SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
    Posts
    2,066
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    "Accessibility means that users of any kind, using any device, should have access.."

    Quote of the day:
    Accessibility means that users of any kind, using any device, should have access to the essential information that is contained on your web site.
    From the following article:

    http://www.r2communications.com/articles/soup.html

    Well worth a read.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,123
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's exactly what accessibility is, but the decision in to what extent a site employs accessibility is often the key.

    It's all about purpose, the reason the site exists, which will decide to what extent a site stands by it's role in being "accessible".
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright

  3. #3
    + platinum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    6,441
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think i've said it before... but totally absolutly accesable sites look UTTERLY BOOORING! and don't display properly in almost any browser.

    I'm going to be honest with you skunk Don't take offence, but your blog is all very well with its accessablity, but it looks so plain, it's not a pretty site (IMO of course).

    For simple documents like this one I really like it! Using CSS it looks quite classy and probably does averything right.

    But accessablitly isn't everything, sure you can create a butt-ugly site that 'displays' (read: not properly or nicely) on every web browser possibly imaginable. But the fact remains it is boring in most cases. A few people have messed with CSS only layouts here, and i've been reasonably impressed, but when you look at them in NN4 or something like IE, there's always those little bugs that seem to pop up every where, doesn't happen in HTML, and you can preach about mozilla all you want, I (and the majority of 'real life people' wont be swapping anytime soon...).

    Just use it with HTML rather than trying to substitute for it. Fonts, certain style elements and perhaps a little object placement is fine, but tables are still the best option for image and text placement.

    While we web developers might go "ohh wow an all CSS site" the average web surfer doesn't give a **** what it's made with, just so long as it works, and most popular sites on the internet (excluding search engines of course ) look good, and any limitations older browsers have, they still display sites generally how they're meant to look, CSS seems to like to list it all down in times new roman in the most ugly way possible .

    now... convince me otherwise (i'm prepared to listen ).

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    50
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The method is not what creates a good- or bad-looking website. Did the first websites using table layouts look attractive? No. Eventually, however, the designs improved, as people started nesting tables, spanning columns and rows, and adding spacer images.

    Likewise, the CSS layouts of today are very much in their infancy. As designers gain more experience with CSS and learn new tricks from it, the designs will become more complex and beautiful.

    Should we completely abandon table layouts? Probably not (although some of us have). There are still a few things tables can do better than CSS, though that is mostly due to browser support. But I think the more we mess with CSS, the sooner we will find ways to make our CSS layouts look just as exciting as our table ones. Ignoring it will only put us at a disadvantage when browsers support CSS to the point where table-based layouts are unnecessary, and CSS does have significant advantages (cleaner code, structure and style separation, etc.) that make it far superior in the end.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
    Posts
    2,066
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The reason my blog looks dull is that I'm truly hopeless at graphic design / being artistically creative - it has nothing to do with the technology I'm using.

    At the end of the day, visually exciting sites use imagse. CSS gives web designers a huge amount of flexibility with images via the background property. With tables you can place images in table cells and set them as table / cell backgrounds. With CSS you can apply a background image to pretty much any element on the page, but more importantly you can apply advanced rules to that background image. You can have it tile completely (as it does in tables), tile horizontally only, tile vertically only or not tile at all. You can also position the background within the element you are styling. Best of all, you can do ALL of this in the external style sheet - you don't even have to add any image tags to your page! There is no disadvantage to accessibility (clients that don't render CSS will see your nice logical markup) but the page will still look spinky in all modern browsers - unles of course you really care about that 4% of Netscape 4 users in which case you've already assigned yourself to your fate :P

    CSS, web standards and accessibility simply do not mean that sites need to look boring. The problem at the moment is that the people building CSS sites are coders rather than designers, probably because visual tools (as preferred by designers) just aren't up to scratch with modern techniques at the moment.

    Here are some of my favourite "ooh factor" CSS site designs:

    http://placenamehere.com/ - simply outstanding
    http://tidakada.com/ - unconventional
    http://www.bluerobot.com/ - minimalist but oh-so-stylish
    http://www.funwithfonts.com/ - what happens when you let a designer play with CSS
    http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/css/edge/ - it comes up time and tiem again, but if you haven't seen complexspiral yet you don't know what you're missing
    http://www.meyerweb.com/ - Slightly bland at first glance but there are some nice styles available via the style switcher (I particularly like natural)

    OK, here's an offer: Show me a site design that you really, really like and I will attempt to recreate it using XHTML and CSS, coded for accessibility with as much structural markup as possible. I won't promise to get it working NS 4 but I will promise to get it working in IE6 (I don't have IE5 to test on at the moment), Mozilla 1.1 and Opera 6.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot GregShasta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    atlanta ga
    Posts
    122
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Why go thru all of that code(like for instance:http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/css/edg...unch/demo.html) to create such simple effects? The above page has a paragraph long style sheet(not to mention the accompanying code) to create a box with an A in the corner, recessed inside a larger box.

