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Dvorak Rants on CSS

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the internets-most-successful-troll dept.

522

John Dvorak writes on CSS after working on redesigning his weblog, the article ended up being extremely funny. From the write-up:

As we move into the age of Vista, multimedia's domination on the desktop, and Web sites controlled by cascading style sheets running under improved browsers, when will someone wake up and figure out that none of this stuff works at all?!

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522 comments

Two problems (5, Funny)

rk (6314) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743512)

  1. John Dvorak, unfashionably late as always. It's news that CSS has problems? Hasn't anybody who's done even casual web development known this for six or seven years now?
  2. To summarize Dvorak's argument: "OMG Inheritance is just too hard to understand LOL"
  3. ("Two problems" "Three, Sire!") When someone characterizes something as "extremely funny", I'd like to think the article will at least make me grin once. I'll admit to a moderate anti-Dvorak prejudice, but it came off closer to the neighborhood of "extremely stupid" than "extremely funny".

Re:Two problems (4, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743579)

The real problem is that browsers aren't following standards, not that CSS is broken. But any decent web designer knows what won't work on which browsers, and decide how to do things accordingly.

Re:Two problems (5, Funny)

Gospodin (547743) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743669)

Don't worry, IE7 will solve all of your problems.

[insert failed attempt to keep a straight face here]

Re:Two problems (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743733)

"Don't worry, IE7 will solve all of your problems."

Yup...now in IE7...none of it will work. Not even the clever work arounds of the past to get older versions to work....

Sorry..I couldn't keep a straight face either...

:-)

Re:Two problems (4, Interesting)

smokeslikeapoet (598750) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743778)

With all do respect, I shouldn't have to be a "decent" web designer to be able to put up a personal homepage that looks the same in all browsers. Instead of using some WYSIWYG editor I decided to strike it out on my own and write a page from scratch using the "standards" that the W3C touts.

On top of crazy interpretations that different browsers display, I had the damnedest time trying to get the w3c recommended "DIV" tags to float in the right places. I ended up going back to tables, which really screws up text based browsers and screen readers. Why the hell can't anyone stick to a standard?

The problem leads to bad design habits (i.e. designing for only popular browsers), complex pages (i.e. javascript browser detectors that load different pages for different browsers), and n00b frustration that encourages use of monstrosities like Frontpage and Yahoo page builder.

Re:Two problems (4, Funny)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743872)

Meanwhile, this article is basically Dvorak saying, "Man. Programming is HARD. It has to be a problem with the language."

Re:Two problems (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743584)

I think that now CSS has reached a critical mass where it has infiltrated many of the websites that I visit on a daily basis. Granted, these problems are nothing new, but they are now approaching omnipresence.


I must admit to a generally pro-Dvorak bias. He only rarely gets caught up in marketing hype and adds much needed common sense to some ventures. Although he did once claim that Internet access through cable was a stupid idea that would never take off, he is worth reading. Everyone is bound to disagree with him a certain percentage of the time, but I think he is worth reading.

Re:Two problems (2, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743684)

I must admit to a generally pro-Dvorak bias. Everyone is bound to disagree with him a certain percentage of the time, but I think he is worth reading.

Yes, he is rather brilliant [slashdot.org], isn't he?

Re:Two problems (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743769)

Are you ever going to tire of linking to that post of yours? It seems to use it in every single Dvorak discussion. We've all seen it. Give it up.

Re:Two problems (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743825)

'Scuse me? I'm fairly certain I haven't been linking off to there. I haven't even been around much lately! If you can prove otherwise, then please accept my apologies for using it to chastise and otherwise make fun of the poor Dvorak-loving original poster.

If you can't prove otherwise, then you may wish to seek medical attention for your odd bouts of Deja Vu. If you can't prove otherwise, then you may wish to seek medical attention for your odd bouts of Deja Vu. :p

Re:Two problems (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743591)

Katz^WDvorak is complaining about it now because he finally got around to trying to redo his blog with it. From the article, it appears he's basically experiencing some pain with his first exposure trying to format using a technology that he doesn't really understand. No real surprise there.

Sure, CSS has issues, but most of his frustration appears to stem from the fact that he really doesn't know much about CSS.

Experts should be optional (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743806)

Sure, CSS has issues, but most of his frustration appears to stem from the fact that he really doesn't know much about CSS.

He's probably used to HTML. The Web exploded because HTML was easy and anybody could 'get it'. I taught my grandfather HTML over lunch on a sheet of paper in the late 90's. This was good for the web, despite how people bitch and moan about their refined aesthetic sensibilities being offended by amateur GeoCities pages.

Since then the programmers have taken over. HTML documents need to have an XML namespace declaration at the top that most mortals can't remember. The CSS inheritance model is nonsensical, I need a 2-page cheat-sheet to get the syntax right, its designer thinks declaring aliases are 'too complex' and it takes a bona fide css expert to get css positioning working across browsers with a design that survives user-preferred fonts.

I'll start worrying about all this when browsers stop rendering the transitional DTD styled with basic CSS and positioned with tables.

Re:Two problems (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743831)

it appears he's basically experiencing some pain with his first exposure trying to format using a technology that he doesn't really understand.

Precisely. The first clue should be when he says:

CSS's real benefit was that the layout not only could be changed easily but also could become dynamic: The content is stored in a database and presented as necessary, with instant updates. With dynamic content, it's possible for 100 people to go to the same Web site and get 100 different versions.

What the hell is he talking about? Not only is that not CSS's "real benefit", I can't even figure out how he managed to get the idea that this is what CSS is all about. Did he take one look at the CSS Zen Garden and completely miss the point or something?

He can't even get basic facts and terminology right:

The first problem is the idea of "cascading." It means what it says: falling--as in falling apart. You set a parameter for a style element, and that setting falls to the next element unless you provide it with a different element definition.

Nope, wrong. That's inheritance. The cascade [w3.org] is when you resolve rules found in multiple stylesheets.

You don't "set parameters for style elements" at all. Style elements are instances of the <style> element type, and they are used to include parts of a stylesheet in an HTML or XHTML document. You don't set parameters for elements either. He could be talking about attributes, or perhaps properties, it's hard to tell when his terminology is so muddled.

