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Re: The CSS Problem

From: Barry van Oudtshoorn <bvanoudtshoorn@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 11:06:47 +0800
Message-ID: <50A1B947.4000606@gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
CC: jens@meiert.com
On 13/11/12 10:46, Jens O. Meiert wrote:
>>> <http://meiert.com/en/blog/20121112/the-css-problem/>.
>> You don't suggest an alternative.
> I believe I do, by suggesting a different focus on the Working Group
> side (what is critical, and hence, implied, what can be removed?), and
> also more focus on the community side (how can we get the most out of
> CSS without constantly screaming “more, more”?).
>
Perhaps one of the main reasons that CSS currently appears to be 
exploding in scale is that the nature of the web has changed. Where 
before the web's primary use was as a straightforward document 
presentation system, we now use it to develop full-size applications; to 
create complex, magazine-inspired layouts; to put together books for 
on-screen and in-print consumption. What this means is that exactly what 
is "critical" varies wildly from person to person and from use-case to 
use-case. For example, whilst regions may be critical to creating 
magazine-like layouts, and even to books, you could argue that they're 
perhaps unnecessary application development. How many layout systems are 
used for such a variety of purposes?

I agree that there is a risk that CSS becomes too large for anyone to 
really understand completely. Perhaps one way to resolve this would be 
to provide documentation that's usage-focussed: in other words, 
stipulating that modules x and y are great for application development, 
and modules y and z are designed to make it easier to do complex 
magazine-like layouts. In other words, perhaps the problem is not with 
CSS itself, but with the discoverability of its features (which, I would 
argue, is a function of how these are documented). I'm sure that one 
could set up portal pages on MDN etc. that group CSS functionality by 
application.

-- 
Barry van Oudtshoorn
www.barryvan.com.au
Received on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 03:07:55 GMT

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