You may have gathered from my previous post that I’m a perfectionist. Then again, you probably knew that already :>

Yesterday I found a link to an article about Web standards on an April Fool’s Day joke page. The joke was funny, but the article it linked got me thinking.

First off, you should know that that article is really, really old. It’s from 1997! But the things it speaks of–a separation of design and content, and the utilization of meaningful class tags to facilitate swift and accurate information retrieval–don’t exist any more now than they apparently did then. Content management systems help, but ultimately all the yokels learning web design are going to tag their HTML for layout. (I never knew using a transparent gif as a spacer was a bad thing! In fact, I thought it was 1) cool and 2) common practice! Apparently only #2 is the case…)

It all makes me want to tear apart this beautiful template I just made and start over.

If you check my source, you’ll see that I’ve put all the CSS in the head. You’ll also see that I’m really just using CSS for font weight, style, and size. If I had an ounce of dignity, I’d tag every design element in CSS. The various pieces of the site are currently arrayed in tables–this is, of course, the cardinal sin, and I will be leaving shortly to self-inflict my punitive 60 lashes with the cat-o’-nine-tails.

Ideally, I would have the barebones functions in the Blogger template–nothing relating to layout whatsoever other than pieces to reference CSS code–and the CSS itself in a separate file, called from the Blogger code. In fact, this would be much nicer for me when I want to tweak the layout. Currently I have to republish the entire site, including all archives, whenever I add an element or change a single tag. Yes, that’s convenient.

Unfortunately, I’m still not sure how to make CSS do what I want. As far as I can tell, it can’t, for example, center the content on the page the way I have it now. My friend Dave says I can use a table for that…but if I give those tables an inch, who knows how many miles they will take!

At this point, I basically can do nothing…but you know this is going to eat at me until I do something about it.