Finally, this bit is hilarious:

Worse yet, nobody except the most techie insiders wants to talk about this mess.

That's right, he's been totally oblivious to CSS, and now, when he starts to learn a bit about it, he blames his ignorance on some sort of conspiracy! That's right, us "techie insiders" have been keeping the truth from you, muhahaha!

Re:Two problems (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743726)

To summarize Dvorak's argument: "OMG Inheritance is just too hard to understand LOL"
Ah yes, the good old "pepper all quotes with stupid internet slang to make the subject sound worse" trick. Very very very very hackneyed.
OMG I'll make him sound like such an idiot by putting stupid words into his mouth LOL!!!!!11

Re:Two problems (1)

rk (6314) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743810)

Yes, very hackneyed indeed. I used precisely the same amount of brain power to come up with that as Dvorak apparently used to understand CSS.

Isn't repeating the same adjective multiple times also pretty hackneyed?

Re:Two problems (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743727)

Well, it's not funny haha as much as funny sad. "You set a parameter for a style element, and that setting falls to the next element unless you provide it with a different element definition."

No...Really? You're saying that, if you set something to something, then it stays that way unless you tell it to be something else? And that that's a problem?

Come on! Don't push your own lack of skill off on the tool. If you want to do each page seperately, by all means, go right ahead. Otherwise, learn a little about CSS before you dimiss the whole thing as crap. I'm not a designer, but the "problems" he describes are are both familiar to me, and user error. Fixing inheretance is not that difficult.

I find CSS to be vaguely annoying because I'm not a visual guy, and my formatting never looks quite how I want it to, but there is no denying its simple and effective.

Re:Two problems (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743822)

CSS's real benefit was that the layout not only could be changed easily but also could become dynamic: The content is stored in a database and presented as necessary, with instant updates. With dynamic content, it's possible for 100 people to go to the same Web site and get 100 different versions.
I think his real problem is he doesn't have a clue about what CSS actually is..

Re:Two problems (1)

aymanh (892834) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743842)

("Two problems" "Three, Sire!") When someone characterizes something as "extremely funny", I'd like to think the article will at least make me grin once. I'll admit to a moderate anti-Dvorak prejudice, but it came off closer to the neighborhood of "extremely stupid" than "extremely funny".
It's funny because of the stupidity of the article, or so I found it.

Re:Two problems (2, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743859)

I think his bigger problem is that he holds the common misapprehension that HTML/CSS/web browsers form a typesetting or page layout system.

If you are trying to do layout that is pixel-perfect on the web you are fucking up.

-Peter

Standard versus Proprietary? (3, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743535)

I can't believe the guy is still writing. The only reason I ever browsed through PcMag back in the bookstore days was to catch his commentary -- to me he was still the first real tech comedy print blogger before the term was coined.

I have to agree with him here 100%. Back in my SysOp days running a multinode BBS, I remember the hassles of the design interface -- we had 80 x 25 characters to use and we had (at most!) 2.4K/s download speed. Any remember using TheDraw to animate ANSI? What fun those days were.

All those hours and hours of editing in edlin and then TheDraw and then the RipTerm editor were always a big hassle, but today's multimedia standards are absolutely horrible. Once something finally gets to the ideal stage, it is replaced by something new that doesn't work well. CSS is probably the worst "standard" ever created in terms of design -- the idea is great but I'm starting to see that "freely created" standards are more and more garbage, no matter what the ubergeek thinks.

I'm in the process of starting our CSS layout from scratch for all of our blogs (I hired one graphic designer and have 2 more volunteers). We've spent 40 hours in the last week testing a few ideas on a variety of browsers and they're a mess. I think I should go back to the days of plain-jane HTML and just deal with it, but many people are becoming comfortable with the whole Web 2.0 interface and it is almost expected. I can accept that, but it seems that CSS does more harm than good, especially with the massive number of browsers out there. I really think we should consider each browser application and each version number as a totally seperate entity. I have to keep an entire set of different installs of various browsers (when possible) just to test all the different versions.

I'm a pro-market kind of guy, so I can accept these stumbling blocks because I do know that it is better for the market to have all the competition, buggy or not. Many standards do work eventually, but they have to be replaced because something new was released that everyone wants. I look at Flash (which was mostly proprietary for a long time) and I was much more luckier in designing a flash interfaced site (in terms of compability over the long haul) than I have been with any of the public standards.

I'm wondering: is the future not a public standard but a mess of proprietary ones that may work better, even if they require plug-ins and additional software to work? Standards bodies have NO REASON to try to make something work in even one platform -- they can blame the developer of the platform for the mess. Proprietary formats, on the other hand, often times will see any bugs being blamed on the developer of the format, not the developer of the platform using the format. When Flash first came out, the great majority of problems we had were always blamed on Macromedia, not on IE or Netscape. While I'm not saying this is necessarily an area that competition (of relatively proprietary standards) is the best for the short term, it might be for the long term. Who is competing against CSS in terms of proprietary standards for basic text and graphic layout? Will HTML be replaced by a variety of other formats that require some other application to be bought to create them?

(FWIW, I know that making a good CSS means documenting and comments everywhere -- even when that is done properly there still seem to be a ton of problems across the various platforms. I also have spent time on csszengarden.com for some insight in overcoming the problems).

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (5, Insightful)

mopslik (688435) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743589)

I'm in the process of starting our CSS layout from scratch for all of our blogs (I hired one graphic designer and have 2 more volunteers). We've spent 40 hours in the last week testing a few ideas on a variety of browsers and they're a mess.

The troubles you are experiencing are not CSS problems, per se, but rather piss-poor browser implementations of CSS. If browsers followed the specs, you'd probably eliminate 99% of the issues right off the bat.

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743630)

The troubles you are experiencing are not CSS problems, per se, but rather piss-poor browser implementations of CSS. If browsers followed the specs, you'd probably eliminate 99% of the issues right off the bat.


