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Opera's Haakon Wium Lie On CSS, Web Standards, and More

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the have-you-read-our-libretto? dept.

Opera 107

mikemuch writes "The standard that eventually became CSS was originally submitted to Tim Berners-Lee et al by Haakon Wium Lie, who continues to have new ideas for the web formatting language. The latest proposal from the current CTO of Opera Software is the CSS Generated Content for Paged Media Module. Lie sat down with PCMag to discuss not only this scrollbar-free browsing initiative, but a wider range of Web topics, including thoughts on powers like Apple and Google. A teaser from the story: 'At Opera, we sometimes wake up in the morning and see a new Google service that could have been optimized if we could have worked with them in the development phase. It seems they're more eager to put out things and see what sticks.'"

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Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (1)

Lockyy (2486084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854866)

But is he referring to optimized in general, or specifically for opera. Because honestly if he means just for opera why would google even bother? I anticipate that he meant in general however.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854890)

I was thinking the same thing; why should Google care if something is optimized for Opera? They have their own web browser to optimize for.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855230)

Isn't the point of the web to be open? If stuff only works in Chrome, then you have IE6 all over again.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855352)

Well, logically, Google should optimize their services for the major players - IE, Firefox, Themselves, and then (quite further down) Safari and Opera. Granted, they do optimize a lot of stuff specifically for Chrome (Google Maps is far faster on Chrome than any other browser) - or maybe, the other way around. But it's probably just far easier to do so internally than it is to work with a foreign development firm, rather than there being any malevolent intent behind it.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (1)

Lockyy (2486084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857768)

Yes but the summary quote implies that google should bring opera developers into google to work with them, and that's just unfeasible.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (3, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858310)

Safari isn't "further down" for OS X users. It's the default browser for Macs, IE is non-existant and Firefox on OS X has been a joke for quite some time (memory hungry, extremely slow to start). The only real options for browsing on a Mac are Safari, Chrome and Opera, with Firefox in a distant fourth.

In any case, Safari and Chrome both use Webkit [wikipedia.org] , which powers Apple Safari and Google Chrome. By August 2011 they held nearly 30% of desktop browser market share between them.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858432)

OS X users are far down. We are, what, 6-7% of total computer users? There are more users of Chrome on Windows than there are users of OS X in total. Safari and Chrome do both use WebKit, but they use different JavaScript engines, and JavaScript is where a lot of the optimisation effort goes.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858836)

Safari, in terms of active browser user share, is lower than Chrome or Firefox or IE by a significant amount. Safari isn't quite in the same class.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858960)

That is to say, not including mobile browsers. Otherwise things look quite different.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (1, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860154)

Yeah, webkit is basically 90-95% of mobile browser usage since it's used for iOS, Android, and modern (OS6+) BB units. Then again I personally use Opera Mobile since I find the user experience vastly superior to the default Android browser on 2.2.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858982)

If the matter was just about "optimizing" for a given browser, it wouldn't be much of an issue. But Google has this nasty habit of not supporting Opera outright, with browser checks and such (for an example, go to Blogger and switch to "new UI" in Opera to see what I mean).

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855382)

In the context, it sounds far more like optimized from a design point of view, ie instead of just slinging stuff out to see if it'll stick, they could focus on the design and create something that they know people will love. Apple really go the whole hog when they add even the most trivial features or concepts to their software, making everyone think that stuff like a lame version of multitasking is manna from heaven even when other platforms already have proper multitasking and so on.

I'm having to learn that kind of lesson myself. I've created a few in house apps here recently that have a lot of functionality, but some of the users just aren't aware that it's there, and when I spoke to one of our Directors recently he isn't even aware I've been making all this stuff that's boosting efficiency in a few different departments. I need to publicise myself better, and probably have more meetings with users to highlight things which seem obvious to experienced users, but a lot of people don't even think about. Even just basic UI things like being able to sort a table by clicking on the headings.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37857380)

Sounds like you're doing well for the most part, but coming up short in documentation. Pressing F1 for help should bring up an index listing such program features. (There are a lot of programs out there which are half decent, but many of their features come across to the user as "easter eggs" since their documentation sucks.) Some software also has a "tip of the day" screen on start. It can be annoying, but most (if designed well) can also be easily disabled. Tool-tips should also be a possibility enabled through user preferences that gives new users a good clue on what various buttons do.

