W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 2005

Re: CSS is doomed (10 years per version ?!?)

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Fri, 01 Jul 2005 17:35:53 +0200
Message-ID: <42C562D9.7000206@students.cs.uu.nl>
To: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

Orion Adrian wrote:

>Except it's not. First, use of table layout usually requires changing
>document source which is a big no-no. Go ask the HTML folks - they'll
>tell you the same thing. Some people here will say the same thing.
First: look at it differently: you do not have to change your source to 
get a certain layout, you have a limited set of layouts that you can get 
with a certain source. The reason for this is: incremental rendering. If 
you want things to be incrementally renderably, there is only so much 
you can do with a certain source order. Grid layout will give a solution 
for the other cases.

Second: not changing source for a layout is a myth. With the current 
support for CSS it is almost always necessary to add divs here and there 
and reorder the source to achieve certain effects. Note that this is 
often not the fault of CSS, but again the lack of CSS support in user 
agents. Although sometimes it is, I do not deny that.

Point is though, that on most sites, the source will already have the 
appropriate order for a table layout. Navigation on top, content below 
it. Both get display: table-cell, they are rendered next to eachother, 
and will stretch to eachother’s size (which is the problem you would 
want to solve, otherwise you could just use absolute positioning). 
Problem solved.

>People should never need to be educated. Technology is our servant,
>not the other way around. Technology should aid users, not require
>years of education. That's the goal. Education is a necessity and fun
>for a lot of people, but we shouldn't force people to learn about the
>created world, just the natural one.
Of course they do. People have to learn about technologies like XML, 
about CSS, but also about new ways of thinking, about how things are 
done better.

Hell, why am I attending classes at my university if I don’t have to be 

>This is just getting frustrating. I don't like the spec with regards
>to layout. I don't like the spec. This isn't about what's implemented.
>It's the spec. Please understand. (Limited to layout though).
Then work on it, constructively (detailed comments on the grid idea, 
suggesting changes and improvements would probably be best), instead of 
suggesting the entire spec be dropped or Microsoft develop a proprietary 

Saying that it’s not good is not getting us anywhere. And improvements 
in this respect *will* take several years to be available to the general 
public, no matter whether it is a standards process or a proprietary 
technology. It is something you have to live with, and in the meantime 
you can use what you have now, and hopefully by the time IE7 is released 
(and has been around for enough years for users to migrate to it) in 
addition to that display: table and a non-broken absolute positioning.

>No, it's because we hate them. We really, really do. I have never had
>one student voluntarily use display: table. Why, they're messed up.
>They don't match the mental model of the average person at all. I
>realize I'm starting to loose it from abject frustration here.
I don’t see how things can’t get any more intuitive than plain old 
regular tables.

Please, dedicate a separate post to this list with specific details 
about how you think a layout should be defined. For it to be a good 
proposal which will actually be considered, follow the following rules: 
1. work within CSS as it stands right now, 2. do not propose to 
introduce a secondary language. 3. consider how it will , 4. compare it 
to Bert Bos’s grid layout and what advantages it will offer, and why the 
grid layout can not be modified to also have those advantages.

That is more constructive and to-the-point than the discussion that is 
going on right now.


Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san!!
Laurens Holst, student, university of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Website: www.grauw.nl. Backbase employee; www.backbase.com.
Received on Friday, 1 July 2005 15:35:56 UTC

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