You're right, but this is one of the natural "phenomena" of the market -- no one wants to really follow anyone else's standards. It seems to be a shortcoming, but it allows for new features and options to be released before anyone can "finalize" on a standard. I think this is a Good Thing in some ways because that is how things get better -- competitive standards rather than an all-in-one standard.

IE gets blamed the most, which may be right because they are probably the worst at supporting the standard. My concern is that Firefox also does not comply with the standards at all -- why? Any breach of a standard makes that standard virtually worthless for me.

Maybe Adobe can release a style-sheet standard of their own a la PDF: I think I have more faith in PDFs rendering properly on ANY platform (PDA, phone, screen, TV, printer, plotter) than CSS or HTML.

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (2, Insightful)

mopslik (688435) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743720)

no one wants to really follow anyone else's standards.

Lots of people want to follow other standards. It allows for their product to be interoperable with existing (read: not their own) products. The ones that usually oppose said interoperability are trying to preserve a monopoly on their format.

competitive standards rather than an all-in-one standard.

Ahh, yes. The good thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.

The problem with this approach is that it's a mess. Can you imagine if all of the nails used to build your house required a different hammer? Each light bulb had a different sized socket? Each automobile required a different sequence to start the engine? There's a reason why things are standardized. In this case, a standardized display format for websites should make it easier for everyone involved... if implemented properly.

Firefox also does not comply with the standards at all -- why?

Don't you think "at all" is a bit facetious? Fx is actually pretty good at implementing CSS, especially compared to, say, IE. Box model, anyone?

I think I have more faith in PDFs rendering properly on ANY platform than CSS or HTML.

Different purposes. I shudder to think of a PDF-based Internet.

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743818)

Lots of people want to follow other standards. It allows for their product to be interoperable with existing (read: not their own) products. The ones that usually oppose said interoperability are trying to preserve a monopoly on their format.


I disagree! In my businesses, we often have to create something new not in order to preserve a "monopoly" on our previous work, but because there are always new things to try that the public standards don't allow. Because of this I get rehired since I can give my clients new efficiencies even though they are using a closed standard versus an open one. The reason for private standards isn't "monopoly" but competitive forces that require everyone to build a better wheel, even if from scratch.

The problem with this approach is that it's a mess. Can you imagine if all of the nails used to build your house required a different hammer? Each light bulb had a different sized socket? Each automobile required a different sequence to start the engine? There's a reason why things are standardized. In this case, a standardized display format for websites should make it easier for everyone involved... if implemented properly.


When I have to use screws to fix my deck, each screw tends to have its own screwhead for the driver -- competitive forces that allow us to have variety for our screws. Each light bulb definitely does not have the same socket -- look at halogen and LED and fluourescent and incandescent and PAR 64s and all that. Even in my own home I have 4 different bulb sockets I use all the time -- competitive forces that allow me to use the most efficient design for what I need done.

Different purposes. I shudder to think of a PDF-based Internet.


I'm not saying we should use PDF itself, but maybe Adobe can create something akin to Flash (without the animations, maybe) that would combine vector, text and bitmap better. When I render a PDF in any format it is perfect -- PERFECT. When I render CSS or HTML, it is rarely perfect, and HTML/CSS seems to have fewer purposes for content distribution than a slim PDF might. Sure, there are audio/video formats, and hyperlinks too, but I see no reason why those can't be encapsulated into some slimPDF variety.

Thanks for the insight, though.

Le sigh. (1)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743816)

"You're right, but this is one of the natural "phenomena" of the market -- no one wants to really follow anyone else's standards."

Basically, IE has about CSS2 20-30% coverage, while Konq, Opera, Safari (which is Konq), FireFox/Mozilla/Camino have between 70-90% CSS2 coverage. The second group ("standards compliant" I think I'll call them) have 95+% of CSS1 in, while IE has 40%. And IE also likes to do things Just A Bit Differently, ya know. MS doesn't seem inclined to follow the spec, but the other people have their shit together.

Now, since none of these are sold, and the marority are FOSS or Freeware, I fail to see the argument for market forces. This is not 1997, with two companies fighting to have their server software be dominant via browsers.

This post, and your other post, reveal flaws in your understanding that I think should be addressed. For the majority of your work, if you target standards compliant browers, you're golden. If you decide you must support IE, then you have to develop a second path for IE. If Safari or Konq is on the standards path and it misrenders something, no big deal. The intelligent users will file a bug. If something won't work on the IE path, it's also not a big deal. Just mention to the end-user that they can stop using the worst browser on the planet Earth to view webpages.

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (3, Funny)

TheRequiem13 (978749) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743597)

to me he was still the first real tech comedy print blogger before the term was coined.

I'm not so sure that's a coined term yet.

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (2, Insightful)

WeAreAllDoomed (943903) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743607)

I'm in the process of starting our CSS layout from scratch for all of our blogs [...] We've spent 40 hours in the last week testing a few ideas on a variety of browsers and they're a mess.

so what is the problem with the css standard, exactly? it seems reasonable to me, it's just that some browsers implement it poorly. maybe this is hard, or maybe a common standard for presentation on the web is not in the interests of some dominant browser makers?

assuming "too difficult to implement" is a valid complaint, are there others?

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (2, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743741)

Doesn't it seem that MOST public and open standards are difficult to implement and are lacking in terms of the most current "push the envelope" technology?

As I said in this post [slashdot.org], I have more faith in PDF as a "layout standard" than I do in CSS. My OP talked about Flash and how well it seems to work across every platform on every OS -- here we see two proprietary formats that work better than the open one (let's not even talk about any iteration of HTML and overall compliance).

I know for my "foes" here it just seems like another slam on anything "public performed" but in this case I think it still holds water. When the masses try to agree on anything, we rarely see anything working well. When it does work we should be surprised, but how many manhours are wasted on trying to create these standards that make everyone happy? Yes, there are some public standards that seem to work great (MP3, but that can be argued that it is also a proprietary standard written by a company for a reason), but for every 1 public standard that we see "working" we see dozens of proprietary ones that work better. Someone just IM'd me about this thread and said "XViD," but I look at XViD which some consider public but a good portion of its structure was taken from a proprietary standard. Do public standards work, ever, and if they do work on occasion, is the amount of man hours "volunteers" worth it compared to the man hours involved in creating a proprietary standard?