Knowing how companies do things, not sure if it's something on your end or if people aren't passing word of such features to people doing testing and quality control. (Many times write-ups and documentation gets done at that level.) Supplemental materials can't be that hard to add to existing documentation. These days this stuff should be in a .pdf, so it's not like they'll need to stop presses re-print the manuals for this stuff or mail out a whole bunch of page inserts.

And this is not just a critique of commercial or in-house software, a lot of the open source stuff is even worse when it comes to documentation. You have to dig through mailing lists or forum posts to find information that should be in the wiki or manual document pages.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859968)

Well, it's mostly web apps that I do, so more tooltips would make more sense than F1 style loading of a help document.

I've only recently started considering that I should write up some documentation myself, even before putting down any code. Documentation is obviously is beneficial to new users, but while reading other people's views on documentation, I read that writing up the documentation often helps you to think more clearly about the design and purpose of your software. I hadn't considered that before. It doesn't have to be something that bores you out of your skull if you approach it correctly.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37857804)

Optimized in two fashions. One, to make sure it's a *good* implementation of something, and two, to make sure it works across all browsers, not just Chrome. (So, Opera, Firefox, Safari, IE...)

Also, if they worked with him - as he's also on the W3C - they could, possibly, get buy in from the people responsible from those other browsers.

Paraphrasing: It's unfortunate Google is making nearly proprietary things for their browser when they wouldn't exist without the open web. If they release an "open" standard that's not part of the HTML standard and doesn't get buy in from others and only works with a Google browser or app, even though it's "open", it's not really a standard.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855448)

If you had bothereded to RTFA:

What about Google Chrome with all its "open" standards that only Google properties support?

We have some concerns there. It's often that they launch services without testing in all browsers. At Opera, we sometimes wake up in the morning and see a new Google service that could have been optimized if we could have worked with them in the development phase. It seems they're more eager to put out things and see what sticks. Now that they have their own browser, they think less of making sure it works across the board. It's a concern because Google wouldn't have existed if it hadn't been for the open-standard Web. Then we all would have probably lived in Microsoft-land. Some of Google's experiments are great, and we can't demand that everything works in all browsers, but there should always be graceful degradation and you should test in major browsers before you launch something.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855922)

Because if it works in Opera, Google gets more customers.

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37856342)

Because if it works in Opera, Google gets more customers.

Yeah, like, two

Re:Correct me if it's mentioned in the article (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858132)

But is he referring to optimized in general, or specifically for opera.

I think he means "optimized in general"; Google has a preference for throwing something that works into the wild (usually, as a clearly designated beta, demonstration, etc.) and then getting outside opinions on how to make it work better rather than tossing out abstract proposals with no implementation.

Lie seems to prefer people discussing the proposals, refining them, and then putting together an implementation.

There are arguments for both approaches, though for most things on the web I think Google's approach is better in practice, even when it might not be better in theory.

In a way, it mirrors the whole HTML5 vs. XHTML2 story.

That is a difficult title to read . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854892)

and I don't believe that Haakon last name is "On"

Re:That is a difficult title to read . . . (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854918)

and I don't believe that Haakon last name is "On"

Neither does he. He thinks his name is God.

Re:That is a difficult title to read . . . (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854922)

For that matter, why was he lying?

Re:That is a difficult title to read . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855004)

And what is he hacking?

Re:That is a difficult title to read . . . (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855078)

So that his nose would get long enough to reach the keys on the keyboard.

Re:That is a difficult title to read . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37856896)

For that matter, why was he lying?

He was tired of standing?

Re:That is a difficult title to read . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855398)

Yeah, far too many interpretations of the phrase "lie on".

Should read,

"Opera CTO, Haakon Wium Lie, On CSS, Web Standards, and More"

The story submission was titled "10 Questions for the Creator of CSS, Opera Softwar", so I put full blame on Timothy for the horribly impossible-to-parse title he gave this.

