Tenth – back to 2001

Jeffrey Zeldman’s 2001 article  From Table Hacks to CSS Layout: A Web Designer’s Journey” in A List Apart is a record of the transition from non-HTML programming to the exclusive use of CSS and also a call to engage with this transition. He calls it the process of detaching “style from content, presentation from structure – design from data. presentation from structure – design from data.” In this article, Zeldman claims to touch only on a tiny portion of the process. Nevertheless, he presents a rather long list of the advantages of CSS coding as opposed to the late 90s-trend. Thus his article is updated if we consider that CSS is now the dominant styling tool for the web. It is outdated, if we consider that his motive, to leave HTML tables behind, is not the case a decade after the article was published. Nevertheless, the case he makes in favor of CSS is valid. All the attributes CSS, even the updated version today, has, allow a more effective design and redesign of any web page. It allows to design for more browsers, even I6 was tested while the article went to publication and since then, the new I6 did perform the CSS box model, not only the article was expanded with a short remark, but its argument gained an additional line of support. The article also testifies to the problems that CSS presented at that time. Zeldman’s argument, including the obstacles he lists, point toward the transformation than in the meanwhile took place. If it says anything about the pace of web evolution is hard to tell. HTML is still around, and many rules will never be invalid. CSS is a development that offers flexible solutions for those problems that the general trend, the separation of content and style hopes to avoid and generates as well. While it might not be the best solution and probably is not the very last in the open-ended history of web design, this is what we have now. Hence, today the menace of training for a fast food restaurant-chain as an alternative to learn CSS is probably unnecessary. In 2012, coders seem to learn CSS as a matter of course. As I read about it during last week, a rather more up-to-date question is, whether what coding designers should familiarize with?

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