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Opinions about the use of the use of CSS for Positioning Layout

Background

The CSS (CascadingStyleSheets) standard is quickly encompassing the features web designers would like to see. However, the bulk of normal users seldom, if ever, upgrade their browser.

"Even when the availability of CSS capable browsers made CSS a viable technology, the adoption of CSS was still held back by designers' struggles with browsers' incorrect CSS implementation and patchy CSS support. Even today, these problems continue to make the business of CSS design more complex and costly than it should be, and cross-browser testing remains a necessity. Other reasons for continuing non-adoption of CSS are: its complexity, inertia and authors' lack of familiarity with CSS and required techniques, poor support from authoring tools, the risks posed by inconsistency between browsers and the increased costs of testing, and less frequently a requirement to deliver consistent appearance even to users of ancient non-CSS-capable browsers." - http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cascading_Style_Sheets&section=9#CSS_experiments

Bugs:1672 trails Arthur's work to get Positional CSS to work for PatternSkin in 4.0.2

Pros

  • It is the way of the future: true separation of presentation from content
  • ...

Cons

  • It is too hard for most mortal designers to design something compelling in a reasonable amount of time
  • Its too far out in the future. We need something for now

Dilemma

  • Given this issue, we concluded that PatternSkin is too hard for us to customise, so what is our designer to use?
  • We need something that will provide a smooth transition to positional CSS when it becomes a reality.

Sound Bites

Michael Daum

positional css, you want me to rant? 
here we go 
I tried. I tried very hard. 
And I started piling up css hacks en mass 
as much as html markup is simplified css grows more compicated til you drown in css hacks that you'd better be not proud of 
the one point I left the css doctrine was when I simply was unable to clear properly on the most comonly used browsers 
this has been nucked by browers devs 
once I went back to using layout tables suddenly things worked _easily_ in all browers 
the concept of tables is well understood (to a certain limit) among different browser developers 
implementing css properly seems to be a couple of magnitudes harder to do 
so each group of browser devs fail differently 
bottom line, as you too seem to have problems using positional css: this is not a solid base to build wikis with, I*M*H*O 
did I already say css maintenance gets a nightmare 
for me css seemed to be much too wonky to scale well 
what do I use css for? 
fonts, spacing, background images 
that's pretty much it 
as a wiki generates the html dynamically there is in principle no need to let the client do all the layout 
and thats why there is this skinstate hash in the natskinplugin that controls how markup is generated 

-- Contributors: MartinCleaver, MichaelDaum

Discussion

-- MartinCleaver - 28 Apr 2006

http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/css/more-css-tricks.shtml shows the sort of crap webdevelopers need to put up with because IE is fundementally broken

-- MartinCleaver - 29 Apr 2006

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Topic revision: r3 - 2006-04-29 - MartinCleaver
 
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