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743813)

"talked about Flash and how well it seems to work across every platform on every OS"

Well...only if said proprietary company supports all browsers on all platforms. I've still got sites I cannot go to using Firefox on Linux because the site requires flash version 8x...and the highest version for linux is 7x...

No..if standards are observed by everyone...everyone should be able to view everything....

This [guitarplayertv.com] is a site that I cannot view for instance...

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743646)

I'm wondering: is the future not a public standard but a mess of proprietary ones that may work better, even if they require plug-ins and additional software to work?

That's why I'm a fan of Flash. Sure it has its flaws, but you can be assured that if it looks nice in one browser, it'll look nice in all of them the same.

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (1)

nick.ian.k (987094) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743706)

You left out the part where the period turned into a comma and you continued, "provided there's the latest version of the Flash plugin available for the browser and platform in question." Flash doesn't work right everywhere. Building a site that's not going to work properly for as many visitors as possible is bad practice.

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (2, Insightful)

deesine (722173) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743815)

That's dada's point, without consistent CSS & HTML standards implementation in browsers, you're non-Flash site may just work worse for more of your audience than the Flash version, even accounting for the single-digit % of browsers without the plugin.

You're rule of thumb is correct: best practices is to reach for the widest possible audience.

Second Rule: depending on your audience and budget, you may be better off going with a CSS HTML alternate such as Flash.

BBS Days (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743665)

Yea I remember The Draw and RIP Script and Even RoboTech BBS own Graphical/FX which had a better one for many uses. But those advantages was most of the graphics were vecor based. HTML and CSS are Page Layout Based. With Tools like RIP Editor and ANSI tools like the Draw you were allowed to put things in X and Y locations. Not as much so with HTML/CSS Heck there is no way to Put a diagnal Line or a Circle on your HTML Page without using Graphics Picture, or getting some sort of plugin to the browser, I think there is a W3C Approved Vecor graphics but it is not widely used yet. Also back in the old days we had the luxery of knowing what resolution people were running in and their apps always ran full screen. Now we have resizeable window browsers and many many different screen resulutions. CSS was origionally designed so you can make all pages look consistant but it is forced into use because it gives more display options to your HTML that you cant do otherwise. Many people who use CSS use it just so they can change the color of their links when you move your mouse over it. It is not because it is better or easier or browser compatible it is just because there are more things you can do.

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743751)

When Flash first came out, the great majority of problems we had were always blamed on Macromedia, not on IE or Netscape.

And your point is ...?

When tons of crud caked on the hull of a ship are adversely impacting the craft's ability to slip efficiently through the waters, it is correct to blame the barnacles, not the ship.

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (2, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743762)

"FWIW, I know that making a good CSS means documenting and comments everywhere..."

What are these strange terms you use here...documentin and comments? These are foreign to us here on /.

:-)

Edlin? (2)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743843)

Who the hell used edlin? Blackbeard was a full-screen editor with a very reasonable set of control codes to do things, though Turbo Pascal 3's editor was probably the best of the best for the time.

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (1)

merlin_jim (302773) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743850)

lol I had forgotten the of TheDraw!

I used it religously though. There was a period of a couple years when not a day went by without me opening it...

Re:Standard versus Proprietary? (3, Interesting)

gregmac (629064) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743875)

I think I should go back to the days of plain-jane HTML and just deal with it

Because that wasn't even more of a mess??

Nested tables, embedded styles everywhere... sure, it works now, but only because the browser developers had so much time to get it to work, and developers have gotten used to it.

It's a horrible way to do layout. You end up with a twisted combination of layout and content - which means your web programmers have to have a bit of graphic design in them, and your graphic designers have to know a little bit about programming. To change something - for example, to move a menu from a horizontal bar at the top to a vertical menu on the right side - requires a ton of work. For a complex enough design, it may mean starting over, because you're 12 tables deep and are losing track of the row because there's too many rowspan=3's. Not to mention, there's no easy way to make a "print" or accessable version without having a whole separate layout.

Using CSS, you get a nice clean HTML layout. In fact, it's almost to the point where a web designer can be responsible for the CSS, and the programmer for the HTML*. Going back to the previous example, if your menu is in a div, and defined with an unordered list, then to move that navbar it's only a matter of changing the CSS. Don't need to touch the HTML (or corresponding server-side code that generates it) at all.

A nice thing about developing this way is the page is viewable before even putting in the CSS. In fact, it can be viewed easily by ANY browser (albeit without formatting) including text-based browsers and even the first generation web browsers. Making a printable version is just a matter of another stylesheet (and if you use the 'cascade' properly, you can have one that sets up the main layout, and one that modifies that for print, or one main, and two that inherit with specific changes - one for screen, one for print). Screen readers will have no problem with it. Search engines will index it easily.

Now, yes, it does have a learning curve. It takes a lot of reading to understand layout in CSS, as well as CSS in general. Current web developers often think "I know web development, I can do CSS" then get frustrated because things don't work (case in point, the original article). Really, they haven't bothered to learn it. There are a ton of great sites out there to help with this, and a couple google searches will find them. It's not something that happens overnight though, it takes a fair bit of reading and experimenting.

* There's still a few 'hacks' that are sometimes required to make the CSS work (ie, adding a 'wrapper div' around certain things), but these will hopefully be addressed eventually in newer versions of CSS. There's also the issue of IE .. but as long as you develop in a standards-based browser, and don't do anything TOO funky, it's usually not overly difficult to get IE to work (there's always the "IE7" [edwards.name] javascript hack). We can only hope that when Microsoft actually releases the real IE7, they get it right.

If IE7 does actually work, I would hope that the web would basically go to a "your browser is too old to view this page, please upgrade..." and provide links to firefox, IE7, and opera or whatever. I normally hate browser detection, but the faster we get rid of IE5/6 the better.

Can you read my mind? (4, Insightful)

fragmentate (908035) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743540)

Dvorak is waiting for DPSS.

