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[css-d] Intermediaries

Sent by G. K. Nelson on 27 January 2002 13:01

I hesitate to do more than lurk here, as I feel a lot like a
paint-by-numbers hobbyist butting into the conversations of da Vinci,
Michelangelo, Titian and Raphael. But this question has been nagging at me
for some time, and I'm interested in hearing the Masters on the subject.

What first attracted me to CSS was the notion that we could write one page
that would display the same way in all standards-compliant devices, and
would degrade gracefully in non-compliant ones. In other words, we could
stop trying, as the Web Standards Project eloquently stated, "to resolve the
incompatibilities by often complicated workarounds that are costly for
developers and their clients -- at the cost of preventing Web pages from
being flexible enough to be used by emerging television-based and PDA-based

Almost immediately, after I got a somewhat nodding acquaintance with CSS, I
noticed that designers were forced to employ CSS workarounds (i.e.. the
Tantek Celik hack) to accommodate those browsers that only marginally
supported standards (or "supported" them according to their own
definitions). It seemed to me only another instance where the designer was
creating additional code and acquiescing to faulty standards implementation
by browser developers.

With standards constantly evolving and becoming more complex (CSS-3) and
developers eternally playing the game of catch-up and compete, does anyone
seriously envision a time when designers WON'T be serving as intermediaries
between the two?

G.K. Nelson

SAVOY : Words are food for thought

SAVOY Magazine, the arts-literary journal which has been publishing to the
Web since 1997, is in no way affiliated with the very fine urban print
periodical published by Vanguarde Media beginning January 2000.
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