Re:That is a difficult title to read . . . (1)

jbov (2202938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855860)

Making the O in On lowercase would make it more readable.

"Opera's Haakon Wium Lie on CSS, Web Standards, and More" or "Opera CTO, Haakon Wium Lie, on CSS, Web Standards, and More"

Re:That is a difficult title to read . . . (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858348)

Blame American-Style Titles Where Every Word Is Capitalized.

Re:That is a difficult title to read . . . (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858466)

That's by no means universal. My (US) publisher does not capitalise prepositions in titles.

At least he was consistent (1)

jbov (2202938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37864328)

... and made the word "and" all lowercase

Re:That is a difficult title to read . . . (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856006)

I read it first as "fib" and how someone at Opera was distorting something about CSS. The summary is clearer in the use of capitalization that Lie is his last name.

The headline (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854990)

This is how rumors get started.

Re:The headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855210)

Exactly my thought. If a surname sounds like the verb the headline should probably use a predicate

Re:The headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37856204)

It would have helped an awful lot if it had used "discusses" instead of "on".
I now the chances are slim that an editor reads this, but if you do, could you please fix it?

Re:The headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855870)

Yeah starting every word with a capital letter is annoying. Even worse is that 'on' is capitalized but 'and' is not, wtf.

oh english, you so silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855000)

I had to read abstract twice to realize no one lied to nobody about css and web standards ;)

Re:oh english, you so silly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855322)

I had to read abstract twice to realize what the fuch this "Opera" thing was.

CSS 1 was written by two people! (2)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855118)

As you can see from the specification page, Bert Bos also worked on the CSS spec. Bert and Håkon also wrote a book together "CSS: Design for the Web" covering CSS. It's not as practical as some CSS books, but it certainly covers the spec and explains why things are the way they area. (especially the first edition of the book)

http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-CSS1-20080411/ [w3.org]

CSS and why I never bought into it (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855120)

The whole idea of CSS was to separate content from presentation. But it never lived up to that promise for me. It would be more accurate to say that it separates content from *font* presentation. What would be REALLY useful to me is a way to separate out the actual layout of the page from the content. I can do this now with php (and I do it on most of my sites now), but it would be nice to have it native to html/css. The way I have it set up is that the header of the page (with all the header graphics, page background image, sidebar graphics, etc.) are in a separate file, as is the footer. So to change the entire look of all my pages and subpages on the entire site, all I have to do is edit those two files. That was supposed to be the kind of thing that css could do, but in practice I can only do it by making my pages php files and using an include statement to bring in the header and footer html. Sure, I can change the fonts with a separate css file, but that's pretty trivial.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855224)

Good god man, are you living in the past?

Are you a man from the past??

If you think all CSS can do for you is style your text... yikes

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (3, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855246)

That was supposed to be the kind of thing that css could do

And CSS does it. You can set e.g. background images for a class or id from CSS, so you can change the graphic appearance of a header or footer from one central CSS file. I'd really suggest reading a rigorous introduction to CSS, or something like O'Reilly's CSS Cookbook [amazon.com] that walk you through how to accomplish some specific task. If you don't even know the language, don't blame it for not being useful for you!

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (4, Informative)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855338)

I also recommend the poster look at an example of how just changing the CSS can dramatically change the appearance of the size: CSS Zen Garden. [csszengarden.com] Their HTML has maybe a few too many divs and spans (they did this to make it easier for designers to apply new styles) but it's a great demonstration of what CSS can do for you.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

dabadab (126782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862198)

I think this separation of content and presentation fails in many cases.

One is inhertiance: you can't just say ".style2 extends .style2" because there's no such thing, you have to either hack with copy'n'paste or adding some more divs to your HTML.

The same goes for absolutely ordinary things like adding a border around a region: the CSS border property is absolutely underpowered so you have to add multiple divs to your HTML.

