It's been more than ten years since I attended the first IT-related course in my life, which was an MS Windows and Office course. Since that time, I've been asking myself, could HTML/CSS standards offer an alternative to office-applications' capabilities?
No doubt that HTML standards and tools at that time weren't mature enough, they were very poor comparing to the exist office tools and applications that were, in turn, growing without disciplines or clear standards.
However, HTML5 and CSS3 nowadays offer very powerful standards, and implemented by very powerful user agents; standards and agents that merge office capabilities with multimedia capabilities arriving to an ultimate rich content experience.
Using CSS3, you are supposed to be able to display the same document in different "views" for different media, with no need to reproduce it for each media. A view for web pages, another for printing media (papers), a third one for projector, and so on.
My loyal to CSS led me to develop what I can call it a "Standard Implementation of the Standard Specifications"; a CSS library that represents, in my opinion at least, the best practice in its field.
I don't claim that it's a ready-to-use library. Instead, I try to keep it grow along with specifications, without tricks or twisted solutions, but with recommendations; recommendations that help specifications grow in turn. It aims to put HTML5/CSS3 standards in action, and send back feedback and recommendations. See: http://richstyle.org/todo.php.
On the other hand, I have a theory says that; for simplicity's sake; user can outsource the document's format-instructions to the entire-system's theme, so that all documents around can comply the system's theme, and have the same spirit of the whole system. However, there could be an option in the user-agent's interface that gives user a chance to display the document the way the original author has wrote it. Technically, it's a chance to activate the CSS instructions included in that document. This means that CSS instructions included in a document should be disabled by default. It seems to me that the CSS-powered GNOME 3 advances this theory.
Imagine that everything in your desktop comply this central CSS file:
- Web pages
- Yelp pages
- UML diagrams
- GTK widgets
- SVG icons
That's why I always believe that GNOME + W3C = Linux Future :)