Report From SXSW

Tantek Çelik, Eric Meyer and Jeffrey Zeldman recently gave a panel on CSS entitled “CSS: Between the (Style) Sheets”. These three are pobably the leading guys in CSS design, goodness knows I’ve learned a lot from them.

Anyway, Jefferey gives a nice example on how to preload hover states in stylesheets. Maybe for fun I’ll do something like this with the images in my navigation bar (currently to the right). And for an idea of how the panel went, photo matt gives his notes.

Jeffrey: The thing about CSS, it’s hard to understand unless you first think about markup. It’s hard to rethink the way you approach X/HTML. There’s so much to do that it seems strange to think about HTML, but in fact it’s important. We now have the chance to party like it’s 1993, we have the chance to write it like it was meant. We (designers) could do that until browsers became compliant. Saves Bandwidth. Work is now more accessible.

I am amazed at how many people continue to use (and even promote) non-standard markup. These people have pages that are 3x – 10x bigger than what they need to be, and changing any stylistic element on the page becomes a hassle as they spend hours wading through miles of table tags. I simply don’t get it. By contrast a well structured page can be redesigned by editing one file, namely the CSS file. Mine for instance can easily change almost the entire look of the page. And with different style sheets for different medias, I can deliver my content to users in a usuable manner, whether they are using a modern computer browser, a handheld device, web-enabled cell phone, aural readers, etc. Granted I have yet to implement style sheets for all these mediasm but the fact that I can is a compelling one.

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