it's official - i hate css
Post #597 • August 8, 2005, 2:24 PM • 35 Comments
I decided my personal site was a little too understated and redesigned it. It works well in Safari, acceptably in Mac Firefox, passably in Windows Firefox, and poorly in WinIE6. The problem (I hesitate to call it a bug, because it's based on a total misinterpretation of the box model up in Redmond) that was causing the thumbnail images to fall to the left is solved, but new probs have appeared in WinIE6: none of the navigation categories right-align, and the Einspruch logo, which appears via a CSS image replacement, is strobing upon mouseover.
At this point, I've had it with web design. I can script object-oriented PHP to execute a three-table equi-join in MySQL, but I can't make the chicken-plucking right edges line up in a navigation bar in CSS, at least not universally. I have decided that this is not entirely my fault or Bill Gates's. Part of it is that CSS is a lousy language.
It's okay for basic elements (I redesigned my whole page to my satisfaction in Safari in a few hours), but it's missing the one thing that makes layout possible: the ability to describe how areas relate to each other. The W3, trying to replace tables for anything but tabular data, came up with specifications that don't work as well as tables for laying out areas in a grid or grid-like arrangement.
Instead we have things like float:left, which tells the division to scoot around to the left of whatever comes after it. In CSS, my favorite layout, header, three liquid columns, and footer, becomes akin to herding crack-addicted waterfowl. You can do it - but with about twenty times as much code as a three-row table, and the added bonus that by the time you get those wrapper divs in the right place, you have done effectively zilch to separate style from content, which was the whole idea.
I'm led to understand that XSL parses these formatting issues server-side, and therefore consistently, but have you seen the XSL spec? Hoo boy. And that is the reason, ladies and gents, why the next redesign of the site may see it converting to Flash.