What a debacle CSS layouts can create

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Talc Ta Matt, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. Talc Ta Matt

    Talc Ta Matt Guest

    I'd like each of your feelings as to why such sites as Yahoo, CNN, CNet,
    Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, etc... have chosen not to use CSS.

    I think the goal of any designer is to make your site as close to those at the
    top as possible. If CSS isn't good enough for them, then why is it good enough
    for those under them?

    Has anyone here taken the time to see what a complicated layout done with CSS
    looks like in older browsers? Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't degrade
    nicely at all. The layout is lost, and the page is a complete and utter mess.

    If this was the original TABLE layout...

    A
    B C

    .... that layout will hold true in any browser.

    If looked at in an older browser with a CSS layout, it'll appear stacked like
    this...

    A
    B
    C

    This is absolutely unacceptable unless your page is bare bones simple.

    I have a feeling this is why the big players online avoid CSS layouts like the
    plague.
     
    Talc Ta Matt, Jul 31, 2003
    #1
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  2. Talc Ta Matt

    Mark Parnell Guest

    Talc Ta Matt wrote:
    > I'd like each of your feelings as to why such sites as Yahoo, CNN,
    > CNet, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, etc... have chosen not to use CSS.
    >
    > I think the goal of any designer is to make your site as close to
    > those at the top as possible.


    Surely the goal of any designer is to make their site better than any other,
    make it unique? Not the same as everyone else. Otherwise why would anyone
    come to you instead of your competitors? Of course it still has to be
    usable...

    > If CSS isn't good enough for them, then
    > why is it good enough for those under them?
    >


    Because we know better ;-)

    > Has anyone here taken the time to see what a complicated layout done
    > with CSS looks like in older browsers? Contrary to popular belief, it
    > doesn't degrade nicely at all. The layout is lost, and the page is a
    > complete and utter mess.
    >


    I don't know about an utter mess. It isn't as nice as the CSS layout,
    obviously. But the content is accessible, which is the important thing.
    People who use old browsers are by now used to seeing relatively plain
    pages.

    > If this was the original TABLE layout...
    >
    > A
    > B C
    >
    > ... that layout will hold true in any browser.
    >


    _Most_ _visual_ browsers, perhaps. At least with CSS, the content is still
    accessible. Browsers that don't render tables properly tend to *really*
    screw them up. So the user doesn't get any content either.

    > If looked at in an older browser with a CSS layout, it'll appear
    > stacked like this...
    >
    > A
    > B
    > C
    >


    Yes.

    > This is absolutely unacceptable unless your page is bare bones simple.
    >


    Why is it "absolutely unacceptable"? The user can still access your
    content. It isn't ideal, no. But users of legacy browsers are becoming
    less and less common. Mostly just universities and the like.

    > I have a feeling this is why the big players online avoid CSS layouts
    > like the plague.


    No, it is because redoing a site that large is a huge task, and they
    couldn't be bothered. They will do it eventually.

    --

    Mark Parnell
    http://www.clarkecomputers.com.au
     
    Mark Parnell, Jul 31, 2003
    #2
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  3. Talc Ta Matt

    Davmagic com Guest

    >From: (Talc Ta Matt)
    >I'd like each of your feelings as to why
    >such sites as Yahoo, CNN, CNet,
    >Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, etc... have
    >chosen not to use CSS.
    >I think the goal of any designer is to make
    >your site as close to those at the top as
    >possible. If CSS isn't good enough for
    >them, then why is it good enough for
    >those under them?


    I agree......... my feelings exactly! All this "advice" from the
    regulars and pros here, but in the REAL World, CSS is not the currently
    accepted way for page layout... probably for most of the reasons that
    you pointed out! (watch em cut me up for saying this).....

    Web Design-Magic-Painting-Junking-Games
    INFO 2000 For You
    http://www.davmagic.com
    See how your webpages look on a MSN-TV Browser:
    Download it here: http://developer.msntv.com/Tools/msntvvwr.asp
     
    Davmagic com, Jul 31, 2003
    #3
  4. Talc Ta Matt

    Talc Ta Matt Guest

    >Because we know better ;-)

    Then I suggest you submit your resume to any of the companies I mentioned with
    a nice letter explaining how badly their current design team sucks. I'm sure
    they'll hire you right away as the lead web developer.

