Liveblogging a presentation by Doug Bowman at @media2005, London, 2005.06.09 (; ; ; )

Loves what he does, talking about what he does, and sharing what he does. Loves the fact that he gets to build technologies into what he does. How many people use CSS for layout for a year or more? Most. Two years? Most. Three years? 25%. Four years? Five people. His hand went down at three years.

CSS is not a difficult language to learn, though there are bugs and browser discrepancies to deal with. He wrote off CSS when he compared IE5/Mac layouts in Netscape 4, but regained religion in 2002.

What about CSS is so beautiful to him?

“Standards” are “widely recognized” and “regularly used.” “Standards give us some kind of consistent target to build toward.” Standards benefit those who build the tools and build with the tools.

In nature, beauty goes beyond the surface down to structure and up to ecosystems. You often get accessibility bundled with CSS as a package deal.

Feedback from Wired News reader, which he shares “by no means in a raconteur style”: If you ask for feedback after you redesign a site, 90% of the feedback will be negative. “Your colours are awful; they’re too bright. I can’t read your type. Your designer sucks and should be fired.” Positive feedback to his own site followed a little formula, including one message that ended with “By the way, I’m blind.” “And that hit me like a ton of bricks…. His message basically completely fundamentally changed the work I do…. I don’t just design for people who can appreciate the beautiful designs and type I use on a site. I also design for blind people. I also design for people who can’t get out of the house because of a mobility impairment.”

Advantages: “Fstr” (sic) in real or apparent speeds. Simpler code; greater flexibility; one version.

Mistakes? Boxiness: Overreliance on the box model and making the box visible. “This can be a symptom of starting with CSS too early” in the design process, doing “only what we can immediately remember in CSS.” Image replacement: “A year ago at South by Southwest I deprecated image replacement.” We already have a tag for that in HTML: img with alt. In fact, a lot of the success of CSS Zen Garden is image replacement. You can’t zoom into it, for example [though you can with sIFR – zoom then reload]. Presentational class and id names: large, redtext, top-line, borderred, rightcol. Use page-title, subhead, main, module, secondary instead. Accessibility assumptions: Just for the blind or PDA users. Imitation.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2005.06.11 17:27. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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