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Re: Three design-related (HTML or CSS) elements for your consideration

From: Sampo Syreeni <decoy@iki.fi>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 20:38:39 +0200 (EET)
To: Rob Larsen <rob@drunkenfist.com>
cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.51.0301152000060.5935@kruuna.Helsinki.FI>

On 2003-01-15, Rob Larsen uttered to www-html@w3.org:

>I hate to be the one to step on your utopian vision of the secret life of
>_professional_ web designers and developers, but, in the real world "how
>it looks" is a mighty large percentage of how successful you are.

Indeed. That is also what tagsoup is for. Why ruin such a perfectly
workable solution by W3C standardisation? I mean, the latter will
necessarily grind for a year or two and turn out huge pile of
tricky-and-expensive-to-implement specifications, none of which will
attain the preternatural harmony between semantics and presentation the
process set out to discover. I say, tagsoup, PDF, Flash and SVGs for those
who want them, and a squeaky-clean XHTML for the purists.

>Maybe we could somehow reprogram the world so that visual aesthetics
>don't matter.

We don't have to. The means to get the precise visual effect you want have
been present since HTML tables and GIFs appeared on the scene. If you look
at those much touted real world, visually appealing sites, that's what
they use. That's what they'll continue to use, too, because it's going to
be a few years before CSS3 gathers support, and even that won't suffice
for some of the funkier layouts out there. Strict XHTML is, has been and
will continue to be an effort of the purists. Consequently, it doesn't do
a whole lot of damage if the WG goes all the way, and simply ditches
'style'. The real effect would simply be to make those with content
oriented, visually less-appealing sites and a bent towards pedantry a bit
happier.

Besides, 'style' does not add any presentational power to XHTML, thanks to
the existence of CSS's class and id selectors. It is a convenience,
perhaps, but to claim that its absence would cause sites to look dull is
simply a non sequitur.

>Sorry for sullying the purity of your discussion with my ugly, real world
>opinions.

Well, when it gets ugly, it might as well get really so. ;)
-- 
Sampo Syreeni, aka decoy - mailto:decoy@iki.fi, tel:+358-50-5756111
student/math+cs/helsinki university, http://www.iki.fi/~decoy/front
openpgp: 050985C2/025E D175 ABE5 027C 9494 EEB0 E090 8BA9 0509 85C2
Received on Wednesday, 15 January 2003 13:38:44 GMT

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