    >No, it is because redoing a site that large is a huge task, and they
    >couldn't be bothered. They will do it eventually.


    Let's take MS for instance. Going by your theory, they wouldn't have redone
    Win98 and put out WinXP because of what a huge task it was.

    Sorry, I don't buy it.

    There are clear downsides of CSS, and the only reason the regulars here
    accepted CSS layouts is because the almighty W3C said to (and MS basically
    kicked them in the crotch years ago). Try running some popular mainstream sites
    through their validator. See how much the big players online care about the
    W3C. Fact is, the W3C and that useless validator they've got is a lame newbie
    tool.
     
    Talc Ta Matt, Jul 31, 2003
    #4
  5. Talc Ta Matt

    Chris Morris Guest

    (Talc Ta Matt) writes:
    > >Because we know better ;-)

    >
    > Then I suggest you submit your resume to any of the companies I
    > mentioned with a nice letter explaining how badly their current
    > design team sucks. I'm sure they'll hire you right away as the lead
    > web developer.


    You are aware that some of the 'regulars' do work in professional web
    design, aren't you?

    > >No, it is because redoing a site that large is a huge task, and they
    > >couldn't be bothered. They will do it eventually.

    >
    > Let's take MS for instance. Going by your theory, they wouldn't have redone
    > Win98 and put out WinXP because of what a huge task it was.


    Except that MS licensing arrangements mean that it's very easy for
    them to "make money fast" by releasing new versions. Plus, Microsoft
    is a *software* company, it releases software. It's not a web
    development firm, so it's got limited resources (well okay, maybe not
    that limited) for the web. If your business isn't making websites
    there's always higher priorities than entirely re-doing one that's
    approximately working.

    > There are clear downsides of CSS


    Go on. Explain them.

    > , and the only reason the regulars here
    > accepted CSS layouts is because the almighty W3C said to


    Or perhaps because they're easier to code and much easier to maintain,
    and can be adapted to different browsing situations (@media) without
    having to do unreliable browser detection.

    > See how much the big players online care about the
    > W3C.


    http://www.opera.com/ validates and is laid out as CSS. I don't know
    if you count them as big or not. No doubt other people know of other
    examples, I didn't look too hard.

    (BTW, CSS for layout and validation are separate, though valid HTML
    gives more reliable CSS)

    --
    Chris
     
    Chris Morris, Jul 31, 2003
    #5
  6. Talc Ta Matt

    Isofarro Guest

    Isofarro, Jul 31, 2003
    #6
  7. Talc Ta Matt

    Isofarro Guest

    Chris Morris wrote:

    > http://www.opera.com/ validates and is laid out as CSS. I don't know
    > if you count them as big or not. No doubt other people know of other
    > examples, I didn't look too hard.


    http://www.wired.com/
    http://jscript.dk/lycos/2/
    http://www.inc.com/home/
    http://www.pga.com/openchampionship/
    http://www.quark.com/
    http://www.cinnamon.nl/
    http://6newslawrence.com/weather/
    http://www.homelesspixel.de/remix/




    --
    Iso.
    FAQs: http://html-faq.com http://alt-html.org http://allmyfaqs.com/
    Recommended Hosting: http://www.affordablehost.com/
    Web Standards: http://www.webstandards.org/
     
    Isofarro, Jul 31, 2003
    #7
  8. Talc Ta Matt

    Mark Parnell Guest

    Talc Ta Matt wrote:
    >> Because we know better ;-)

    >
    > Then I suggest you submit your resume to any of the companies I
    > mentioned with a nice letter explaining how badly their current
    > design team sucks. I'm sure they'll hire you right away as the lead
    > web developer.
    >


    Didn't you notice the smiley? Here's another, just to be sure. :)

    >> No, it is because redoing a site that large is a huge task, and they
    >> couldn't be bothered. They will do it eventually.

    >
    > Let's take MS for instance. Going by your theory, they wouldn't have
    > redone Win98 and put out WinXP because of what a huge task it was.
    >


    That's a completely different situation - they *sell* Windows. Every time
    they make a new version and change everything, they get lots of money for
    it. People wouldn't pay them for a new version of their web site.

    > Sorry, I don't buy it.


