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Friday, October 8, 2010

Tech Talk: I Hate CSS

     I know that not everyone out here is a programmer or a web guru, but I'm pretty sure that any one visiting this site has used the internet (dramatic pause), good I knew you had.  Well, today's rant is on the annoyances that always seem to crop up when I'm designing a new website.
     And the problems always come from Cascading Style Sheets.  Don't get me wrong, CSS is certainly better than things used to be, (anyone remember inline styles?),  but there is still a lot to be desired in my book.
     The more I work with Cascading Style Sheets, the more I realize that the system seems to be backwards.  When trying to float a group of objects to make your site a little more elastic for different screen sizes, you have to declare the last one first if your list is floating right.  Why not just design the dang system to look at the object, see it floats right, and then check for other right side floaters after it, sticking them in a line behind the first?  Its seems like a simple concept to me!
     That, and the general lack of ability to center any of your content simply.  There are a million different ways to get you content to center for special situations, but no easy way to simply say, 'hey, center that image in the middle of it's block!'  That is annoying.  You would think it would be easy just to attach it to the other inline element properties, and just set an inline-align property, making anything inline centered within it's box.
     And one other thing I would have to change about CSS while I was at it, I would make sure that CSS properties were a bit more clearly defined.  Some of the properties you can use in it are just plain baffling.  I can still remember when I was a young web new comer and I was reading the HTML 4 Bible, and trying figure out how to change the bullets on a bulleted list.  And I can't imagine how many people have had problems trying to figure out what in the heck the clear property does.  Self-documenting code is heaven-sent, and more and more groups designing these languages should try for it.  Yes, most of CSS is self-explanatory, but it isn't really that complicated of a mark-up language.