There is no denying that CSS has taken us to some wonderful places and allowed designers to create some beautiful, elegant sites. Unfortunately, there is also a growing consensus amongst the design community, echoed in the thoughts of Eric Bidelman (senior engineer on the Google Chrome team), that many of its layout and presentation capabilities have “failed miserably in the age of modern web development”. It has been suggested that the particular culprits are absolute positioning and floats.
A part of modern web design, as an evolution, is that we are no longer building conventional websites. We are instead building apps. The requirements are very different. For example, many of CSS’s original constructs have been criticised for doing a poor job in situations like responsive design. Perhaps with this partially in mind; the CSS Working Group has confirmed that a number of new specs to directly address app layout and design issues have been proposed. Some highlights are as follows:
Interestingly, there has also been criticism levelled at the W3C working group for reinventing CSS Grids terminology. “We spent such a long time not only removing the idea of tables for layout from a code perspective, but also ensuring our layouts aren’t locked within boundaries. Tables create a canvas in the mind’s eye. A table has edges and is split into cells. Grids aren’t like that,” says Designer, speaker and writer Mark Boulton recently wrote an open letter open letter to the W3C CSS Working Group. In fact, Boulton, who appears frustrated that the W3C is apparently reinventing well established terminology – has authored work around the subject.
Do you think CSS is moving in the right direction or is there still call for clarification within certain areas to increase universality?