[thelist] why doth i hate css? let me count the ways.

Marc Seyon seyon at delime.com
Fri Oct 10 16:54:46 CDT 2003

Message from Chris W. Parker (10/10/2003 09:06 AM)
>Jeff Howden <mailto:jeff at jeffhowden.com>
>     on Thursday, October 09, 2003 5:25 PM said:
> > there is, it's called "color".
>I wasn't asking "how do I change the color of text?" I was trying to
>illustrate how CSS is illogical. They have all these different
>properties that say "font-" and then for some odd reason they break
>their convention and use 'color'. Why? Seems like bad planning.

In typesetting, when specifying a font, certain characteristics are given. 
They are the font face (or family), size, weight (boldness). Colour is not 
one of those characteristics. Yes colour is now lumped together with all 
the other font characteristics, but it does not influence any of those 
three characteristics. On the printing press, they don't put down blue bold 
12pt Verdana letters. They put down bold 12pt Verdana letters, and run blue 
ink over them.

Doesn't seem like such bad planning to me. But I guess it depends on the 
context in which you look at it.

> > the "text-align" property deals with
> > content *inside* the box, not the box itself.  the property you
> > "need" is the "float" property.  be careful using "float" though
> > because if you don't understand fully how it works it can
> > quickly wreck your work.
>Why 'float'? If you've got the word align in 'text-align' being used to
>describe it's ALIGNMENT, why would they all of a sudden create an odd
>property called 'float'? They might as well have called it 'car' or

Because the word 'float' describes the effect created. The key 
characteristic of a float is that it is taken out of the regular flow of 
content. Given the dictionary definition, "to be suspended in or move 
through space as if supported by a liquid", I can understand why the name 
was chosen.

Naming the property 'align' would not have made this characteristic readily 
evident. At least not to me. Also, neither 'car' nor 'trainwreck' do a 
particular good job of explaining the phenomenon.


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