Afraid of CSS and valid code? Read this.

Well, I suppose not too many people who read what I write here are actually afraid of CSS and valid code. Nevertheless there is a good article by Ben Henick at A List Apart that is well worth reading since it can help you with arguments the next time you end up in a discussion with somebody who is afraid of CSS and Web standards.

In 12 Lessons for Those Afraid of CSS and Standards Ben shares the most important lessons he learned on his way from table layouts to mastering CSS. I can definitely relate to much of the article since I've had to learn many of the lessons myself. One of the hardest was this:

Lesson No. 2: It's not going to look exactly the same everywhere unless you're willing to face some grief… and possibly not even then

Once I learned that lesson everything became a lot easier. Minor rendering differences between browsers or platforms don't bother me much anymore, and I can't remember having a client complain about that in the last several years.

What I find a bit curious is that many people who haven't yet learned this lesson use tables for layout since they "look the same everywhere". I say that is a myth, since using tables for layout will not make things look exactly the same everywhere either. I remember the bad old days of using JavaScript based browser sniffing and document.write() to load different CSS files (with nothing but font sizes and colours) for different browsers into table based layouts.

Besides, very few people who are not web designers will take screenshots of a site in ten browsers on three operating systems and compare them in Photoshop.

Posted on October 11, 2006 in Quicklinks, CSS, Web Standards