Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Compliant CSS: The Revenge of the Nerds

Ok, so here's the thing. I want to redo this site, using CSS to make it standards compliant, while continuing to use Moveable Type. The problem is: this is really really hard. Too hard. The nerds have retaken the web and made it just as difficult to build a "correct" website as it is to write a small application. The knowledge needed to build a robust, compliant site have far surpassed the capacity of your moderately-savvy designer, much less Grandma and Grandpa. (Of course, services like Type Pad are already taking advantage of this.)

Now, I know there are good reasons to have standards and make sites compliant with them. I know CSS+XHTML is generally better than plain ole HTML. I know it's designing for the long term and for a time when content is being run through all sorts of devices. But to not only learn CSS but also implement it is a major endeavor.

The web used to be a place where you could teach yourself HTML in an hour and have a site up in a day. No longer. Even the tools we have are inadequate. The standards have moved beyond them. I can't just fire Dreamweaver up and easily create a good CSS site. Especially not in WYSIWYG format. It's too damn hard. And once you start adding MT on top of it, well, forget it. It's weeks of work. The nerds have won again.

I'm going for a compromise position. Until it gets easier, which likely means until the design tools get better, I'm keeping my tables. I'll use a style sheet for fonts and smaller tasks, but not for general layout. I know I'm out of order, but to paraphrase Pacino in ...And Justice for All, this whole court is out of order!

Posted at 09:35 PM | comments (1) | trackback (0)


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O Danny Boy is About Me, Dan Saffer, and has my Portfolio, Resumé, Blog, and some Extras. It also has the blog I kept of my graduate studies and ways to Contact Me.