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

On Jun 30, 2005, at 2:05 PM, Orion Adrian wrote:

> This is still the foundation of Microsoft development. It is their
> slogan and it appears on their products: "Play for Sure". Users don't
> care about how developers do it, they only care that they do. They
> hate that there are subtle or major differences between applications.
> They don't understand it and they don't care. From a typical user's
> perspective, IE is correct and Mozilla, Opera and Safari are broken.
> Why? Because features work on IE that don't work elsewhere. Is this
> because authors coded for IE? YES!, but it's a moot point since users
> only care about sucess.

I wouldn't peg this solely on users, either. Developers have the same  
feelings. It's why CSS is becoming prominent now, after being in the  
market for years. Tables and tag-soup design work. At least they do  
for modern-ish computer, color-screen, flash-enabled viewer, which  
makes up most of the market. That's the bottom line.

I think Orion's major point is that by the time a CSS standard that  
makes what designers want to do possible is available, it will  
already be obsoleted by a new technology that is (most likely) going  
to be platform-specific, easy to design with, and be integrated into  
most users' operating systems. If that is the case, CSS /is/ doomed,  
and it's also a major blow to the open-source movement, platform- and  
device-independence, as well as niche platforms. While I don't think  
all of this is the W3C's or the CSS-WG's problem, the move to X(HT)ML/ 
CSS is what really opened the door for the future of an open and  
vibrant computing market, and the future of CSS will be a major  
factor in said future.

Perhaps Orion's concern just voices the frustration of many  
evangelized authors willing to use the tools and then realizing that  
they are /almost/ available. I also don't think the standards are the  
only (or possibly most) important front to fight this "battle". While  
quickening the pace of standards may help, more important will be  
promoting the user agents, authoring tools and devices (is there an  
XHTML mobile phone available in the US? I've been looking...).

Instead, I think time now should be spent on bolstering, perfecting,  
and releasing the current standards, as well as creating very  
circumspect new groundwork for the future, which I think the WG is  
doing very well. We non-WG folks could do better supporting Mozilla,  
Opera, and Safari, Linux, CSS-friendly design software and CSS on  
handheld, as well as creating a CSS-voice UA, etc. this will not only  
do more for "the cause," but will increase the number of  
interoperable implementations, thus speeding the advancement of CR's  
to recommendations.

Ryan Cannon
Instructional Technology
Web Design

Received on Thursday, 30 June 2005 19:02:25 UTC