And it's not like that these issues are unknown or something, these are widely discussed on the web for ages.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

searlea (95882) | more than 2 years ago | (#37867538)

With respect to ".style2 extends .style1", that's pretty basic:
.style1, .style2 { ... common properties ... }
.style2 { ... override properties ... }

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855302)

http://www.csszengarden.com/

Every single design on that site uses the exact same HTML markup. The ONLY thing that changes is the CSS file attached.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855348)

You have literally no idea what you're doing, and have no business designing a web page. I hope it's some worthless personal page, because if someone is paying you, you should be arrested for fraud.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855356)

I'm not sure if you're being facetious or not, but CSS is far, far more powerful than you seem to think. Check out this site to see what can be done without changing a single line of HTML:

http://www.csszengarden.com/ [csszengarden.com]

Also, if you're still writing php spaghetti code, I would highly suggest you check out some modern templating engines. They will make your life so much easier. I don't use PHP that often anymore, but I understand Smarty [smarty.net] is still popular.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (3, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855658)

I'm not sure if you're being facetious or not, but CSS is far, far more powerful than you seem to think. Check out [CSS Zen Garden] to see what can be done without changing a single line of HTML.

That's all good and well, but I think the point GP was making - in jest or not - is that CSS is still at the whim of the structure presented by the HTML.

For example, if your header has a single div, you can use CSS all you want but you're not going to get 4 separate texts in each of the corners of that div (actually might be possible, but no cheating by using js)

Thus the reason that the CSS Zen Garden website works as well as it does is not just because of CSS, but because the structure is well thought out as well.

So what GP is saying is very much true. You'd still want to keep your headers and footers and many other things in separate files that can easily be included by a great many other pages, so that you need only update that included file to adjust all those other pages' results.

And, in a way, that might make some think "well then I don't need CSS if I only need to update that single file.. why specify styling attributes for the header when I can adjust them in the header include file itself?".

But they then miss that headers often share visual aspects with the rest of the page. A background color change, for example, might be simple enough by editing your header, sidebar, content and footer pages.. but even simpler still is editing the CSS that governs all four.

CSS wasn't meant to make structure organized, just style (which does include positioning, but I'm wishfully thinking GP wasn't referring to that) - in effect, exactly what he's saying.. separating content from presentation - but that presentation still relies on the structure that may or may not be considered part of the content.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861066)

I appreciate your point of view, but I think the OP is conflating the two issues. I completely agree with you that CSS is at the mercy of good or bad HTML. CSS Zen Garden shows what kind of presentation magic you can do with well structured HTML.

Remember back when people talked about "the semantic web"? A lot of it was dreamer bunk and stuff that is not likely to be implemented ever, but I think at some degree, it transfers to just simple HTML. If you have a list of something, put it in an ol or ul. Even if you don't want to display anything approximating what a standard bulleted ul list looks like. Structure documents with divs for logical sections, proper heading usage, etc. Just because HTML sometimes (Frequently) fails to be written in a smart or logical way, CSS still does a decent job, imho.

I agree it would be neat if HTML/CSS had some header/footer functionality, or maybe even basic templating support, but templates are so advanced in PHP, Python, Ruby, etc--even Apache has server side includes.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

null etc. (524767) | more than 2 years ago | (#37863496)

Separation of content and presentation can never be fully achieved so long as the structure of the content is bound to certain constraints. For example, at least in western regions where top-to-bottom representation of lingual content is the norm, artificial importance is placed upon the top-to-bottom parsing of HTML documents. There are just certain things that you can't do in CSS if one element precedes another; the exact ordering of the elements is important for the rules to be interpreted properly by the browser.

The historical significance of top-to-bottom content structures might not be entirely appropriate for new content presentations in which segments of the content can be displayed in a manner other than top-to-bottom, but it's easy to see that society's bias towards expecting content to be structured a certain way carried over blindly to the new technology.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37864796)

For example, at least in western regions where top-to-bottom representation of lingual content is the norm

Is there anywhere else in the world where top-to-bottom representation of content ISN'T the norm? Obviously right-to-left is fairly common (Arabic and derived scripts), Chinese can occasionally have a kind of modern boustrophedon with right-to-left and left-to-right, a few (traditional Mongolian) is vertical columns of top-to-bottom in left-to-right order, etc.

Does anything go, eg, bottom to top?

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37866494)

Japanese (and I'm assuming Chinese as well) is traditionally written in vertical, top-to-bottom columns that are arranged right-to-left. I think it's almost unheard-of online, probably for the reasons stated above, but common in print, for example newspapers [geotypografika.com] .

