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Does anybody else question the w3c?

  • # September 1, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Lately I’ve been having a LOT of issues in designing. I’ve nearly punched a whole in the wall trying to fix a layout that won’t butt-up against the side of the browser window (and I still don’t know; can’t wait ’till WebKit displaces you Firefox!). This is all thanks to CSS feeling… well, backwards.

    But, it makes me wonder sometimes on just what-the-hell the committee was thinking when they came up with some of their standards. It still seems, at least to me, that they’re still living in the old days and not willing to overhaul the system for something much smoother and better. I am a C programmer by day and a web developer hobbyist by night. I can understand why I need to initialize my pointers, but I still don’t know why I need to do css resets. I have to applaud IE6 on how they didn’t follow the clear: standard, and I do remember how happy I was that it had no idea what clear meant. I’ve never come up to a case where clear was something that became a tool. It seems more now like an afterthought to clean-up bad write-ups from the Consortium Committee.

    EDIT
    I fixed it, but I’m not sure how. I placed the image into the body, and BAM, fixed. Though, this is what I gripe about. I fixed the issue, but I’m not *sure* of what I did.

    # September 1, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Well, about clearing floats. This is actually a very important function in CSS. It simply sounds like you just don’t understand what it’s actually doing. I’d recommend trying to find some tutorials on the subject, I think Chris had a pretty good one actually.

    Having said that, the W3C is just a guideline in my opinion.

    The reason why we push validation so hard here on the forums is because most of the time it is inexperienced coders making mistakes that validating will help point out. An experienced coder, however, will know that by doing "Act X" he/she will be invalidating the page, but unfortunately in that particular case, they have no choice.

    # September 1, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I haven’t come across a person yet that didn’t agree that CSS didn’t at least feel like it was buggy. I work with about 5 developers at my job, and I’ve never seen a bigger wanting to rehash the system than they were.

    I’d have to agree with them, CSS is a poor implementation for styling. In 10 years you’d think something better would become available, but we’re stuck with a pretty static system. I mean, really? We haven’t developed a system were I can create my own types? We haven’t created an overloadable system? We have to worry about petty things such as a margin collapsing. It’s archaic.

    # September 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Oh, and I fixed it, fixed it. Turns out I just didn’t include a CSS-Reset. That’s another thing to add to the beef:

    Hey browser designers! Just set everything to 0, mmkay!

    # September 2, 2009 at 4:27 am

    I think the challenge here for the wc3 is simply the sheer number of people involved in the process. Upgrading the system to "something better" is a huge task. How many people are online now? Nearly 7,000,000,000 (assuming you trust http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm). Trying to put into place a completely new system would mean asking all the major browser vendors to support the new format (involving time and money for all of them), and asking a good chunk of those 7,000,000,000 users to upgrade their browsers — which may or may not be possible, depending on the computer they use. The wc3 can’t realistically ask everyone to upgrade, and can’t necessarily afford to break too much backwards compatibility with the old code. Also remember that there are a LOT of people who don’t have the technical knowledge to upgrade their browsers, or may even get confused if the browser asks to upgrade itself. I work with quite a few of these types of people on a daily basis, and my parents are even part of that group.

    Also, keep in mind that the web of 10 years ago isn’t the same web that is in place today. It started as a text based medium, and now has a very strong visual component. How it is used has changed over time, often in different directions than the original creators anticipated, and faster than code that is used to develop websites has changed. The browsers started as primarily proprietary pieces of software (certain code only worked in certain browsers, and each had their own defaults and settings) and now slowly seem to be moving towards web standards, where having sites display consistently across browsers is becoming more important.

    "In 10 years you’d think something better would become available, but we’re stuck with a pretty static system."
    Well, I’d say that’s a result of the huge number of people that use the internet, limitations of browsers, and a hesitance (understandably so, in my opinion) to "break the web" for a large number of people. I agree though — there are ways that it could be improved.

    "I haven’t come across a person yet that didn’t agree that CSS didn’t at least feel like it was buggy."
    I’d say the code itself isn’t buggy, but the differing implementation across browsers is the tricky part. It is getting better… IE is slowly catching up as far as web standards is concerned.

    CSS Resets are not necessarily required, and I don’t use them on every project. However, they often level the playing field between browsers — resetting the browser defaults — and can greatly help reduce display differences between browsers.

    "I have to applaud IE6 on how they didn’t follow the clear: standard, and I do remember how happy I was that it had no idea what clear meant"
    As for the clearing issue… I work primarily with div-based layouts that use the float property, and IE6 is my biggest nightmare. I can have a cleanly coded, valid, perfectly functioning site in standards compliant browsers (Firefox, Safari, Opera…) but the minute that floats are involved in IE6, there are all sorts of issues, usually involving CSS hacks just for IE, or (semantically) unnecessary clearing elements to fix for IE6’s deciding to ignore the specs and do its own thing. if you think that IE6 has it right, and all the other browsers have it wrong, you might want to take a look at Chris’s screencast on the subject: http://css-tricks.com/video-screencasts … creencast/.

    "Though, this is what I gripe about. I fixed the issue, but I’m not *sure* of what I did."
    That’ll come as you gain more experience in the field. You just have to stick it out for the moment. Learning the different browser quirks is just part of being a web designer.

    Rob
    # September 2, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Yea for a developer of such a logical language like C, C++ or whatever, CSS and the way it works is ridiculous. The main issue inst W3 though, they are just trying to standardise things, the main issue is really the developers who create the browsers – for it is their code that ultimately renders the CSS.

    CSS dosnt "need" a reset, its just good to start from a blank canvas. A browser needs a standard way of rendering text – so it uses a default CSS file that is defined by the browser developers.

    The way CSS renders in browsers is different only because of the way the coders of the browsers told it to render. Hence the issues with box model between IE and the rest of civilization.

    The idea behind W3 is to get in place a set of standards that the developers can refer to when making their browsers render CSS. If everyone is singing from the same sheet, we don’t have cross browser issues… If we don’t do this then we are left with mess. Each browser will interpret the CSS different, rendering the page different.

    Now although we still have issues, because nothing is perfect – I would say a good 70% of the time if you stick to web standards you wont have any problems – and then if you stick to good HTML and CSS rules you will push that up to probably about 95% – there is always something somewhere that will probably need a browser specific kick – and its normally IE lol

    Going your own way as IE developers kinda did, is well stupid – and with the closed market share that MS has, I would even go as far as to say selfish.

    # September 2, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Matt,

    I started out coding for IE6 many moons back, and loved how it worked, but then I was looking at it on IE6 only. but this was only HTML

    then as I got more into coding, I learned a few more languages such as CSS, Javascript & Java (yes I learned them but a long time ago and never used them).

    But making sites was what I liked most.

    so I stuck to HTML & CSS, then a friend told me about Firefox…. I gave this a go and seen a site or 2 I done did not look as it did on IE, so looking into this I found that thte doctype could be a problem, make it strict was a common answer, which fixed most of the incompatibilities to both browsers, but not all.

    this is where you can specify which CSS file to use for which ever browser, to tailor the site to your needs.

    I agree that all pages should look the same on all browser, but its like asking every sports fan of their best team, not every person will agree to the team or players in the team…….

    But it is part of the fun……. a bit like having a problem in C, C++, Java, etc

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