Anne van Kesteren

You need a degree to understand them

David Emberton (source):

These days, the rebel youth aren't so busy admiring Marx as they are giving each other tutorials on how to use XHTML Strict.

CSS are public, free and future-proof. Sounds great until you realise that: a) you need a degree to understand them; b) Microsoft doesn't care about them; and c) they suck.


  1. a) Maybe he does. b) Microsoft cares more and more about them. Not only will their next OS and web browser have much better support for these standards than we see today -- some of the people that make these standards are from Microsoft. c) Matter of opinion. As we know, opinions are very much like assholes -- we all have one, and they all stink.

    Posted by ACJ at

  2. b) Microsoft cares more and more about them [...] some of the people that make these standards are from Microsoft

    Yes, indeed, Microsoft takes part in the specifications - but later decides to ignore them, and go their own way. [just as an example think about SVG]

    Posted by csant at

  3. If you ask me, doing layouts with tables is far more difficult than using CSS! :-)

    Posted by Charl van Niekerk at

  4. It's true CSS-P is fairly simple what makes it hard is that some user-agents don't follow the rendering recommendations.

    Posted by Robert Wellock at

  5. I read that article. There was not a single fact a cohesive line of reasoning in the entire thing. The man is obviously bitter and defensive about the fact that web design is evolving. I wrote up a lengthy retort, but it did not appear (even after email validation). It made me sick that he calls himself a professional, but then argues against css because 'it sucks'.

    Posted by Gabe at

  6. I wrote my own (Dutch) opinion on my weblog about his post. CSS isn't rocket science, and I like the tone of all the messages there. The guy must have been drunk while he was writing that.

    Posted by Pieter Belmans at

  7. Thanks Pieter, I read your post. Very true. The guy is obviously bitter. It is precisely those people that don't have a lot of knowlege / intelligence that messes up the web for us all. And it is probably also those that don't like CSS.

    In my opinion, people that don't like CSS are people that like to take shortcuts and don't like to do the job properly.

    Maybe standards are mostly for perfectionists, I don't know. But if that is the case, I am glad I concern myself somewhat a perfectionist! :-)

    Posted by Charl van Niekerk at

  8. Of course, Mr. Emberton has no vision for the net and has obviously no idea of the importance, potenital and relevance of the underlying technologies. And of course his argumentation is bad as hell - if there is any real argument in his article.

    BUT, this desiging XHTML 1.1 with CSS without tagabuse und ony semantical markup for Brwosers from NS 4.7, via Opera to Safari and Lynx, really pisses me of from time to time. You got ONE idea of how it sould look, you use the best standards at hand and get 7 different presentations. This sucks.

    After a while you get to learn which CSSs work in all browsers the same, but upto then it surely is frustrating, and sometimes the wish to have a "technology that works" is sooo big... :]

    Posted by ben at