Take a page of English text and rotate it 90 degrees clockwise, and you'll get the idea.

Ooh, I wonder if you could write a tablet program which, when you rotate the device, only rotates the characters instead of the entire page.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

smellotron (1039250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862898)

I don't use PHP that often anymore, but I understand Smarty is still popular.

Ugh, Smarty is a bloated POS. It certainly is popular, but you're better off using PHP to template itself. Less is more!

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855368)

XSLT.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

Unordained (262962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856176)

Agreed. My reading is that the GP is narrowly correct: CSS can't "completely" reskin a site, because it depends on the underlying html which does have some structural semantics to it. XML data + XSL templates (possibly several, for different end-devices and/or user agents) + CSS would more closely fit his goals, but the XSLT approach wasn't nearly as widely publicized as CSS, so I don't completely blame him for missing that boat. Even today's popular toolkits encourage "backing pages" for data, but the layer above that is generally straight to html, not to XML for later transformation.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

putaro (235078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37865344)

A large percentage of my company website is XML that gets translated into HTML via XSLT. On the plus side it works fairly well and getting our non-designer employees to update information in the XML files is straightforward.

On the minus side, we've found it nearly impossible to find web designers who can wrap their head around the idea of making a template page or to write an XSL stylesheet. Typically I wind up with a monstrosity in HTML that then has to have the template ideas teased out of it. It might just be that we can't find sophisticated web designers here in Japan, though.

I wound up learning way too much about XSL and XSLT to implement some of the things that happen in the site and there is a lot of damn strange XSLT code in the stylesheets. However, XSLT may be a monstrosity but I think I prefer it to CSS.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

REggert (823158) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855966)

document structure != layout

The header and footer are part of the structure of the document.

The fact that they appear at the top and bottom of the screen is part of the layout.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855992)

Uuum, dude, sorry to tell you this, but you’re not a professional.

I've been saying for years, that when you write XHTML, and you think about layout/design for even a second, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

But don't worry. 90% of those who say they are web developers think that’s because they know HTML (hint: not XHTML), and think that counts as a programming language too. ^^

Nowadays, I have my own solution where I generate specific DTDs in RelaxNG (C syntax. XML syntax sucks bloated ass.) from a basic data(base) specification (was SQL, but nowadays I have my own format). Then I have a special kind of minimalist efficient EBML (binary XML) with descriptive header, that the actual content is written in. Sounds complex, but in practice it's extremely elegant:
If I want to write a new Article, I choose "New > Article", input the content while the editor enforces the rules and boundaries, save it to the right folder, push to live, and it appears at the proper place on the site.
If I want a new document type, I adapt the data(base) spec (in SQL times, this was a table, but since everything is a graph now, this is more like a Haskell "data" specification), generate the new DTDs from it, and it appears under "New >".
If I want to change page structure, I do it in XHTML with PHP includes. (No, TypoScript et al. are deeply deeply wrong, as PHP already is a template script language, and by using a language implemented in it, all you get is the inner platform anti-pattern. In other words: A crippled FAIL.)
If I want to change layout, I do it in CSS pre-processed with PHP.
If I want to change design, I change the basic color scheme, images, etc. (Aka. "the CI") That's the reason for the CSS pre-processing.
If I want to change the logic, I change the PHP and JavaScript.
And there is no database backend, since the thing I described above IS my database backend.

Re:CSS and why I never bought into it (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862364)

The whole idea of CSS was to separate content from presentation. But it never lived up to that promise for me. It would be more accurate to say that it separates content from *font* presentation.

If by "more" you mean "less", then this is true.

What would be REALLY useful to me is a way to separate out the actual layout of the page from the content.

Content: use semantic HTML (in HTML5, that's pretty easy, since even the old physical tags that have been retained are now semantic tags, but you may need to review HTML5 to see what the semantics are that the tags are supposed to represent, since in some cases they aren't obvious from their old presentational use in HTML 4.01 and earlier.)
Presentation (including layout): Use CSS. If all you know how to do with CSS is select fonts, you probably need to learn a lot more CSS than you currently know. (e.g., the CSS box model and CSS tables and the related properties, since those are pretty big in layout.)