    You could create the same effect in photoshop or fireworks in about 2 minutes, slice it up and not only will it look better(anti-aliased etc,.) your code will actually make sense to you in a month.

    Greg
    'I guess that my ambition was to be a bum'--robert mitchum

  7. #7
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
    Posts
    2,066
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's a challenge, an experiment, an exploration, a rough map of where we haven't been. It's a search for new ways to approach Web-based design. It's a cry for creativity, and a stab at innovation. It's a playground and a proving ground. It's a rejection of what's practical in favor of what's possible.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Accesibility does not mean moving completely to css layouts! It is recomended in the wai guidlines that you use css instead of tables, to enhance accesibility, However, they also provide information on ways to make table based layouts more accessible.

    Marking up your documents is a small but vital step for making your pages accessible, and in no way effects the presentation of your document.

    Example: View the source of any article on sitepoint. the heading for the document looks something like this.
    <span class=articleTitle valign=top>How To Sell Ad Space Through PPC Search Engines</span><br> this gives nothing to the documents structure, and in devices with no support for css, the heading is instead displayed as regular text. A more efficient method, which adds to accessibility would be to instead use <h1>How To Sell Ad Space Through PPC Search Engines<h1> . By renaming the span.articleTitle class H1 we've increased accesibility, given the document structure, made the code a little cleaner and if you did this for every article would definatly save both bandwidth and server space.

    I have made 2 versions of my site meet Bobby Level 3, Its not impossible. For both of them I designed the site, then I decided to try going for the bobby cert, at no point did going for the bobby aproval compromise the design, its all made up of small things, 99% of which are to deal with the way you structure and markup your pages.

    Table based layouts are alot more browser friendly at the moment, giving the unwillingness of NS4 users to admit defeat and upgrade. however, the need for complex nesting in the majority of cases could be overcome by using css, Making your documents cleaner, more device independent friendly.

    If you havnt done so, read the WAI guidlines, put your site through bobby and fix the things that will not compromise the design, baby steps is all it takes.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
    Posts
    2,066
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by iTec
    Accesibility does not mean moving completely to css layouts!
    That depends on your definition of accessibility If you are defining accessibility as "making sites accessible to disabled users" then sure, there's no presing need to switch to CSS. If you are defining accessibility as "making sites accessible to any device" then using CSS for layout instead of tables has major advantages. Even then you can still use tables for layout provided you keep the document order logical once the tables are removed but goign with purely structural markup makes this a lot easier to do.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
    Posts
    2,066
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by iTec
    Table based layouts are alot more browser friendly at the moment, giving the unwillingness of NS4 users to admit defeat and upgrade. however, the need for complex nesting in the majority of cases could be overcome by using css, Making your documents cleaner, more device independent friendly.

    If you havnt done so, read the WAI guidlines, put your site through bobby and fix the things that will not compromise the design, baby steps is all it takes.
    Those are excellent points. While I'm an advocate of pure CSS layouts (I honestly doubt I will ever use tables for layout again) if you really must get things working visually in NS4 the "transitional" approach is a very valid option. Even netscape 4 supports CSS padding, which greatly reduces the need for complex nested tables.

  11. #11
    (****** or Deleted)
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    299
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think the reason people do not find pure CSS layouts appearing is that we are still learning what we can do with them... I am with Skunk in that I could never go back to table layout now, and will continue to make attractive looking, graphic rich, sites using nothing but CSS for positioning...

    I think that while CSS positioning is very rare at the moment, once programs like DW and FP incorporate it, it will not even be a question of whether to do it or not, people will simply stop using tables and wonder why they ever did in the first place...


  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast terraglo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    33
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some good arguments but still very unconvincing - have to agree with platinum on this one.

    Just use it with HTML rather than trying to substitute for it. Fonts, certain style elements and perhaps a little object placement is fine, but tables are still the best option for image and text placement.
    hey thats what I do!

  13. #13
    will code HTML for food Michel V's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Corsica
    Posts
    552
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Were it not for NS4 users, people would actually start considering that tables are there to hold tabular data, and not designs.
    Reminds me that an user of b2 sent me an email complaining that I made the calendar display in a table, saying "why didn't you make it into CSS ?". The reason is a calendar is tabular data. A page's design isn't.
    So what am I trying to say there ? Use tables for what they're intended for, and don't think that CSS gurus want you to use CSS for everything under the sun

    (thanks Skunk for the 'unconventionnal' heads up on my blog )
    [blogger: zengun] [blogware contributor: wordpress]

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast Griffinpp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Let's not forget how great it is to be able to change your entire design by editing one file. For that reason alone, I will never go back to table layouts. I know that everyone is always saying that web sites should strive to separate design from content, but let me just add my voice to the chorus... Once you have designed a site that separates the two, even to a small extent, you will wonder why you ever tried to do more than just structural layout with html. It is an absolute joy to work with a site that has properly separated design and content. If you want to take it a step further, pull your content out of your html and put it in a database. I love the fact that I am able to completely change an entire website's layout, graphics set, and logical structure in just one day. I don't think I'll ever use tables for layout again.

