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Feb-26-2012 14:11TweetFollow @OregonNews
Technology Opinion: CSS WhateverTim King Salem-News.com
In a PHP world, CSS can be a real nightmare...
(SALEM) - Change for the sake of change, that is the American way right? This money philosophy is designed to keep consumers spending and little else, reinventing the wheel is not always necessary.
CSS is a form of web language that is increasingly taking over the field, the one created in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) that gave us what we know today online.
If I'm not mistaken, all of this is created for the user, and if this is the case, then CSS is at epic-fail stage and I want nothing to do with it, unfortunately I have little choice.
Let me back up a little bit; as the news editor of Salem-News.com, I live and breathe Web publishing. I write new stories almost every day, but the lion's share of my day is dedicated toward publishing daily news and contributions from our 100+ contributors.
As a Web news editor, I use Mozilla Firefox because it has a feature called 'view selection source' - this is used to pull content from a story without having to rebuild it from the top, which can be very time consuming. The advantage is achieved by highlighting the article and right clicking, at which point the 'selection source' option becomes available.
Anyone reading this can probably imagine how daunting a long form story full of bold and italic text, hyperlinks, photos and video can be, if one has to dissect it completely before publishing.
The typical HTML code for a paragraph break involves placing a 'p' inside brackets, replacing 'p' with 'br' removes the space between the paragraphs, but leaves the paragraph otherwise intact. Google sees all of this, and if I leave extra 'p' paragraph breaks in place, the search engine assumes we have twice the number of paragraphs in the story and with Google, brevity really counts.
So, normally I strip code with the 'selection source' and then remove the extra 'p' paragraph spaces and it is fairly fast, and here is the problem. The new CSS code uses the same code to space paragraphs, that it uses to 'underline' copy. The result with the new CSS system which I am seeing increasingly, is that every paragraph has the 'u' in place and this underscores the entire report.
Duplicity in this type of terminology is both dangerous and irresponsible and I hope HTML finds a way to hold on, because the brains that created that system are better than the ones creating CSS. Here's a small example, with HTML if you want to bold a word or paragraph, you simply write a 'b' inside those sharp brackets, or to italicize we use an 'i' and onward we go. But with CSS there are more letters to write, how is that an advantage? To bold with CSS we must write out the word 'strong', what is the advantage in this? It seems ludicrous to me, and unnecessary.
For this 'user' the system is over challenging, if I did not have our Web Designer Matt Lintz available to consult with, I do not know what I would do sometimes.
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