Ever since we began using CSS for handling the visuals on our reporting platform we've had a much easier time making a big splash with clients. In the past just giving a new look and feel was all that was needed to appease the vast majority of clients; in spite of the data shown being exactly the same. Sure CSS requires effort, and as I read through the W3C's documentation I don't see them make the claim that CSS is necessarily easy on its own. Instead, the combination of tools (HTML and CSS) make presentation easier to update and shape.

DPSS (Designer Perceptive Style Sheets) should be ready in the next 50 to 100 years though. So, Mr. Dvorak, hold out just a bit longer and you can just think it, and it will be done.

Instead, Mr. D, rant about how the different browsers (IE6 rules!) failed to follow a published standard. The largest obstacles in web development are not the individual elements, but the containers. Having to do the same thing 3 different ways is obscene. On that, we agree.

Re:Can you read my mind? (1)

inteller (599544) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743857)

"DPSS (Designer Perceptive Style Sheets) should be ready in the next 50 to 100 years though" Sad thing is this dinosaur will still probably be around then.

What's the alternative? (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743542)

The real problem is that no two browsers--let alone no two versions of any one browser--interpret CSS the same way! The Microsoft browser interprets a style sheet one way, Firefox interprets it another way, and Opera a third way.

The problem is not with the CSS standard, the problem is with implementations of that standard. IE has been on a different planet for years when it comes to implementing standards. It's kind of laugable that there's the "Microsoft CSS standard," then there's the real CSS standard.

Firefox does better, and unlike Microsoft, they're actually trying. (And making a damn good effort of it, IMHO, it's actually really close from what I can tell.)

I don't have much experience with Opera, but I haven't had much trouble with it when dealing with CSS.

Remember several years ago when several car manufacturers got busted for putting bad tires on new cars? No one argued that having tires on cars was a broken idea. The same is true in this case. Don't ditch CSS, just fix the friggin' browsers.

Besides, what exactly is the alternative? Putting style tags on each element? For one thing, you'll run into the same problems, and for another, I'm confused as to how that is easier than using CSS. Going back to tag-level formatting? No thanks. Frankly, that was a hideous idea when they came up with it the first time.

It was a nice rant, though, but misdirected.

Re:What's the alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743587)

I don't suppose you ever tried tag-level formatting + generated code. Ah well, neither have I. The problem with tag-level formatting is verbosity. Indeed I only touch CSS when there is no way to do what I want to do with tag-level formatting, and that is rare.

Re:What's the alternative? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743694)

I don't suppose you ever tried tag-level formatting + generated code.

Sure, it works just fine. CSS just separates the content from the markup and makes my life easier. I use it for pretty much everything and there is only one thing really wrong with it, IE. I tag pages by hand and auto-generate a huge pile as well. It all looks great and is a cinch to make style changes to. Firefox, Opera, Safari, and everything else we test with all handle it just fine, except IE which gracefully degrades to show the same info, but without a lot of the useful formatting.

Re:What's the alternative? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743803)

My gripe with learning CSS is that it uses technical terms that are completely inconsistent. For instance you want to have bold text. The declaration for this is "font-weight: bold". Now, I happen to know that the boldness is actually part of the font selection process, but most people just want bold text. So you want your links underlined, right? "text-decoration: underline". It's technically not part of the font, but to the users of the spec, you've introduced two different sets of adjectives to describe "how I want the letters to look". So finally, you decide your links should be blue. So is it "text-color" or "font-color"? No, it's just "color". Definitely developed by people who just wanted to sell reference books.

Now that I've waded through all that and used it for years, I still have gripes, the biggest being that your choices for layout are basically "proportional" and "fixed", with no options in between for "wide enough to fit this table column at whatever font size the user has specified." (I write web applications that basically deal with tabular views of data, so dealing with tables is a BIG part of my day, and I'm not talking about trying to make bits and pieces of pictures line up using them). If I try fixed width, then if someone increases their font size past what I tested with, it begins to wrap around and look ugly. If I try specifying proportions, then no matter what I do, I end up with columns that consist of a checkbox or a two digit number that take up 1/10th of the width of the screen and again looks ugly. If I try using table tags and letting the browser render it however it likes, then users end up with basically random screens depending on how the browser was feeling that day, and hitting reload causes the entire page to render differently.

Re:What's the alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743853)

Except Microsoft came first. It was somebody else who decided that to "clarify" the standard so it contradicted the most widely spread implementation of it.

Besides even as open source developer I have to recognize that Microsoft's interpretation was more logical and more usefull, than what ended up as the standard.

Dvorak, IT's own Andy Rooney (5, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743548)

Didja ever notice how web pages look different? Why do we have all these fonts? Shouldn't one or two fonts be enough?

Ah yes, material for years.

Re:Dvorak, IT's own Andy Rooney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743649)

Yup, except Andy Rooney has tons of talent, is one of the best news writers ever and his work will live on for hundreds of years while Dvorak still thinks Cheerios are "donut seeds".

Extremely Funny? (5, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743555)

Ok, I'll summarize the funny parts.
  1. _
  2. _
  3. _


The only reason I use CSS is because color coordination does not run in my genes.

Whycome? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743576)

Whycome when Dvorak troll he gets linked to and when I trolls I get modded down?
Dat jus not fair.

What a loser (-1, Flamebait)

tak amalak (55584) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743582)

Even 14 year old kids on Myspace can figure out CSS.

Re:What a loser (0)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743787)

Even 14 year old kids on Myspace can figure out CSS.
Really? I haven't seen any evidence of that. MySpace in general is the most unattractive collection of web pages I've ever seen... with the possible exception of luminous-landscape [luminous-landscape.com].

This just in.. (4, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743585)

..Dvorak displays lack of understanding of issue he's ranting about.

Ok, this is actually a bit funny, but not in a humorous editorial column way. More of a sad "son hits dad in the groin with a baseball bat on 'Funniest Home Videos'" sort of way.

Re:This just in.. (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743773)

Oh, trauma to the groin, boys
Trauma to the groin!
Nothing's quite as funny
As a trauma to the groin.

There is no wit more pretty,
There is no joke divine,
Nor limerick delicious as
A trauma to the groin!


