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CSS: the "practical" scoop

Tuesday October 19, 2004 22:14
Photo of CSS: the "practical" scoop

You've seen it before: people that claim they can write websites better than "the rest of us", because they know Cascading Style Sheets better.  Don't get me wrong, CSS is essential to proper web design.  But CSS doesn't solve all the problems that a developer runs into once the real work begins, as simple as some people would like you to believe.

A demonstration site might be proud to display this break through feature: "Look!  This section is formatted through CSS, and not through a table!".  Like many web designers have discovered, once you start to implement an actual website for real (eg. for a client), quickly some problems start to appear, and you find yourself lost in a gobbledygook of "absolute" this and "relative" that.  Things get very frustrating when the text falls off the right or bottom edge of a 'div'.  Different browsers "shrink wrap" div contents to a smaller size than intended.

This website for instance, was first attempted with CSS instead of a table.  It was an utter nightmare trying to get the page to span the full height of the browser window.  Text and graphics were rolling of the edge.  Eventually, I got fed up, and created a little 5 by 3 table, and Bob was my Uncle again.  This site does heavily rely on CSS, but not for the main layout.

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