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Q: The Limitations of CSS - for eiffel-ga only ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: The Limitations of CSS - for eiffel-ga only
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: expertlaw-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 10 Jul 2006 18:44 PDT
Expires: 09 Aug 2006 18:44 PDT
Question ID: 745131
Dear Eiffel-ga,

Please provide your opinion as to the following:

What are the biggest limitations of CSS for web design?

Is it nonetheless worth trying to design CSS-only websites?

At a certain point, as you reach the limits of CSS, is it better to
compromise the presentation of a website in order to achieve a robust
css-only design, or is it better to compromise a CSS-only design by
using a simple table to achieve the basic site layout?
Subject: Re: The Limitations of CSS - for eiffel-ga only
Answered By: eiffel-ga on 11 Jul 2006 06:59 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi expertlaw-ga,

Thanks for inviting me to comment on CSS.

In my opinion, the biggest problems with CSS for web design are the
incompatibilities between different browsers. This is in stark
contrast to tables which are now well-supported by all recent

The incompatibilities make CSS-based design take much longer than it
should, and lead to only a subset of the power of CSS being usable in
practise - because one must stick to a subset that us usable across

Nevertheless I believe it is worthwhile to strive for a website that
uses only CSS (except for the presentation of tabular data). Using CSS
one can easily achieve a consistent look across the whole website, and
can also update that look much more easily (because changes need to be
made in only one place).

Regarding your last paragraph: I believe I am entitled to cry
"Objection!" because you are implying that the only alternatives are a
"compromised CSS design" or a "simple table" design. I see no reason
why one should "compromise" the site in order to use CSS.

Naturally, one must design within the constraints of whichever
technology one is using, and CSS has slightly different constraints
from those of HTML tables, but I believe that one can design a
functional and visually-effective site with either. Therefore, the
decision should be made on other factors such as ease of maintenance.

Here are some "pure CSS" sites to illustrate what is possible:

   Google Blogoscoped by Philipp Lenssen

   Adactio: Jeremy Keith

   Delia Wilson Design - Pure CSS Sites

Jeremy Keith's "Adactio" website is interesting for his article "The
unpushed envelope" where he argues that it's time we stopped merely
using CSS to re-implement table-like designs and started to exploit
its unique strengths. His own site, with its switchable CSS skins,
doesn't even scratch the surface of what's possible.

Finally, here are a few links that might be useful:

   Web Design From Scratch

   QuirksMode - for all your browser quirks

I trust you find this information useful.


Google Search Strategy:

   "limitations of CSS"

   "pure CSS sites"
expertlaw-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $18.00

Subject: Re: The Limitations of CSS - for eiffel-ga only
From: eiffel-ga on 11 Jul 2006 07:55 PDT
Thanks, expertlaw, for the kind tip.

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