[linux-elitists] Take back the net! CSS for the user

Rusty Foster rusty@kuro5hin.org
Sat Dec 8 22:38:40 PST 2001

Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com> said:

> begin Rusty Foster quotation:
> > I think what really nailed it was in the last email, the bit about
> > HTML/CSS being utterly unable to cope with its actual mandate. Until
> > some fixes this hideous kludge, and until the dinosaur browsers die
> > off, we're still stuck with it. FWIW, I think the fault here
> > ultimately lies with all the people who clung to the "structure not
> > layout" mantra *far* after it was clear that HTML had to cope with
> > layout, and would be forced to, whether it wanted to or not. How many
> > years did we waste trying to "re-educate" every web designer rather
> > than just fixing the language?
> Sounds like a non-sequitur conclusion, to me.
> Those Web designers have conspicuously failed to get even the _easy_ 
> clues, in that area.  There's one quasi-manager at my firm who, to this
> day, persists in using the "I" tag instead of "EM" for emphasised text,
> in all company HTML.  And that one is somewhat technical and ahead of
> the curve.
> Nor do I accept your conclusion that "HTML had to cope with the layout".
> I doubt that such is even possible for any reasonable definition of
> "layout", quite aside from whether it was desirable for HTML to try.
> The failure of influential morons to grasp the structure/layout
> distinction says nothing at all about its necessity.

I was very tired when I wrote that, and it didn't end up saying what I
was trying to say. I apologize for sounding like an idiot, and I will
endeavor to state the point again, knowing that I will probably still
end up sounding like an idiot.

My point was that as soon as the web became graphically browsable, it
was inevitable that people were going to want to make it look pretty.
HTML sucks for that, and I agree with you that it was never intended
for that purpose, nor should it have been. But rather than coming up
with a tool to do what *everyone* (and I don't agree that it was just
a few "influential morons") wanted to do, the standards community
dicked around for years, first trying to convince everyone that their
desire for layout was only an illuuuusion that would pass soon enough.
When it didn't pass, they finally got to work on CSS, which is only
now beginning to be an actual solution to the problem raised by the
first release of Mosaic.

Did that make more sense? I re-read it several times, and I think it's
what I mean. 

Rusty Foster              || "What am I doing?
rusty@kuro5hin.org        || I'm quietly judging you."
http://www.kuro5hin.org/  ||              -- Magnolia

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