I can do this now with php (and I do it on most of my sites now), but it would be nice to have it native to html/css.

It is native to HTML/CSS.

The way I have it set up is that the header of the page (with all the header graphics, page background image, sidebar graphics, etc.) are in a separate file, as is the footer. So to change the entire look of all my pages and subpages on the entire site, all I have to do is edit those two files.

That seems to be combining shared content with presentation, not separating content and presentation.

To the extent that there is substantive content for the header, footer, and sidebar that is shared between pages, these could be built as separate HTML files that are included via iframe tags.

To the extent that it is simply common presentation (shared cosmetic background images, etc.), these are things that can already be set through CSS (in fact, shared HTML content could be set through CSS as well using the :before and :after pseudo-selectors using content URLs, but that begins combining content with presentation as well, so it should be done cautiously if you are trying to get a clean content/presentation separation.)

That was supposed to be the kind of thing that css could do, but in practice I can only do it by making my pages php files and using an include statement to bring in the header and footer html.

HTML and CSS support what you describe without server- (or client-) side scripting or includes. Whether you can do it in HTML+CSS without PHP or other server-side scripting/includes is, of course, a different issue.

Say what? (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855126)

Whats a Wium ? Some new Nintendo console

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37856086)

What's a Ross Dee? Is that a special kind of horse [leo.org] that is always tired*?

___
* "dee" in Luxemburgish for "tired".

Me too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855160)

I always wake up in the morning and realise how much better Google would be if they did things my way instead!

CSS is fine for print - pages aren't good for web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855168)

One of the major advantages of electronic viewing is that you aren't limited by physical constraints like page size.

If paged media styles were introduced as part of the "web browsing experience" then either there would be the extra overhead of calculating the screen size then setting the optimal page size or your pages would look like crap on the devices they weren't explicitly built for and would need scrollbars anyway. The you run into the epub awkwardness of using physical page numbers for electronic documents. So you scroll 3 or 4 screens and you are still on page 2 because that is what matches the physical document.

There is no need for things like indices in electronic media because you have the far superior search function for anything that might interest you. TOCs work better due to hyperlinking. You don't need traditional running headers or footers or footnotes in electronic media, all of that can be more elegantly handled by the reading application.

That isn't to say there isn't a place for styling physical documents with CSS. The best business case I can think of is if you want to have a good looking, informative web page and also print out the content into a well formatted physical document. With CSS formatting you only have to maintain a single set of stylesheets along with the paged media pseudoclasses describing the page information.

A quick search shows a couple of products that support CSS paged media formatting:
antenna house [antennahouse.com] and prince [princexml.com]

I'm sure there are more if anyone cares to look.

Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855204)

'At Opera, we sometimes wake up in the morning and see a new Google service that could have been optimized if we could have worked with them in the development phase. It seems they're more eager to put out things and see what sticks.'

Or if they worked with the Chrome developers during the development phase. Oh, wait...

Besides, they don't want to optimise a site to work in a single browser and force it on everyone else until it becomes a standard. If they did they can do that themselves in their own browser. Instead they want to use the standards everyone is already using to avoid the problems from the past where a site will only work correctly in one browser (cough MS cough IE cough).

Re:Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37856698)

Yeah, I really enjoy the Opera Browser, but I don't want Opera cooperating with Google to develop services that only work (or work best) in Opera.

So what was the lie? (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855314)

Opera's Haakon Wium Lie On CSS, Web Standards, and More

Re:So what was the lie? (1)

greenhollow (63021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855334)

The singular of wii.

Re:So what was the lie? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857042)

If Wium were the singular, Wia would be the plural.

Re:So what was the lie? (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855360)

The cake.

Re:So what was the lie? (2)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860924)

Opera's Haakon Wium Lie On CSS, Web Standards, and More

A standard norwegian word, pronounced lee-ah. Please move aloing.

You Lie (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855488)

You lie!

Re:You Lie (1)

broginator (1955750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856242)

You, Lie!

