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Re: [css-d] An Outsider's View

Sent by Mark Howells on 30 January 2002 09:09

>> ...But ultimately this points back to the idea that getting your site 
>> to
>> look IDENTICAL in EVERY browser can be filed under "shooting off one's
>> nose to spite the face."
> Unfortunately, tables in plain old html combined with slicing images 
> set an
> aesthetic standard that web viewers now expect

In my online (6 years developing websites) and offline experience, 
consumers expect what they see on a regular basis. Because most 
designers out there still use <table>s to create their pages, this means 
that most website visitors expect to see a layout created with <table>s. 
Make 90% of professional web designers use Flash, they'll expect Flash; 
make 90% use CSS for layout and they'll expect CSS. How many 
"non-industry" consumers will actually compare cross-browser website 
appearance ?

> Philosophically I'm 100% behind standards


> [snip]
> Right now I find it
> impossible to use CSS to replace the use of tables for layout while 
> meeting
> the expectations/demands of my clients

Over the past year, only one of my clients has refused point blank to go 
with a full CSS layout that degraded neatly in NN4 (which doesn't mean 
"Give 'em a Neilsen layout"!). They were also uninterested in the fact 
that they were blocking a significant percentage of potential customers 
by insisting on a Javascript-only navigation system that "looked 
professional", so I think we know what type of client they were.

> and delivering a site that works for
> 99% of all browsers.

"works for 99% of all browsers" or "looks identical in 99% of all 
browsers" ?

> [snip] ... Let's face it, most sites done completely with CSS are 
> instantly recognizable
> as such -- ahhh, top nav area, left hand column fixed width, right 
> content
> area that resizes, all square with some grey or, better yet, orange,
> backgrounds.

Ahem ... (blatant self promotion) ... like <> ??

The reason that most CSS sites we see are "instantly recognizable as 
such" is because most of them are linked from discussion lists like this 
one, where sensible designers are beginning to experiment and work out 
"the new way of working" by starting with basic layouts suggested in 
cut-and-paste CSS libraries. There are sites online, such as Eric's 
CSS-Edge, which show that there are alternatives and new directions, 
many of which work in most v4+ browsers .

Mark Howells
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