but the same applies to most of the form controls).

Basically, any styling of form controls we are doing right now is likely to be a violation of CSS3 and needing to be changed, which is why I would prefer if people didn't start getting cozy with it... ;)