Showing posts with label css. Show all posts
Showing posts with label css. Show all posts

10 March 2007

Great Tools, Great Times

Just as much as some software is a pain in the arse to work with (even though it may be totally essential) on the other side of the coin we discover things like the CSS editor in the Firefox/Web-Developer Toolbar!

Working on a significant look&feel upgrade for the farm website, I tripped across this thing today.  "Oh!" says Jason, "I've known about it for ages -- can't work without it.  I thought you knew..."  Well, call me Mr Slow...

Despite its few quirks and oddities, the ability to fiddle with CSS -- especially the somewhat complex CSS I'm working with, where there is a cascade of CSS files, each one overriding another -- and see the results as you type...

That rocks!

27 July 2006

Why is CSS so damn HARD?

Seems to me that the whole CSS model is pretty poorly designed.  It shouldn't be so damn hard to implement a website design.  I'm not talking about bleeding-edge Zen Garden stuff; I'm talking about very simple layouts.

For a start I prefer liquid layouts: That graphic designers coming from more traditional media hate fear and loath the concept, I understand.  Its a mindset - the user has partial control over how a thing looks - and many graphic designers have trouble dealing with their inability to guarantee pixel-perfect alignments.  Perhaps the user wears hectic prescription glasses, so 18pt fonts are a reasonable default for them.  Get over it.

Secondly, I'm no n00b at CSS.  Whilst I'm hardly a professional CSS designer, I think I understand the concepts and details pretty well, and I've fumbled my way around a fair number of web designs using CSS with results that have attracted fair compliment from people who do that stuff professionally. (No, this blog is not currently an example! That's what I'm working on.)

But its still so damn hard!

One of two thing I think are needed: either
  1. a redesign of CSS that works to a "springs 'n' struts" layout model, or alternatively a "springs 'n' struts" model that can get compiled to CSS2 (possibly on the fly as a filter), or
  2. the additional of another "position" mode in CSS - "absolute-relative" positioning - absolute positioning of an element, but relative to the containing box.
Number one is unlikely (except maybe as a translated/compiled language), but number 2 is possible without breaking existing CSS-based layouts.

It would sure make simple layouts a hell of a lot simpler to implement.
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