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Are You Ready and Willing for CSS3?

Articles on Web Design and CSSAre you ready for the changes in web page design that will come with the new version of Cascading Stylesheets known as CSS3?

In A Refreshed Design for 2008 by Don’t Trust This Guy, I found a glimpse of some of the new CSS3 features and possibilities including multiple background images and CSS drop shadows.

One of the interesting proposals that may be making its way into the final CSS3 version is the grid. You can see visual examples of the technique and code from the W3 on the CSS3 Grid technique, and what it does is turn your web design into a newspaper/magazine style format. You start reading on column one, Example of CSS3 proposed Grid for web page designscrolling down, then have to scroll up to continue reading in column two, scroll down, then scroll up to continue reading the article in column three, and so on.

That’s a lot of scrolling up and down. I’m still teaching people how to use the scroll wheel and thumb buttons on their mouse, so what do you think this is going to do to your eyes and fingers scrolling up and down and up and down and…you get the picture.

While I think the grid system is excellent for precision design elements, hearkening back to the one joy in table-based designs – putting it EXACTLY where you wanted it to stay – I’m not a fan of any up and down scrolling. It’s bad enough that the header art and area keeps getting bigger and bigger, requiring one to three scroll downs (see Matt Mullenweg) just to get to the content. I see this technique as valuable for some sites who want to narrow the width of the column and keep as much content as possible above the scrolling fold, but I see a lot of abuse on the user, too. This should prove interesting, and increase the wear and tear on your scrolling finger.

You can follow some of the improvements and changes in the CSS3 Roadmap while you are waiting for your browser to embrace CSS3, and here are some other glimpses at what’s coming in CSS3:

Yeah, But What About the Browsers?

In 2008: The Year Of The Layout Engine from the blog, they report on whether or not the new technology that will come with CSS3 will be viewable in most web browsers:

I believe that 2008 will be notable for the second salvo in the browser wars, and although previous combatant Netscape is out of action, we now have a four-way battle on our hands. In fact, ‘browser wars’ may not be the best description any longer; perhaps ‘layout engine wars’ is a more accurate description. With all four major engines releasing new versions, it’s going to be exciting to watch.

…During the last browser war it was the developers and users who lost out, as websites were built to favour one browser over another or involved double the work to be compatible with both. This time, however, standards are a well-developed core around which the battle rotates; so whoever loses, we all win.

The latter is quite a promise.

There are two major issues here. First, the web browser developers have to embrace the new standards and design elements. And they have to do it fast in order to jump on the CSS3 bandwagon. Waiting two to four years after the fact isn’t good and bad business practice.

The second more important issue is whether or not you are willing to upgrade your browser for the new CSS3 benefits.

I didn’t “upgrade” to Internet Explorer 7 mostly because I don’t use it. I have access to it for testing web designs along with other browsers, but I don’t use IE any more. It doesn’t give me the power I want in my web browser. After watching it take over whole computer systems and failing, repeatedly, in the installation, and watching them remove it and return to an earlier version, IE lost even more luster for me.

Are you really willing to upgrade Internet Explorer or move to a new browser to embrace CSS3? Would it mean that much to you?

The web browser is your best friend and tool when blogging so make sure it works for you and you work for it.


Along with the improvements in the upcoming release of CSS3, Microformats are the next generation in communicating and interacting with your readers and clients via your blog’s design.

Otto of Nothing to See Here wrote a brilliant post as a guest blogger here on Microformats and WordPress Themes, helping us understand better how to incorporate microformats into your WordPress Theme and blog.

In the article by Don’t Trust This Guy, he announces that in addition to CSS3 techniques, he is also adding microformats and gives a couple examples of the power of their use.

I see this coming year as a huge one for improvements in web page design and development, but we have to get the web browsers to keep up with the changes. And we, ourselves, have to keep up with the upgrades of our browsers so we can enjoy the improvements.

Are you ready?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted January 7, 2008 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    thanks for that news.. really biggg news 🙂

  2. Posted January 7, 2008 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks Lorelle! 🙂

  3. Posted January 7, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    I’ve used CSS columns previously using the mozilla hack. They were very popular with my users and when I tried to remove them once they complained bitterly. I’ve now moved away from them and are using standard static columns instead as I prefer to wait until proper CSS3 columns are available instead of using a hack which only works in one browser.

  4. Posted January 9, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Hey Lorelle,

    Thanks for mentioning my site! The grid proposals sound promising in theory but until there is browser support I’m afraid it may be somewhat difficult to wrap my head around how they work. I’m a bit disappointed that FireFox3 has yet to incorporate any important CSS3 features. If we could get multiple-background image support in all modern web browsers it would be a huge win for front end designers everywhere as that’s the main culprit for adding additional and unnecessary markup to our semantics.

    – Jim

  5. Posted January 9, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    @ Jim Jeffers:

    I agree. Even now I’m struggling with a design of three columns, a simple layout structure, and it works in every browser but IE6+ and 7. It works in older versions of IE6 and older, but I have to put in bizarre margins and passing to get it to hold together in those versions of IE. No one should have to do that.

  6. Posted January 21, 2008 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    My word, the grid stuff sounds great but looks fairly dizzying. I’m imagining setting up a complex grid and then, down the line, needing to change it.

  7. Posted January 29, 2008 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Can’t wait the CSS3 implementation on all of browser in the world.

  8. Posted February 15, 2008 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I do have some concerns about compatibility but I am looking forward to the future of css and web design. Multiple background images could be nice.

  9. Posted April 3, 2008 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Whoever formulated CSS3 missed the chance to allow variables in CSS. It’s too bad, that would’ve made applying the same values to the same properties of different website elements a lot lot easier.

  10. aminhers
    Posted May 18, 2008 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    wow nice posting !

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