Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




overuse of css considered harmful

It used to be that obese graphics were the scourge of the internet with 1MB splash images on some foolish sites. Finally, we started disabling images in our browsers just to stop from going insane.

Then enormous java animations and drop down menuing systems that crashed ate up bandwidth. So we learned to turn off Java, and later flash (though flash is at least stable).

Now I am seeing pages with a 600 word article surrounded by the usual 48k of html code and 102k of little lines and panels and rollover text saved as a gif, PLUS multiple css pages that have stacks of css code irrelevant to hte page and even site at hand, getting up towards 200k of css.

On top of that, 120k of linked javascript.

This is just nuts.

Now sensible people lacking T1 lines have to disable javascript and css too and browse everything as plain text.

Dennis Atkins
Monday, October 20, 2003

I do not think the problem is as bad as you say it is.

Ankur
Monday, October 20, 2003

OK.

Dennis Atkins
Monday, October 20, 2003

Sorry, I agree that it's not quite the problem you make it out to be. The extreme in any situation will be bad. It has nothing to do with the thing they're abusing.

In every case where I've used it, CSS+HTML is much smaller than the equivalent in-line, TABLE-based HTML layout of yester-year.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Monday, October 20, 2003

Weird.. The lines and panels stuff is the kind of thing that can be done using css instead of gifs/javascript.

Possibly you are looking at an especially bad example of a site.

Bleh
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Can someone port NCSA Mosaic 1.0 to .Net?

Just kidding, put down your <insert sharp object name>...

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I, for one, have never bastardized my browsing experience. I won't use anything but the one true browser -- lynx.

Rob VH
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Don't forget that typically the stylesheet is the same for all pages of a site, so you have to download it only once. That gives an advantage even if the size of HTML + CSS is bigger than the size of HTML with old-style formatting.

Roel Schroeven
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

200k of CSS is just plain wrong. Which sites are you going to??!!

Marcus Greenwood
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

"links" is so much better than "lynx"! When using it through Putty, you can even click on the links!

But then again, clicking on links is maybe to much modernization for some :-)

Jilles Oldenbeuving
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I would have to agree that misuse is becomming more common, but I blame Frontpage and Dreamweaver. I really think HTML wysivyg editors should be forbidden.

ok, not really, but there is no doubt a danger in having too many people doing too much of something they know too little about.
But then, they hurt themselvs the most.

Hopefully HTML will be repleced soon.

Eric DeBois
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Overuse of "considered harmful" considered harmful.  Anyone else notice the burgeoning use of "considered harmful lately?

I don't think anyone has really been harmed becuase of css.  Inconvenienced and pissed off maybe, harmed - no.

Milton
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Considered Harmful Essays Considered Harmful

conveniently by CSS guru Eric Meyer

http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/comment/chech.html

Lou
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

> Hopefully HTML will be repleced soon.

Share some of what you're smoking!

Portabella
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Any technology can be abused, this isn't a particular fault of CSS, that's just a poorly designed website.  One can always email the webmaster and suggest changes, or stop visiting (vote with your feet).

Lou
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I suspect Dennis has just converted a document from Word 2000!

15 pages of header!

Alternabiely what he is referring to is downloading one page from a huge site that uses external style sheets that are for thousands of different pages.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

>>
Overuse of "considered harmful" considered harmful.  Anyone else notice the burgeoning use of "considered harmful lately?
<<

Exactly what I was thinking!  I thought about posting a new topic mentioning this.  My immediate thought when I see "considered harmful" is that the writer isn't particularly creative...

SomeBody
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

"Hopefully HTML will be repleced soon."

With what?

Jim Rankin
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Basically you don't like big web pages no matter what the technology is. I don't think CSS is any worse than the other examples you mentioned. The issue seems to be the pipe to your computer, not the contents of the pipe. Like you said, Text is your only option. I agree, but what would you expect when not wanting the overhead?

m
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

"I blame Frontpage and Dreamweaver." -- Eric

Ah, yeah... that  could be a contributing factor for some of it.

--

"'Considered Harmful Essays Considered Harmful,' conveniently by CSS guru Eric Meyer" - Lou

Wow Lou, what a find! You rock!

--

"Not really harmful"

Well neither is goto, right? No one's been killed or injured because of the use of goto... at least not yet...

--

All,

Hey, I like CSS and agree it's better in many ways than the old ways. That's why it will pain me to disable it just because certain sites misuse it so badly, just as it pained me to disable images and javascript for the internet in general because of the misuse of a few fiends.

The latest site that bothered my was when reading a short article on a popular tech news site which shall remain unnamed.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Dennis -

what do you think about the CSS use espoused in http://www.csszengarden.com

nathan
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

That's a nice looking page with several fun layouts -- some of them had problems rendering in various browsers I tried them on though...

Not sure what you're asking though  - you mean about using CSS to separate layout and content? I think it's reasonable to separate layout and content when it makes sense, such as for a site that undergoes periodic makeovers. plug-n-play CSS is one way to do it and templates are another. I use templates myself but often use CSS in the templates. I use CSS to reduce the size of pages myself and always carefully optimize for size.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, October 24, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home