Thursday, September 09, 2004

CSS is blooming

In the old days, we picked up HTML as our primary language to design web pages and we use some programming language to make it more interactive. HTML was designed to be structural language, but it was misused to be layout language because there weren't any technology to be used at that time. One of the most used HTML tag was <table> since it could make some posisitonal layout and split pages into some different parts to be designable using images or any other techniques.

Few years later, W3C releases a new standards that was used to design layout of web pages and it was called CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) and now, it has reach version 2.1 (and version 3.0 is being developed). CSS provides more elegant way to produce more creative pages rather than depending on the <table> tag. For an example of great (i mean GREAT) CSS-based websites, you can peek inside csszengarden, Mezzoblue, and BrightCreative.

These pages was built on CSS and no tables at all. Yess... it was created using CSS only and no table at all. They combine creativity and arts together to built a wonderfull pages that you won't seen them before. Would you imagine what can be done best with HTML without CSS? You would depend on images to build a sophisticated pages, but with CSS, you could use a simple mix of colour and positioning elements and there you have your great pages.

The standards has been published by W3C, but ironically, not every browser implement the same standards of CSS (and also HTML and XHTML), so sometimes people are having trouble to get their pages constantly on every browser using CSS, but with the development of CSS and XHTML, this problems seems to be reduced in the future, where incompatible browser will be left behind and people will use the most compatible browser. For now, the best browser in my opinion is Mozilla, including Firefox. It is updated quickly and they adopt new standards and technology in every releases. Unfortunately, there is an exception, which at CSS. CSS2 still not fully implemented, but i hope in their next release, there will be a big updates on this compatibility.

People are recommended to change their table-based design into CSS-based design because it would give them an improved performance and also reducing complexity while maintaining the pages, mostly if you maintain a lot of web pages. Don't forget to check your CSS for validity at W3C's CSS validator.

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