Heywood Banks is a genius.

Solution (2, Interesting)

interiot (50685) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743599)

Solution: Start telling MSIE users to upgrade when they show up at your website, and if they don't, tell them to shove off. Yes, CSS standards are good. Firefox and Opera implement them a whole heck of a lot better than MSIE does. Okay, MSIE is catching up, but it's only one update followed by another 5 year span of stagnation. Users don't realize what a drag they're causing on web standards by sticking with such an old browser; it's time to help them feel the pain.

Re:Solution (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743662)

Solution: Start telling MSIE users to upgrade when they show up at your website, and if they don't, tell them to shove off. Yes, CSS standards are good. Firefox and Opera implement them a whole heck of a lot better than MSIE does. Okay, MSIE is catching up, but it's only one update followed by another 5 year span of stagnation. Users don't realize what a drag they're causing on web standards by sticking with such an old browser; it's time to help them feel the pain.
That is an insanely wonderful idea, and I wish we were in a world where everyone could do so. But no commercial clients will ever let their web crew turn away any possible customers even if they're browsing on an N64 with a bad Mozilla port, as long as they can see the stupid twinkly Flash files they demand. (Never mind the vision-impaired...)

Beyond that, there's also the fact that I'm typing this in MSIE at work, and I'm nowhere near a position to tell the overlords at this company to switch to something more standards-compliant and free when they can pay lots of money to support MS products instead.

Re:Solution (1)

plaincorgi (936639) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743789)

Beyond that, there's also the fact that I'm typing this in MSIE at work, and I'm nowhere near a position to tell the overlords at this company to switch to something more standards-compliant and free when they can pay lots of money to support MS products instead.

They have a key logger on your pc don't they ;)

Re:Solution (4, Funny)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743753)

Actually, that's a good one. Remember those sites that say "This site requires IE..."

If the user's running IE, redirect to a page that says something to the effect of:

This page uses standards compliant CSS for layout. You are running IE, which does not render CSS properly. Please upgrade to Opera [link] or Firefox [link] to experience this website properly


Turnabout is, after all, fair play.

Re:Solution (1)

generationxyu (630468) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743858)

Tell the guy who's paying for you to design a website that you're gonna tell 85% of of the market to "shove off" because they aren't geeky enough for you. While you're at it, fire up Firefox or whatever other uber-browser you use, and start perusing some job sites... you're gonna need them. Better hope they work in !MSIE :)

Dvorak (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743605)

Why do we even let Dvorak news be posted? Aren't most trolls modded -1?

It's not a "standard" (-1, Flamebait)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743609)

That's not the worst thing. You can live with the basic cascading mess; it's a matter of debugging. The real problem is that no two browsers--let alone no two versions of any one browser--interpret CSS the same way! The Microsoft browser interprets a style sheet one way, Firefox interprets it another way, and Opera a third way. Can someone explain to me exactly what kind of "standard" CSS is, anyway?

CSS is not really a standard, but a concept, namely that formatting information should be separate from content. Good idea, assuming you can get the people generating the content to actually pay attention to all the formatting you've set up.

A "standard" would indicate that everyone in industry recognizes it and applies it equally and consistently, a fact we know to be in error as far as browsers go. Let's skip the IE bashing and Firefox fanboy routine and agree that so far, CSS compliance is decent but spotty and nobody really does it exactly as the standard outlines. Unless someone makes a CSS ruling body and gives it some kind of power, don't expect there to be any change in the status quo.

Re:It's not a "standard" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743696)

Now I get it, it's only a standard if Microsoft supports it.

The age of Vista? (0)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743640)

wtf does that imply? and wtf does it have to do with CSS? and wtf is this stuff that matters?

Re:The age of Vista? (4, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743779)

wtf does that imply? and wtf does it have to do with CSS? and wtf is this stuff that matters?

It's a logical necessity. Starting with "As we approach the age of Vista" logically predicates the following statements on the assumption we are approaching an "Age of Vista".

This allows us to say anything we please, because of the well known logical rule having to do with statements predicated on falsehood.

Example:
"As we approach the Age of Vista, engines powered by quantum singularities willreplace internal combustion."

"But, the internal combustion engine is still here!"

"Is it the Age of Vista?" "No."

"Well, then."

interactive transcript (5, Funny)

revery (456516) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743648)

Cast:
John Dvorak: played by a angry, crying, screaming Horatio Sanz
Normal Human: played by you (unless you are John Dvorak)

Dvorak: CSS IS STUPID!! I CAN'T MAKE IT WORK SO IT SUCKS!!! STUPID STANDARDS BODIES!!! WHY DON'T THEY MAKE ALL THE BROWSERS WORK THE SAME?!?!? WHY!?!?!

Normal Human: Uhm, John. The standards bodies aren't in charge of the browsers. And lot's of people use CSS on sites that look practically identical on all the major browsers.

Bvorak: NO THEY DON'T. I CAN'T MAKE IT WORK, SO IT SUCKS!!!

Normal Human: Maybe if you bought a good book on CSS. Something by Eric Meyer...

DVORAK!: BUT IT CASCADES!!!

Normal Human: It's suppopsed to cascade. Just calm down.

DVORAK!!!: A BEAR ATE MY PARENTS!!!!

Normal Human: ...

DVORAK!?!?!: KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!

Normal Human: I hate you.

Mod parent way up (1)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743736)

My plan was to post something like: "It's enough. Dvorak isn't even funny even more." But now I instead say: Mod parent up!

I'm waiting for a movie version of this on YouTube :)

Learn2Code (1, Insightful)

CharAznable (702598) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743652)

I say to Dvorak: Learn2Code. CSS is a pain in the ass, but it works pretty well if you have a vague notion of what you're doing and if you take the time to understand the cascading model. While we're at it, Dvorak is definitely not funny, and a submitter calling his articles funny just reeks of PC Mag employee.

It's not so bad (3, Informative)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743653)

CSS is only truly painful when the style-sheet is too vague. I find that it's actually browser assumptions on positioning and margins tend to be the biggest killers, but by using absolute values for these settings generally give the same results across all browsers.