This answer makes no sense... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855506)

I'm not saying it's impossible, but I haven't seen multi-column layout with images spanning columns done in JavaScript. You reach some walls in JavaScript.

Can anybody figure out what he's trying to say there? You wouldn't even need Javascript - you'd do that with some very basic CSS. I don't see the problem he's trying to point out.

Re:This answer makes no sense... (1)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855728)

I'm not saying it's impossible, but I haven't seen multi-column layout with images spanning columns done in JavaScript. You reach some walls in JavaScript.

Can anybody figure out what he's trying to say there? You wouldn't even need Javascript - you'd do that with some very basic CSS. I don't see the problem he's trying to point out.

*And* you can use JavaScript to alter CSS on-the-fly. So it's a pretty bizarre answer.

Re:This answer makes no sense... (1)

syockit (1480393) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856160)

Yes you can do it in Javascript, but the code would be convoluted. Someone may want to create a library for that. It's like writing macros for LaTeX.

Maybe the walls he was talking about was the walls he was talking about refers to the limit of how complex web authoring are allowed to be. At least that's how I see it, but it's easily mitigated by introducing a JS library for it.

Re:This answer makes no sense... (1)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856328)

Yes you can do it in Javascript, but the code would be convoluted. Someone may want to create a library for that. It's like writing macros for LaTeX.

Maybe the walls he was talking about was the walls he was talking about refers to the limit of how complex web authoring are allowed to be. At least that's how I see it, but it's easily mitigated by introducing a JS library for it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner-platform_effect [wikipedia.org]

Re:This answer makes no sense... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857648)

Yes you can do it in Javascript, but the code would be convoluted.

Proof-of-concept demo [tinyurl.com] . Click and drag the empty image frame to dynamically relocate it.

(Only works in browsers which recognize the data: URI scheme. Tested in FF and Opera.)

Re:This answer makes no sense... (1)

Ster (556540) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859294)

... (Only works in browsers which recognize the data: URI scheme. Tested in FF and Opera.)

Works in Safari 5.1.1 (on OS X Lion) as well.

-Ster

Re:This answer makes no sense... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859704)

The only browser that I know probably won't support it is IE (even the newer versions, I think - support for data URIs is limited to certain parameters, e.g. backgrounds), but I was also unsure of the mouse events since clientX, clientY are not computed the same over all browsers. Although since it doesn't care about the actual x,y of the click, just the relative distance between two clicks, that shouldn't cause a problem.

It is handy, though, to have a free host for a few k worth of HTML to do a demo like that. It was pretty cool when I discovered tinyurl allows data URIs. E.g. here's another I did [tinyurl.com] to demonstrate multiple background images (transparent PNG) with prime tile sizes to create a background pattern with a long repeat interval.

Re:This answer makes no sense... (1)

syockit (1480393) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855902)

Say for example, I want an image at a between certain paragraphs, and it spans two columns, and any text on the second column should wrap around the image instead of written over it. How do I go about doing that? In fact, someone else was also asking the same thing here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4577380/css3-columns-and-images [stackoverflow.com]

In October 1994 BTW. (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855786)

The standard that eventually became CSS was originally submitted to Tim Berners-Lee et al by Haakon Wium Lie

which was in October 1994 [google.com] BTW.

I hate CSS (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856722)

CSS is an awful standard with nebulous overrides and unclear behavior. The fact of the matter is you basically have to use a visual editor just to get the CSS correct and even then it looks different or has some tweaks on every browser. Mystery white space and unclear inheritance, the fact that "height: 100%" basically never works for anything, and to add to that the fact it's not really a format like anything else used in web development (maybe a little JSON esque?) just emphasizes how bizarre it is. Oh, and how you can't use variables or get parameters or perform operations in normal CSS (screen width in pixels, divide by 2, etc.) just further illustrates how much of a half-assed BS standard it is.

Personally I've been doing every piece of CSS in SCSS (SASS) because at least you can do mixins so you don't have get confusing inheritance and you have some simple logic/operations/variables with some nice hookups to JavaScript so you can do things like calculate things based on screen size. Still doesn't solve random mystery white space and anything measured in "em" coming out to totally random sizes or "inline" not actually putting things in-line etc. etc. etc...

