[Haskell-cafe] Elegant & powerful replacement for CSS

Patai Gergely patai_gergely at fastmail.fm
Tue Feb 3 15:59:52 EST 2009

> I've been wondering for a while now what a well-designed alternative
> to CSS could be, where well-designed would mean consistent, composable,
> orthogonal, functional, based on an elegantly compelling semantic model
> (denotational).
Well, if you think about CSS as in webpage styling, it's simply a way to
override some attributes in the DOM tree. If you will, you can easily
relate CSS selectors to your semantic editor combinators, since a
concrete stylesheet makes explicit references to the structure of the
document/interface it is associated with. One important difference is
that in the case of CSS you don't need to mention all the intermediate
nodes explicitly, which can make selectors shorter as well as
"non-deterministic", i.e. they can match different structural patterns
at the same time. Also, you can perform a kind of pattern matching
(filtering by class/id names) besides just blindly walking down the tree
along the type structure. I'd say these two features make it a direct
generalisation of the SEC concept.


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