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

Sent by Andy McNabb on 25 January 2002 23:11


> From: Ben Henick [EMAIL-REMOVED]>
> To: [EMAIL-REMOVED]>
> Subject: Re: [css-d] What happened to design?
> 
<snip>
> 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.
> 
That works for just graphics, but it becomes much more complicated when
combining text and graphics around or on top of eachother.  Take for example
using a simple rectangle with rounded corners as a backdrop to a paragraph
of text.  It's not easy to accomplish with CSS & without tables and still
allow the paragraph to flow as the text size and/or window size changes.
Rollovers and all-graphic areas of a page are easy to deal with in CSS as
are all or mostly test areas.  The problem arises when they're together or
overlapping.
> 
> 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.
> 

I guess it is and it isn't.  As Eric mentioned, CSS is all about rectangles,
which kind of implies a grid-like concept.  I do agree that a grid-defining
mechanism would be very helpful.

I'd personally like to see CSS eventually evolve into sort of a "web
postscript" with virtually unlimited values for a host of CSS properties.
Right now, there is a limited number of things you can do with your basic
block-level element: Change the background color, the size of the block,
alter the thickeness & color of the borders.  You have a pitiful few choices
for defining the border type (dashed, solid, etc).  In my world, you'd be
able to completely define the shape and appearance of any block-level
element with CSS in any way you could imagine - kind of like you can do with
objects in drawing programs (hence the postscript reference).  Perhaps this
is in fact the ultimate goal of the CSS guru's - I don't follow the
development at all, so I don't know - but I sure hope so.

<more snippage>
> 
> 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.
<snip>

You're right about that - the tools still have to catch up, and people are
loath to learn new technology they don't consider critical.

Andy
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