In this last poll, we asked:

In the next 10 years, will there be a serious alternative to CSS?

Of over 9,000 votes so far, the majority are of the opinion that there will not be:

Of course, it's nearly impossible to predict the future of technology. Especially that far out in an industry that moves fast (and accelerating). But anyway, here are my thoughts.

I would define "serious alternative" as a new technology that you could actually use to design a website (or whatever we call interactive interconnected screens in ten years) and have at least 25% of devices displaying that website as you intended. So first this new technology is a language the addresses what CSS does now (more or less) and second that new language is adopted by real browsers.

That's a tall order. I'd say it's not going to happen.

One, CSS has been around for decades already. It's taken that long to get into as good of shape as it is now and have everyone agreeing on it. That is likely to speed up, but only because the major players involved are getting used to the process and the process is improving. A brand new technology would likely face all the same barriers and slowness that CSS originally did.

Two, for all CSS's shortcomings, it's pretty good. Look at all the amazing websites it's powering today (hint: nearly all of them). For something new to come along and address all the detailed complexities of web authoring in only 10 years would be amazing. There would have to be previews of it happening now for proper feedback to get the ball rolling fast enough for anything to happen in 10 years.

Three, the fact that there isn't anything (at least on my radar) even poking at CSS makes it seem unlikely that something will come out of nowhere and be a contender.

I'd say Flash is the closest contender and that's on the way out, not in.

Interesting stuff folks, thanks for voting in the poll and commenting. I think we'll do another philosophical style post this week, they always generate the most interesting comment threads.

Full, real time results for this poll and all post polls are in the polls archive.