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[css-d] ADMIN: Theory and Tools, Practice and Style

Sent by Eric A. Meyer on 30 January 2002 10:10

Hey all,

    With 1,252 subscribers as I send this, it's obvious that interest 
in CSS is quite high indeed, much higher than I ever would have dared 
hope.  The problem is that the primary purpose of the list, to give 
practical advice and help to newer authors become more skilled with 
CSS, is in danger of being lost.  I've already had people ask me 
off-list to set up a second list, effectively splitting css-d into a 
theory list and a practical list.  I'd really hate to do that, 
because I think it's often quite valuable to have the theory to go 
with the practice.  Still, given the volume we've seen so far, I am 
seriously contemplating this course of action.
    As much as the debates about theoretical approaches to design, the 
role of CSS and "standards," client relations, and which tool is the 
best for what purpose can be very interesting, they're starting to 
drown out the practical stuff.  So I'd like to make a couple of 
suggestions.  I'm not trying to kick anyone off or tell you your 
ideas aren't wanted, but the list isn't even a week old and we're 
already facing our first constitutional crisis, as it were.

    If you're interested in the future direction of CSS and 
spotlighting implementation inconsistencies in the hopes of getting 
the CSS Working Group to decide what should be done, there is 
[EMAIL-REMOVED].  You can join by sending mail to 
[EMAIL-REMOVED] with the word "subscribe" in the Subject 
line.  The searchable list archive is available at 
<>.  This should be 
considered the best place to report differences in browser behavior, 
since browser authors usually have someone watching the list.
    If you're more interested in simply discussing the theory of 
design, forward and backward compatibility, and so forth, it might be 
a good idea to hop onto Usenet and check out  I wish the Web Standards 
Project were currently active, since the main mailing list used to 
have these debates quite often.  Maybe A List Apart can help out when 
the forums return.
    If you're interested in belittling people's choice of tool or 
approach to design, take it anywhere else.  I don't care where.

    If you strongly feel the list should or shouldn't be split, reply 
OFFLIST to this message directly (or send a message straight to 
'css-discuss-admin').  I do NOT want to see this message spawn a 
thread arguing about the purpose of the list and whether or not it 
should be split, so don't do it.  Similarly, if you have suggestions 
for lists and groups that are focused on the theoretical issues 
mentioned above, send them to me personally at [EMAIL-REMOVED]' 
and I'll compile a list to be posted in a few days.  And finally, if 
you think I'm being Chicken Little and there's nothing at all to 
worry about here, send it to me personally.  I could probably use the 
    Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

Eric A. Meyer [EMAIL-REMOVED])
Author, "Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide" and
"CSS 2.0 Programmer's Reference"
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