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Re: [css-d] Intermediaries

Sent by Ziya Oz on 27 January 2002 16:04

G. K. Nelson wrote:

> 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?

For those who weren't born yesterday :-) it'd be useful to recall the
PostScript experience.

PS replaced all sorts of dedicated protocols for typesetting, layout, type
design, cartography, music notation, video titling, visual fx, etc. While PS
itself is a programming language, tool makers have done a  brilliant job of
hiding its complexity and allowing even beginners to conceive and produce
complex jobs. Some of the stuff CSS is trying to deal with today were solved
more than a decade ago by PS. PS is not without its shortcomings but its
output have been essentially reliable across media for a decade now. So in
the case of PS (especially in comparison to many of the web standards),
designers are much less of a slave to technology than they are today on the

But PS-based explosion in digital media did not occur until visual tools
reached a certain level of sophistication and ease-of-use. With CSS, we are
nowhere near that.  I'm not a huge fan of the CSS spec. I have misgivings
about the box model and am alarmed about its growing complexity. I'd
encourage anybody to take look at the obscene proliferation of XML-based
specs for a lesson.

But it's early in the life of CSS. Who knows what will become of it or if
it'll be around a decade from now.


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