Re: Proposal: adding CSS to hypermail

From: Kent Landfield <>
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 20:34:46 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>

Sorry, catching up.

# In a recent version, Kent changed the <HR> to <HR NOSHADE>. It looks
# good to me, but maybe someone else would like to use <HR WIDTH=400>
# or put it purple or right aligned...

Yep. ;)

# Kent's change was hardcoded into the code. If you want to make some
# style change yourself, you'd need to program it yourself and compile
# everything again before being able to test it.

Yep. :)

# Today, some changes can be user controlled, like when defining the color
# thru the xxx option, or inserting a custom HTML header to each document.
# Moreover, more style changes will happen
# === TODO list ===
# - Make it possible to insert the FONT to use in the tables.
# <TH><FONT ...>string</FONT></TH>
# Fonts are not be inherited correctly in many browsers.
# ==================

(The above is a pain in the arse too...)

# What I propose is that we use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) [1] to do these
# style chages. CSS are used together with HTML documents. Where HTML gives the
# organization and semantics of the document and CSS gives the presentation
# style of the document.
# CSS rules can be stored in the <HEAD> of the document or, alternatively,
# can be stored in an external file, linked to the HTML documents thru
# HTML LINK tags, such as:
# <LINK rel="stylesheet" href="main.css">
# Here main.css is an external stylesheet. This is very powerful. For example,
# if a set of documents were linked to main.css as shown here above and I'd like
# to change all the headers to be red, I just need to add a CSS rule in
# main.css saying:
# H1 { color:red }
# The change will be effective next time someone browses any of the documents
# (not talking about caches right now). As you can see, I didn't even need
# to modify the HTML documents to change their style.
# Linking to external CSS will allow us to change the style of the HTML archives
# without regenerating them. This is already a good reason to adopt them,
# in my opinion.
# There are many things we could do with CSS, as we can define classes and
# say precisely where we want to apply them, using DIV and SPAN HTML 4.0
# tags.
# Now, you must be wondering, why I'm losing my time with all this blurb
# and what I want to sell you...


# What I'd like to do now is to add two new configuration options to
# Hypermail so that you can link CSS to the indexes and to the messages.
# I propose two options, so that we can differentiate between index and
# messages CSS.
# All these options will do is to add a LINK element if they're active.
# This will already give people more freedom to choose the style of their
# documents, if they choose to do so.
# In the long term, we can see how to organize the structure of the
# indexes and messages so that CSS can be better exploited. Right now, they'd
# allow to control the style of the HTML tags that area already there.
# What browsers support them? IE, Opera, and NS, alas, not all at the same
# lever, but much of the functionality. The situation is improving every day,
# though. If your browser doesn't understand CSS, it won't follow the link and
# no harm will be done.
# What do you think?

Interesting. This should not be too big a deal to do as you seem to be just adding to options. What about the default, non-CSS uses ? Will the formating that's there be generally the same if no external CSS support is available or enabled ?

# This is a very simple patch to add to hypermail and I'd like it to be in
# 2.0. It won't fragilize the code.
# If I don't hear any objection, I'll add it tomorrow.

No objection here as long as it generally appears the same if CSS is not enabled.

# ==========
# [1]

Thanks. This helped a bit.

Kent Landfield                        Phone: 1-817-545-2502             
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Received on Mon 20 Dec 1999 04:35:54 AM GMT

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