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Last seen: 17 years 22 weeks ago
Joined: 2004-08-22
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I'm coming from a background of predominantly c/c++/Java etc and I love developing.

I'm just hacking into my latest CSS web page but finding it not only difficult between browsers but that replacing tables and other pre-loved formats seems just downright 'unjustifiably' difficult.

I'm reading now about how to do a 3-column web-page format, for example, and just to get something fairly simple requires a couple of hacks, at least a few late nights and an amazingly high level of browser incompliance tolerance (which may or may not be the fault of CSS).

Nevertheless, my question is how do others feel about what it takes to create a decent, consistent looking web page using CSS? Is there a concensus that it needs work, needs some structures that simplify certain repetitive often-needed requirements?

Because I confess, it's really starting to nag me. I'm currently spending about 6 hours creating a ridiculously simple page that won't render anywhere how it should in IE; looks mostly right in Opera and pretty much exactly right in FireFox. I touch the CSS file with trepidation as each number value may completely break any one of them while leaving the rest intact.

Here's the sort of hack-talk which seems to be so commonplace as to be part of how to design a web page! I hate hacking... Is this OK with everyone?

However, in order to continue influence on the 100% height we want we are going to float the containers from the centre column and then drag them outside of the centre column by use of negative margins. Neat Trick - although it's often used in other circumstances

It may not be a 'hack' but it's using techniques that surely weren't anticipated. It seems to me that CSS is missing features that everyone needs.

The page I'm trying to create is at http://www.mosessoft.spurrymoses.com/ - if you have the time to check in IE compared to other browsers, you will notice IE renders an absolute dog's breakfast while the others show a half-decent page.

Browser compliance may be a Microsoft issue, but is CSS, as it is, just too hard - not only for programmers but for implementation compliance? Or do I just need more study?

Tony's picture
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Timezone: GMT+10
Joined: 2003-03-12
Posts: 5344
Points: 2965

Is CSS too hard?

Hi spurrymoses,
Yes I agree some of the things that should be simple with CSS are incredibly tricky.

Although CSS is far from perfect the biggest problem is definitely the browsers and the different rendering and support of CSS.

Hopefully one day in the future all modern browsers will have similar support for CSS and render the styles correctly.

For now, even though support is limited we still get many benefits.

CSS will grow on you, one day things will start falling into place much easier.

Hugo's picture
Last seen: 7 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2004-06-06
Posts: 15668
Points: 2806

Is CSS too hard?

Yes, to quote Tom Farhner "it's a great shame that CSS designed to be so simple to implement has become a cabelists affair" or words to that effect.
It is sad that it has become so frustrating to work with and in many ways I feel that the W3C have a lot to answer for , it's not just about the Ms fiasco
The lack of real layout control has to be down to the W3C, but it's getting better ( column property etc) the concept is lovely and there is no question of it's importance one just has to stick with it untill the day all the browsers fall into line and the specs fully take into account the needs of design layout. your quoted passage sums it up in order to achieve a simple layout, techniques have to be found as this was never concidered by the writters, imho this is a problem with giving coders/developers free reign without consulting designers/end users enough. there is also the problem that many people enjoy attempting to devise clever hacks, sometimes I feel to demonstrate how smart they are; remember that many hacks can actualy be avoided! esp the boxmodel hack.
best bit of advise is to hang around this forum as there are some very experienced people here who will always help out and some excellent solutions to problems such as Tony's clearing float rule which works like a charm, many thanks; not so much a hack as just understanding the tools at ones disposal (Brownie points earned there I think)
I was so wound up yesterday by CSS problems (negative margins - theres a hack to get ones teeth around ) that I ended up spending an hour writting a polemic on the state of affairs with CSS Laughing out loud


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