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Re: [css-d] What happened to design?

Sent by Ben Henick on 25 January 2002 18:06

On Fri, 25 Jan 2002, Andy McNabb wrote:

> > From: "Joshua Kaufman" [EMAIL-REMOVED]>
> > Subject: [css-d] What happened to design?
> >
> > Has anyone else read Chris Casciano's article on the cookie cutter
> > approach that many are taking to CSS?
> >
> <snip>
> I've noticed this "problem" as well and have a few theories.  First, I think
> sliced graphics, and the lack of a decent equivalent in CSS that works well,
> is a problem.  CSS sites I've seen that work well are primarily text based,
> with a few graphics here and there.  There aren't too many sites out there
> with complex images in their layouts that use CSS yet.  Maybe people just

Except for one thing:  In theory at least, CSS cuts down the need for
heavy-duty slicing.  Where before you'd do a huge table slice and swap out
the images you needed, you can assign the whole image to a map, and drop a
positioned image where the desired rollover occurs... provided you write
your JavaScript to compensate for the implicit mouseout.

This approach is much more accessible, too.

> haven't figured out how to do it yet.  The ones who try seem to use a
> background image and try to get text to align correctly on top of it.  We
> all know what happens then.

Granted, CSS isn't too grid-friendly... where tables obviate the need to
enforce a grid altogether.

In fact, a mechanism for defining a grid (to be used by devices that can
draw it, of course) is the one thing I'd like to see added to a future CSS
spec above and beyond all else.

> Perhaps the biggest factor is that most people are still learning CSS and so
> everyone is copying the "pros" and learning as they go.  Hence designs end
> up looking similar and only a few have enough experience with the technology
> to really unleash it's power.

That's part of it, though I think you might be missing the point.

There are a hard core of devoted Web technologists who know what CSS can
do if given the chance, and want to learn more about it.  Thus, this list.

But when you compare that to the *population* of people developing for the
Web, I can't help but think that the majority are utterly in the dark,
constrained by their tools and bosses/clients who say "I don't care how
you do it, just get it done."  And because CSS implementation is such a
minefield (f--- you very much, Marc and Lou) even the most thoughtful
developer will look at his/her deadlines and stick to what they know.

Ben Henick
Web Author At-Large              Managing Editor
[EMAIL-REMOVED]                  [EMAIL-REMOVED]
"Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Pinky?"
"I think so, Brain, but... (snort) no, no, it's too stupid."
"We will disguise ourselves as a cow."
"Oh!" (giggles) "That was it exactly!"
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