Of CSS and XHTML
mike.morgan at oregonstate.edu
Thu Dec 4 21:28:15 UTC 2003
I agree with Cory's philosophies and Cristopher's statement.
Overall the proper use of CSS makes for much simpler HTML, which I feel
is something that old-timers would pull for, not frown upon. I feel
there is some confusion about the differences between CSS and HTML.
When properly implemented, CSS removes formatting from basic HTML and
cleans up all tags. A common myth is that when this happens the
functionality of the page is lost for non-CSS compliant browsers.
That is not true. For non-CSS browsers style is lost but the page
remains in tact. One of the main benefits of CSS is improving how a
page or site degrades. The WAI pushes CSS because it lets pages degrade
gracefully when viewed by older browsers.
A good example of this is what happens to a page in Netscape 4.x when
CSS styles are applied to properly modularized blocks of HTML. Cory's
approach is correct in that he is using div's to section out major
blocks, and then using CSS to apply styles to the elements specific to
This is great because when a browser that doesn't handle CSS properly
comes to the site, it ignores the block-specific styles entirely and
instead of displaying mismatched styles, etc. as it would if you had
inline styles grouped with a stylesheet, or if you used a lot of general
classes in your stylesheet. What you get is pure, clean HTML.
If markup is divided into blocks and CSS is used properly and
exclusively for formatting, you would automatically inherit many
advantages, like built-in export of page data to different formats
(print, screen, aural, tty -- although tty is pointless). Such features
are important for accessibility and can be seen in use on the current
The CSS additions that are proposed would benefit everyone, even
Netscape 4.x users. It provides for proper separation of content and
formatting, and allows users to take advantage of all of the perks that
CSS offers: formatting for different media, improved customization,
cleaner HTML. The best part is that it is not doctype-specific. I
don't see where the age-old xHTML vs. HTML argument fits into the
equation at all.
Cory, do you plan at some point to tackle the removal of tables where
they are not necessary? :O
Keep up the good work! :)
Cory 'G' Watson wrote:
> On Dec 4, 2003, at 2:07 PM, Christopher Hicks wrote:
>> It's sad that someone wanting to migrate bugzilla to current standards
>> which make any web-based project much better gets portrayed as someone
>> trying to "mungle things to your taste". What Cory is trying to do is
>> rather clearly good for bugzilla from numerous technical perspectives.
>> In this case standards compliance clearly leads to massive
>> improvements in
>> ease of maintenace, ease of development, and helps support folks with
>> dissabilities. I hope Cory has the will to outpersistent the legacy HTML
>> stalwarts. If so, bugzilla will be much better for it.
> Thanks for the support!
> I plan to start from the first page and work my way around, submitting
> small, simple patches that slowly improve the markup of the pages. The
> huge CSS patches people are submitting seem difficult to fit into the
> schedule, due to sheer size.
> Expect my first today or tomorrow.
> Cory 'G' Watson
> "The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an
> incredible miracle." - Dr. John Paul Stapp
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