Oh, and there are of course the IE-specific CSS bugs to bear in mind too - http://www.positioniseverything.net/explorer.html [positioniseverything.net]

"Oh, MS save us with proprietary solutions!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743658)

...is almost what he seems to be implying between the lines here ("Another fine mess from the standards bodies."). As a professional web developer, I can tell you the biggest failing with CSS is IE's support (or lack thereof). The other browsers like Moz, Safari, Kong all get along fairly well so I'm assuming his problem is with IE.

The actual language and design behind CSS is really, really good; especially when compared to old table based HTML. Cleanliness, lack of duplication, ease of development, CSS offers a large boost in all of these areas. The implementation may have issues here, but the language and concept are sound. Browsers (especially IE) need to reform their ways, not reinvent CSS.

CSS is a Dream (2, Interesting)

juiceCake (772608) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743668)

I find CSS to be a dream and much easier to work with than tables. More often than not, when people complain about CSS there are two main reasons:

a. Explorer (but you learn some work arounds)
b. They don't know what they're doing and are unwilling to learn (it's a paradigm shift as they say)

Of course, learning it from a good source makes all the difference.

I use CSS for layouts and for type (and for print.) It's a breeze. I recently had to do a quick update of an old site that used tables. It was a horrible, horrible experience. Fortunately, I've got the project to convert it using XHTML and CSS.

He's blaming the wrong group... (4, Insightful)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743674)

"Another fine mess from the standards bodies."

What? So, the reason why CSS renders differently on each browser is because of the standards bodies?

In other news: The POSIX standard is why Linux isn't the top operating system. The SQL standard is why every database works slightly differently (enough to trip you up). The 802.11a/b/g standards are why wireless can be a pain to set up...

Re:He's blaming the wrong group... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743752)

"The SQL standard is why every database works slightly differently (enough to trip you up)."

Woah back up here.

It's not the Standard that trips people up but the lack of support for the Standard and the Extensions that database vendors add. If you write ANSI Standard SQL AND the DBMS supports that standard (there are quite a few), you will not be tripped up.

When I write SQL code, I check to see the DBMS I'm working with supports that code. I don't simply write code that works MS SQL Server and expect it to work with Oracle.

That's my point. (1)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743798)

The 802.11a/b/g standards have nothing to do with the user interface of a wireless device.
The POSIX standard has nothing to do with Linux's position in the marketplace (mostly a UI, marketing, and inertia issue).
The SQL standard has nothing to do with why every database works slightly differently: it only attempts to set some rules on what they do the same.

Just as the CSS standard (and the standards body) has nothing to do with why browsers all render it differently. The standard defines how the browser should render - some browsers just ignore it.

Journal entry on the front page? (-1, Troll)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743679)

Is that new? Never noticed that before.

Oh, and was that article supposed to be "funny"?

Because it wasn't.

No digg.

In the name of all that's holy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743681)

please don't click through to his article. If we work together we can drive a stake throught this hack's heart. The Internet will be a better place for our crime.

Internet Connection Losing CSS data??? WTF??? (5, Funny)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743688)

If your Internet connection happens to lose a bit of CSS data, you get a mess on your screen.

When does that happen? When the web server times out because the CSS is too big to host out? Or when Dvorak's AOL connection kicks him off because his free 100 minutes has run out?

C'mon...

Re:Internet Connection Losing CSS data??? WTF??? (1)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743749)

Don't you know anything about the net? Obviously his tube got clogged ...

Re:Internet Connection Losing CSS data??? WTF??? (2, Insightful)

Gangis (310282) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743793)

If your Internet connection happens to lose a bit of CSS data, you get a mess on your screen.

Oh come on, Dvorak, this does NOT happen. TCP/IP has checksum features, if packets come in corrupt or not at all, the server resends that packet. It's an integral feature of TCP/IP.

Dvorak is an idiot. I really should stop paying attention to him.

Re:Internet Connection Losing CSS data??? WTF??? (1)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743855)

Well I think we all know what he's talking about, but he just doesn't understand why it's happening.

He must be talking about the browser having an old version of the css file(s) cached, which can of course produce some "interesting" visuals. This can happen in most browsers, and anybody who's done design work has probably run into it a time or two. Forced refresh clears it right up.

Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743707)

Just above the ad for the Dell laptop, and squeezed between The ATI and Canon ads, is this little jewel:

The current PC platform is so close to being permanently broken that I'm stunned that people aren't already up in arms. Everyone should be sued for false advertising.

Extremely funny? For whom? (1)

talexb (223672) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743718)

John Dvorak was mildly amusing in the mid-80's when I first ran into his column. Back then he would italicize the important bits which was entertaining, but after a while it just became a bit too much. This is more of the same, only twenty years later.

John, CSS uses inheritance -- it's a pretty advanced idea that egghead nerds are fine with, so just deal with it. As an earlier post says, a much better use of your time would be to complain about why browsers don't display the same page the same way -- if you manage to say something nice about Firefox, all the better. I'd suggest a calm, thoughtful, witty approach to writing, but then you'd have to drop the italics as well -- and I don't think that's gonna happen. Oh well.

As most readers know, I'm a blogger. (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743737)

"As most readers know, I'm a blogger."

That's like saying, "As most readers know, I am a computer operator."

CSS stands for Conspicuously Sketchy Sheets
Here's a tutorial John - http://www.w3schools.com/css/css_intro.asp [w3schools.com]

Re:As most readers know, I'm a blogger. (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743780)

CSS stands for Conspicuously Sketchy Sheets

CSS = Completely Stupid Styles

Have you seen some of the styles people/comapnies come up with? Ok, maybe I never wen to design school but fuschia, lime green, and orange make for a headache!

My experience... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743772)

...is that there are only two standards, IE and everything else. I don't know what he's been doing but I've found exactly one difference in CSS layout between Opera and Firefox, and that was a fairly ambigious (but technically correct) code with an oversized image without size inside a CSS with fixed size. I think Opera actually did it correct making it overflow the CSS, while Firefox was kinder on the web developer scaling it to fit inside. Of course IE did something ten times stupider, it resized the CSS and fucked the entire page. And with all of them (except IE, that is) heading for ACID2 compliance they should be easier to work with than ever. But why oh why did CSS have to do away with the table functionality? 90% of all the ugly crap I've seen could have been fixed if CSS supported simple things like having a footer.