    That's the point ;-)

    >
    > There are clear downsides of CSS


    Which are?

    > , and the only reason the regulars
    > here accepted CSS layouts is because the almighty W3C said to


    No, it is because they are cleaner, easier to maintain, degrade more
    gracefully...

    > (and MS
    > basically kicked them in the crotch years ago). Try running some
    > popular mainstream sites through their validator. See how much the
    > big players online care about the W3C. Fact is, the W3C and that
    > useless validator they've got is a lame newbie tool.


    Most newbies don't even know about the W3C or validation. So it is hardly a
    "newbie tool", let alone a lame one.

    --

    Mark Parnell
    http://www.clarkecomputers.com.au
     
    Mark Parnell, Jul 31, 2003
    #8
  9. Talc Ta Matt

    dBeav Guest

    --- snicker ---


    dBeav

    Jerry Muelver <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > (Talc Ta Matt) wrote in message

    news:<>...
    > ...
    > > Has anyone here taken the time to see what a complicated layout done

    with CSS
    > > looks like in older browsers? Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't

    degrade
    > > nicely at all. The layout is lost, and the page is a complete and utter

    mess.
    > >

    >
    > That's only a minor irritation, compared to the travesty of High
    > Definition TV. Have you ever played that stuff on an FM radio? It's
    > awful! Unless the dialog is actually describing the scene, you don't
    > have a clue what's going on.
    >
    > And play DVD on a standard CDROM drive? Fuh-gedda-bout-it! Not only
    > that, I have a devil of a time just getting CDs to play on my Hi-Fi
    > turntable at all. You can hardly keep the needle in those teeny-tiny
    > little grooves. Even when you do, let me tell you the sound isn't all
    > that great no matter what they say about "digital mastering".
    >
    > And frozen TV dinners! Hah! Don't even get me started on THOSE! You
    > need a hacksaw to cut through that frozen chicken. And you'd think
    > they would at least put the potatoes and gravy on a popsicle stick so
    > you could get a handle on the stuff.
    >
    > What are people THINKING (or DRINKING?!) when they come up with this
    > stuff, anyway?
    >
    > ---- jerry
     
    dBeav, Aug 1, 2003
    #9
  10. Talc Ta Matt

    Hieronymus Guest

    In article <>,
    (Talc Ta Matt) wrote:

    > I'd like each of your feelings as to why such sites as Yahoo, CNN, CNet,
    > Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, etc... have chosen not to use CSS.


    Because they are building on old 4.x browser mark-up templates?
    Migrating a site such as Yahoo, Apple or MS to a completely other
    template system is a huge task.

    Maybe other high-traffic site will follow the example set by Wired, but
    I suspect the 'standards' turn-around will not start at business
    websites, but at governmental and NGO websites, as they are more
    susceptible to public pressure. Most obvious sign in casu is the
    legislation in the US forcing local, state and national governments to
    employ standards and WAI guidelines on their sites. The EU is heading in
    the same direction.

    > I think the goal of any designer is to make your site as close to those at the
    > top as possible.


    If you define your goals only by comparison to others, you are not much
    of a designer. Besides, copy & improve is a worn-out "eighties Japan"
    way of going about design. You get much, much further by defining your
    own set of goals based on a complete analysis of internal demands,
    competition and the overall public environment.

    > If CSS isn't good enough for them, then why is it good enough
    > for those under them?


    CSS isn't about 'good enough'. It is about the approach you wish to use
    while designing a site.

    > Has anyone here taken the time to see what a complicated layout done with CSS
    > looks like in older browsers? Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't degrade
    > nicely at all. The layout is lost, and the page is a complete and utter mess.


    How do you define 'graceful degradation'? Afaik, the essence is that all
    content is accessible to everyone, while _able_ User Agents get the full
    enjoyment of layout, color use, hovers and images.

    [example of fixed table thinking vs. flexible CSS thinking]

    > I have a feeling this is why the big players online avoid CSS layouts like the
    > plague.


    I have a feeling that the rigid mindset of these 'big' players prevent
    them from seeing the advantages of flexible layouts over ancient
    tablelayouts.


    Hieronymus

    --
    Keep it simple
     
    Hieronymus, Aug 1, 2003
    #10
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