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Re: The CSS Problem

From: Jens O. Meiert <jens@meiert.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 14:46:41 -0800
Message-ID: <CAJ0g8QQgDf=P3Cy-Exxia5PUPVZwHhosCgMGnVYHpQ6yujF4eQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
This is a very interesting discussion; I am grateful for the views
shared here and elsewhere.

> some of the growth is directly related to making CSS *less* complex
> in practice, at the cost of *appearing* to be more complex.

That is a great point, and I can see where you, Tab, are going here.
In parts this may be true; in others it is not.

Going from 120ish to 270ish properties simply isn’t just “appearing”
more complex, it is very much *becoming* more complex.

I’ve made more observations over the years, but let me just share one
I made maintaining an index of all CSS properties: At no point did I
get a particular impression that focus on ease-of-use and the author
was a goal; it seemed to be one of adding more features.

That focus on features is hence exactly at the heart of my criticism:
Authors scream “more, more” and we seem to happily deliver. At the
same time do authors demonstrate that they don’t even understand the
fundamentals yet, while we here add features multiple times (I’m
exaggerating, though I’m thinking of all the different ways CSS 3 has
envisioned to do layouts by now).

As people asked about specific things to do, I’d wish here we could
clean house and kick out everything for which there is no drastic
need. The web developer community, on the other hand, would benefit
from learning how to use, or make the best use of, CSS. The mindset of
“hey I don’t know how to do this, so we need a new feature in CSS”
has, despite defenses put up by this group, probably contributed quite
a bit to the situation we’re in now, which I consider to be

While I believe to see all these problems, I’m not sure I have a
silver bullet to solve them either though.

Jens O. Meiert
Received on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 22:47:29 UTC

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