[webkit-dev] a question on printing: whither WSIWYG?

Rob Burns robburns1 at mac.com
Sun Oct 8 13:12:32 PDT 2006

On Oct 7, 2006, at 8:01 PM, Mike Emmel wrote:

> On 10/7/06, Rob Burns <robburns1 at mac.com> wrote:
>> > I disagree this has nothing to do with webkit:  Is the webkit team
>> > aware that when printing half of all the web pages out there the
>> > output looks like doodoo?
>> >
>> > Whatever the CSS, having the pages print out in a totally ugly way
>> > is just plain silly.    Surely using the "screen" stylesheet for
>> > printing is better than no stylesheet at all?
>> >
>> > I propose  that WebKit use the "screen" stylesheet for printing if
>> > there is no "print" stylesheet present in the source document.
>> I think half of all web pages out there is probably an exaggeration.
>> I think most authors use "all" for the media type unless they are
>> specifically targeting the screen. The Surfin' Safari blog had
>> discussed a common mistake of using device dependent units when using
>> the "all" media type, but I guess WebKit already adjusts for that. I
>> could imagine a site targeting the screen with a design really only
>> meant for the screen. Printing using that CSS would be worst than
>> falling back on the default stylesheet.
>> take care,
>> Rob
> Since the case of a screen only css style sheet can be detected does
> it not make sense to make using it an option of the print dialogue. In
> fact a more general ability to pick a alternative style sheet when
> printing might have other uses.
> Or this could be a user option in the browser turned on by default.
> Or it could cause a  warning or alert and let the use choose.
> The chance of no style sheet vs screen only being correct  in the real
> world is probably close to zero.

As I said before, I think this is a discussion not too related to  
WebKit, but more to the application developers who may use WebKit or  
any other engine to create a user-agent. My understanding is that  
WebKit already has the needed methods to handle this at the  
application level.

However, let me just add that CSS is designed to give authors rich  
capabillities in terms of presentation and when an author selects  
"screen" instead of "all" as the media they're targeting  for their  
stylesheet, that says something. And it's something that user-agents  
and users themselves should take seriously. Could it be a little  
mistake with large consequences? Yes. But it couls also be the  
authors intent. And building user-agents that gloss over those  
mistakes just make the mistakes more prevalent. So if many authors  
use a WebKit based application to test their designs and that  
application makes "screen" seem like "all" then such mustakes will  
proliferate. That's a concern that application developers should keep  
in mind.

take care,

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