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Weblog Entry

CSS In The News

May 06, 2003

jwz: CSS is BS

Steven Canfield: CSS: Where art thou? (Height: Auto)

Jamie’s issue smells to me like someone with a basic understanding of a technology throwing their hands in the air and denouncing the whole damn thing because they just can’t figure out how to do exactly what they want. No one claimed CSS was going to be a walk in the park, but assuming it isn’t capable just because you don’t figure out how to make things happen strikes me as a flawed approach to learning anything.

Steven tackles a much thornier issue, one that as of yet has no sensible workaround or solution. He has obviously tried, and come up short, but that’s no reason to throw CSS out the window.

I’ve never personally laid claim to CSS as being the be–all and end–all of web design. Far from it. The further I probe into what it can and can’t do, the more I realize it was designed with semantics clearly in mind over visuals. There are inherent flaws in the language that probably won’t be addressed for years to come.

However quirky CSS is though, I have to conclude we’re still better off than using HTML alone to solve these problems. Okay, we can’t do everything HTML 4.0 or even 2.0 let us do. But look at how much more we can do that neither of those could. Global style, separation of content and presentation, and reduced download times are huge points in favour of the new.

I’m sure the grass will always be greener on certain issues, but isn’t it nice to have more or less solid CSS support and lament a couple of trivial bits of HTML 4, rather than bemoan the lack of support for CSS while stuck with HTML 4 alone?


Reader Comments

1
haze says:
May 06, 01h

the new matrix movie coming out has the hurly burly martial arts fightscene (neo & agent smith) rendered completely through computers. it’s easier for the 3d guys to edit the scenes, easier to make changes, easier to add things. this “engine” can also be reused for other movies. with all these new features, it truly seems we’re better of using this new method than the old.

but what about the inherent nature of martial arts? what about the fact that we’re mesmerised by most martial arts flicks because those physical stunts are achievable stunts? what about how “bullet time” effects are FAR MORE realistic than the CGi-rendered stuff? sure it took a month or two to prep a bullet time sequence, but damn does that stuff look amazingly sweet.

again, form vs function.

2
Dave S. says:
May 06, 02h

I believe CSS offers both form and function better than old-school HTML and tag soup. It introduces new problems, but I don’t find them deal-breakers.

Did you get my recent e-mail, incidentally?

3
haze says:
May 06, 11h

hrmm… prolly not. dunno. email’s been buggy lately.
you emailing me to tell me that you wanna buy me free booze? gosh, yah didnt hafta but i ACCEPT! :0)

4
May 08, 01h

Very well said indeed. I have just attempted my first site in proper CSS for layout without any tables and it was far from a walk in the park but it was definatly a more enjoyable stroll.

In the past if I was creating a table layout and something looked abit wack then I would have to go back into the code, sift through hundreds of nested TD’s and Tr’s (Table cell and Table Rows for the un-initiated) to find where I was again and then make adjustments to the attributes of that particular row or cell and then check it and repeat the process until I was happy.

In CSS I simply find the element, class or id and change it. For example the width attribute and heypresto!

Nice site you have here, btw.

Regards,
Paul Michael Smith
http://www.smithpaul.com