What is Happening to CSS?

As I was reading “How To Clear Floats Without Structural Markup” at Position is Everything I started to wonder what is happening with CSS at the moment?

Is the need to separate content from structure and build “semantic” web pages so important that we need to resort to CSS hacks and possibly JavaScript (thank you IE5/Mac) in order to avoid adding <div style="clear:both;"></div> into our code?

Presenting these ideas as new ways of doing things – pushing the envelope, so to speak – is great and I applaud those who do so. However, I have to wonder when these workarounds are presented as the best practice way of doing things.

Thanks, but I’ll keep to my old-fashioned non-structural method, and try to keep my CSS file under 1MB (slight exaggeration for effect, but my CSS files are getting super-complex these days).

The backlash against the ‘fanaticism’ about keeping style and content separate has been well documented elsewhere, but as a web designer under the usual time pressures and issues about handing code off to others to maintain, I am starting to grow weary of this dogmatic approach to web design.

I, for one, am starting to rethink how I use CSS (and the extent to which I do) – who knows, after Dave Shea’s recent post (and those of others) I may go back to using tables to lay out my sites – it certainly would be nice to cut 25% off my development and testing time!

2 thoughts to “What is Happening to CSS?”

  1. Dude. Seriously, is CSS _really_ that hard? I am not talking to you, but to a general audience. It seems like everyone is doing all these crazy hacks and can’t seem to make things work in some random browser and then spends five hours trying to come up with a convoluted hack. I am sitting here like yo wtf…I do CSS everyday and I have never even come close to having _any_ of these problems yall busters be whining about. For real.

  2. “Dude”, I agree that CSS is pretty straightforward; however, if you want your site to view the same in multiple versions of different browsers (for the record, I design for IE5.0+, Mozilla and Safari) you almost always have to include some hacks.
    My point in the post was that in our zeal to avoid adding presentational markup from our HTML it feels like we are now turning our CSS files into hack-filled messes.
    Maybe I’m off the mark, but that’s just my sense of things at the moment. I can’t see it getting any better for a number of years to come, either.

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