    Anyway, I'll step off the soapbox now, I just had to get my $.02 in there.
    -Paul Griffin

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast terraglo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    33
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by Griffinpp
    Let's not forget how great it is to be able to change your entire design by editing one file.
    True but how many times have you done that? And why would you want to? would that not be classed as rebranding? can I fit in another question? oh i just did

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Thailand
    Posts
    4,810
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by terraglo


    True but how many times have you done that?
    About 5 on major sites in two years
    Originally posted by terraglo

    And why would you want to?
    Corporate branding changes - keeping the site looking "lively" - fresh concepts, because ya feel like it

    Originally posted by terraglo

    Would that not be classed as rebranding?
    Not necessarily, but that's the main reason I've had to do it. I will stress that I haven't done it with "pure" css yet, but am working toward that end with my most recent project.
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by terraglo
    True but how many times have you done that?
    to often

    Originally posted by terraglo
    And why would you want to?
    because I can

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast Griffinpp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    True but how many times have you done that?
    Entire redesigns are generally very infrequent, but you never know when it will need to happen, and it sure is nice to have a well-separated design when it does happen. You have to remember too, that it's not just convinient for entire redesigns. For example, what do you do if your client decides he wants all links to be purple instead of orange? Personally, I'd rather change one line in a stylsheet than try to hunt down every <a> or <body> tag in every file on the site, especially if the site is bigger than a few pages. It also makes development much easier, since you can easily change a few lines in your stylesheet and see what the sitewide effects would be immediately. It makes it much easier to try various designs and layouts to see what you like without having to commit to a cumbersome layout and graphics set that you might decide you don't like later.

    Why would you use CSS? If you ask me, the better question is, why wouldn't you use CSS? Anything that makes my life easier is usually a no-brainer.
    -Paul Griffin

  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast terraglo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    33
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by Griffinpp
    Entire redesigns are generally very infrequent,
    This is my point, with the emphisis on "entire", I agree that CSS is good for font styles, links etc but for layout and structure I am not convinced,,,yet. I think that there is usaully more involved when doing an entire redesign than just the layout, more likely that a change of enviroment / backend stuff requires it.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
    Posts
    2,066
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree - in practise, a full redesign of a site is likely to require more than just an update of the CSS no matter how well you have separated your site's structure from presentation. The reason is that redesigns almost always involve adding new elements to the site design - a new navigation bar, a different footer etc. These updates require changes to the HTML because they affect the structure of the site.

    That said, CSS allows a site's design to be tweaked incredibly easily, and can allow for complete redesigns without any requiring any HTML changes if the redesign is purely cosmetic.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Beyond yonder
    Posts
    2,384
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by terraglo
    I think that there is usaully more involved when doing an entire redesign than just the layout, more likely that a change of enviroment / backend stuff requires it.
    And, if you write sterling clean, standards compliant code, then that becomes much easier. ;-)

    All you'd have to do would be to run another open stylesheet technology, XSL (specifically, XSLT), on your server to convert old to new. Standers aren't proprietary so they don't tie you down to one platform, allowing you to switch platforms and such with minimal effort. Rotating an ad banner, adding a breadcrumb trail or anything else becomes as simple as running an XSLT transformation on the server before sending out the page.

    So there you have it, a complete redesign in two/three pages--but only if you use standards from the get go. Want a new look? Change your stylesheet. Switching platforms? Change your business logic. Need a new header? Change your transformation page. Simple. :-)

    ~~Ian

  22. #22
    SitePoint Enthusiast Griffinpp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    And, if you write sterling clean, standards compliant code, then that becomes much easier
    Yeah, what he said .

    CSS is good for font styles, links etc but for layout and structure I am not convinced
    The whole point is that you can take the ease with which you control fonts, links, etc; and apply that to the entire layout. It's surprisingly easy to completely change the visual layout of an entire site just by changing the stylesheet. Granted, it's a little more involved than changing font color, but it's still infinitely easier than trying to decipher and rearrange line after line of <td>'s in who knows how many files. The idea behind CSS is to make your life easier. Trust me, once you really get into it, it's hard to imagine doing a site any other way.
    -Paul Griffin


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •