[thelist] Are you designing with CSS and web standards?

Pringle, Ron RPringle at aurora-il.org
Tue Mar 15 09:55:20 CST 2005

> I completely agree with Ian. Pure CSS is a noble cause, and 
> CSS has already
> had a huge impact on the accessibility and visual appearance 
> of the web
> during the last few years. It is, however, far from perfect, 
> and the overly
> fanatic push to move straight to pure 100% CSS-layouts is not 
> a realistic
> option these days.

> Suni


For some of us, CSS isn't an option, its the rule. Part of my job
description includes coding to current web standards (HTML 4/CSS 2), and
accessibility is one of the primary goals. Honestly, I think I'm in a
perfect position to use pure CSS. I'm not laboring under intensive client
deadlines (yes, I DO have deadlines, but not like when I was trying to crank
out 4 websites a week at my old job), accessibility and web standards
compliance are actually major goals, and I only have this one site to worry
about, so I will be fine-tuning it even after it goes live.

When I designed the site, I did so without any knowledge of CSS. I simply
identified the criteria the new redesign needed to fulfill, and designed it
to do so. I then used CSS to implement that design specifically because of
the accessibility issues. It was a learning process, and still is, but I
have not had to bend my design to comply with CSS at all. The redesign is a
3 column layout, any column longest, flexible layout with a footer and
header, and a lot of dynamic elements.

I would consider it a complex, dynamic website with a fairly large audience
and a good proof of the abilities of CSS for standard website design. Its
not a Zen Garden entry, it doesn't look like a blog. Its just your typical
municipal website. :-)

Yes, I could have done the design in tables and it probably would have taken
less time to develop, but it would also be much less accessible.

I guess what I'm saying is that for my "sector", CSS not only makes sense,
but is and should be the standard, if only for accessibility issues.
However, I'm lucky in that I don't have to deal with multiple clients on
tight budgets and deadlines.

Hopefully standards compliant browsers enter widespread mainstream use. I
see IE as the single biggest factor holding back developers using CSS.


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