Re:I hate CSS (1)

kmike (31752) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858156)

Hear, hear!

I absolutely agree. It feels like an elaborate thought experiment carried out for the sake of experiment, and artificially handicapped by many limitations to the boot. I'm surprised a more sane thing wasn't proposed at the time.

Re:I hate CSS (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862232)

Fully agree with this. In many ways, CSS is the hardest computer language I have to work with regularly, and creates the most headaches.

Yes, it got annoying, random limits, too much of what you want to do is non-obvious, some of the changes are more or less unpredictable, it's too dependent on the HTML structure, and then you got varying browser support on top of that.

SASS does a good job of bringing some sanity to it, but it only adds some basic stuff that should have been standard.

But, on the other hand, when you think of what CSS replaced.... Hoo damn, man. It's like angel harps and delicious cake in comparison. If you'd suggest we go back to that instead of CSS, I would bludgeon you to death with the nearest monitor I could grab for even suggesting something as monstrous as that.

Re:I hate CSS (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#37864596)

Well said!

I think this man is retarded (1)

toxonix (1793960) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856788)

"It seems they're more eager to put out things and see what sticks" I guess he's not aware that this is Google's standard mode of operation as a business. Does this man live in a box, developing a browser nobody needs?

Re:I think this man is retarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858274)

If he is retarded I can't imagine what you should be categorized as, this man created CSS, what have you done? Except boning your sister?

Agreed, 110% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858792)

Gotta love (not) the "armchair qb's" on /. who talk a "big game" putting others down (or complaining) who have done well in the computer sciences, yet the complainers/adhominem attackers (such as the fool you replied to) can't show they've done anything worth noting themselves in the same field, in this case, the computer sciences arena!

(They can't show work they did that others have noted as good/decent in written publications around the computer sciences, in essence, & yet "see fit to criticize" or put down others who HAVE done so... this type is pitiful!).

Yes, sometimes, I think it's just shills from the competition, on whatever product, that make posts like his was, and it probably was such a shill I'd wager.

(Best part is that Your reply easily put him in his place (i.e.-> The toilet where he belongs): Good job on your part).

Re:Agreed, 110% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859880)

Go fuck yourself, Alex.

Re:Agreed, 110% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860352)

Link to comment above in this thread: circle jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37863068)

I told APK to go fuck himself and, hey look, I think he just did! Or was it masturbation. Either way, you're quite the fag.

Is this a circle jerk, or just mutual masturbation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37863078)

Re:Is this a circle jerk, or just mutual masturbat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37868744)

A trolling off topic adhominem attack using stalker's what it looks like here http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2496638&cid=37859880 [slashdot.org]

Re:I think this man is retarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858286)

Seems like the alternative would be. Come up with an idea, extend the standards to support it, wait for all browsers to support those extensions, implement the idea using those extensions, see if it sticks.

Re:I think this man is retarded (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860954)

"It seems they're more eager to put out things and see what sticks" I guess he's not aware that this is Google's standard mode of operation as a business. Does this man live in a box, developing a browser nobody needs?

Perhaps he's questioning Google's standard mode of operation as a business? Did that occur to you?

Re:I think this man is retarded (2)

UpnAtom (551727) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862908)

The browser that all other browsers are based on you mean?

The browser that was out 10 years before Firefox?

He's being polite about Google. He's basically accusing them of behaving like Microsoft.

Re:I think this man is retarded (1)

toxonix (1793960) | more than 2 years ago | (#37869492)

"He's basically accusing them of behaving like Microsoft." You mean like a corporation? I think he's whining. He wants people to come to him for approval. "...if we could have worked with them in the development phase" Do companies have teams of product specialists who go around asking "What outside parties can we involve in the development phase to make this project take longer?" I don't think so.

Haakon Wium Lie from Opera On CSS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37857214)

Why don't people take more care when creating headlines when someone who isn't named "Jobs" has a name that is a common word? The headline is unparsable, even if you realize "Haakon Wium" is a name, since "Lie On" is a normal phrase. A very simple change, with a prepositional phrase breaking the name from the rest of the headline makes it much more readable.

Tro77kore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37857914)

are aq patHetic
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