Browser differences (2, Interesting)

domj00 (544223) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743774)

From the article: "There actually are Web sites that mock this mess by showing the simplest CSS code and the differing results from the three main browsers and the Safari and Linux browsers." Does anyone have a link to these sorts of sites that he mentions?

My favorite Dvorak quote (2, Interesting)

Flashpot (773365) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743776)

regarding font management in Windows 3.0, and the temptation to overuse fonts: "If you're using more than six fonts on a document, you're just masturbating your hard drive."

In retrospect, I think it's the last thing he said that made any sense.

Damn Right (5, Insightful)

martinmcc (214402) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743781)

Unsurprisingly there are a lot of 'omfg css is so easy, you are just doing it wrong' and 'its the implementers problem' type replies. While both these statements are true, they are missing the point.

CSS in principle is a good idea, and in practice, even in its current state, is a great improvement on the alternative, but the fact remains that in order to do a non trivial design that works across all in-use browsers it is going to take a lot of work. To do this in a standard way (without relying on browser quirks) takes more work still. Not particularly hard work, but can be very time consuming. Granted, this is the fault of the implementations, but that is a bit of a moot point to the person who has to spend the hours trying to remove a 1 pixel gap from the side on image in ie, without breaking the appearance in firefox.

As a professional web developer, I rarely am meet with issues that I have any difficultly understanding, the problems come when you design an elegant solution for a problem, implement 99% of it, then find some bug in one of the technologies used requires you to throw it all out and start again, rushing a ugly and hard to maintain solution in order to meet deadlines and avoid the broken bits. Experience help to avoid this, but when you multiply the amount of technologies typical in a web project (server, db, client side scripting, server side scripting, content (html), display (css)) etc. by the number of implementation that may be used for each one, factoring in the rate of change these technologies go through, it become impossible to be ready for all possible limitations/ errors in implementation.

WAH! (1)

blindd0t (855876) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743800)

...That's what this idiot deserves; a person yelling "WAH!" right in his face as loud as possible. Why? Simple: he is just another idiot who has no clue as to what he is doing and has the audacity to complain about it.

Yes, CSS has its flaws, many if not most of which revolve around the lack of good support in the most popular browser, IE6. However, these challenges are actually quite easy deal with provided one has an intimate knowledge, of XHTML, CSS 2.1, and all those little quirks when designing your code to support multiple browsers.

What really makes me livid is the complaints about "deconstructing" already created style sheets. Why is this so difficult to do sometimes? That's quite simple: people generally don't spend time organizing and commenting their CSS. If you develop a site, and your CSS is well organized and well commented, then you won't have any questions about what the CSS is there for. Also, though I'm sure this is redundant his complaint about cascading is flat out stupid. Should I instead have to spend weeks specifying CSS for every nested object in a page, or even better, using inline markup on the page that if it were to need to be updated later would need to be updated on each and every page? Personally, I'll gladly deal with specificity than dealing with that kind of mess any day.

Hey, I'm a Dvorak follower! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743808)

I'd follow Dvorak anywhere....out of morbid curiosity

But seriously, I RTFA and thought "well, he didn't say anything too stupid", until I saw the last comment about the standards body. I really do feel sorry for him.

!!!!THANK GHOD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15743820)

Makes me glad I decided never to rely on doing web pages for money...

I will stick with just running the network, if you dont mind.

Savor the irony (3, Funny)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743838)

...or maybe the inanity, your choice. He mentions Vista and CSS in the same sentence, and then focuses on CSS for a rant about things that don't work?

Some of the things you can do with CSS (2, Insightful)

merryberry (974454) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743863)

http://csszengarden.com/ [csszengarden.com] highlights some of the wonderful artistry you can do with CSS. Once people get a grasp of using CSS, going back the traditional table based layouts, and mixing content and style, is no longer an option; but CSS is far from easy to pick up. In fact initially using CSS is incredibly frustrating.

This is why I couldn't stomach web programming! (5, Interesting)

Theovon (109752) | more than 6 years ago | (#15743864)

I've been writing code since I was 5 when my dad taught me Fortran. As a pre-teen, I learned BASIC. In high school, I learned C and Pascal. In college, I learned LISP, Ada, and C++. My "favorite" language right now, simply because I am having more fun with chip design, is Verilog. Suffice it to say that I have a lot of experience with programming and programming languages and quite radically different ways of thinking about encoding algorithms (software and hardware design are very different from each other).

Coding web pages makes me violently ill.

Back in 2003, I decided to learn web programming. In the process, I learned to hand-code HTML, CSS, Javascript, Java, SQL, and PHP. PHP, I can handle, because it's simple and straight-forward and designed to make back-end writing easy (although I understand that there have been some developments with Ruby since then). SQL makes sense, since it's specialized for database manipulation.

But when it comes to developing front-end web content, I just cannot justify using three different languages for one thing. I mean, I do understand the idea behind specializing languages (PHP vs. SQL), so in the abstract, I see a reason for making a separation between structure/content (HTML) and formatting (CSS). I just have a visceral reaction to having to use two different languages with two different syntaxes at once in this context. Embedding SQL in PHP doesn't bother me. For some reason, CSS and HTML bother me. I think it's because I feel like they're haphazzardly slapped together and FORCED to get along. PHP and SQL have no relation. Each is designed for its function. HTML evolved from a structural markup language into a total mess, and then CSS was invented as a bandaid. Along the way, no one ever thought to actually unify them. And then there's Javascript.

CSS, HTML, Javascript, and Java each has its own different name for each kind of DOM object. WTF!

If you want to do the full gamut of web front-end programming, you have to learn four names for every object or attribute!

What were these people thinking?

They weren't.

And it's never going to get better. 100 years from now, web programming will be tainted by the legacy evolutionary path everything went through.

Just wait for the Semantic Web. Yet another syntax to learn. No unification AT ALL.
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