I demand a simpler CSS for HTML5!

Look, I love the browser as much as the next person, but that is as a user. I have no love for web development and the developers of html and css and the browsers are the reason why. Some things are not as hard as they are making it out to be.

HTML5 is becoming all the rage and the buzz world of the day. “Hey, just use HTML5 and all your problems will be solved.” Non-technical decision makers (and technical ones for that matter) are buying this. What nobody tells these people is that HTML5 is a current problem in and of itself. First, it is not a complete standard yet. Second, everyone is implementing the standard now, but doing it slightly differently. The problem is exacerbated by the use of vendor specific tags for future standards.

There are 13 known prefixes.

prefix organization
-ms-, mso- Microsoft
-moz- Mozilla
-o-, -xv- Opera Software
-atsc- Advanced Television Standards Committee
-wap- The WAP Forum
-khtml- KDE
-webkit- Apple
prince- YesLogic
-ah- Antenna House
-hp- Hewlett Packard
-ro- Real Objects
-rim- Research In Motion
-tc- TallComponents

The design currently is the implement a feature first using a vendor tag and only later make it a standard feature. It is not possible to sustain this model for browser progress.

Could you imagine if there was a setting and every vendor implemented it with its prefix. For example, the display setting is already a problem and could get worse. What if it was as bad as this?

  display: -ms-box;
  display: mso-box;
  display: -moz-box;
  display: -o-box;
  display: -xv-box;
  display: -atsc-box;
  display: -wap-box;
  display: -khtml-box;
  display: -webkit-box;
  display: prince-box;
  display: -ah-box;
  display: -hp-box;
  display: -ro-box;
  display: -rim-box;
  display: -tc-box;

Is it  possible that we may someday have to call a setting for each an every vendor prefix? Sure, but it is not likely. Ok, that above is a little absurd and an exageration, as nobody would use all those tags, we don’t even know what half those vendors are. However, even twice is too much! Do we really want to call a setting more than once? Should we ever have to? No, we shouldn’t. That is one of the biggest problems with web applications today.

I just can’t believe that we as developers are putting up with this html/css/browser problem.

I have to put the setting that is going to be the standard, and then for each browser, I have to put the browser specific setting. They are not smart enough to have each browser use the same tag for future standards, maybe something like -fs- for future standard, but instead lets use the vendor specific tag -moz- for mozilla and -webkit so we have to have a different tag for the same setting added for every browser we wish to support.

This is nonsense. I am so embarrassed for the organizations and their developers who have brought us to this point. We have to make every setting multiple times? Really? I am so glad I am not a developer for a browser because I take pride in my work and I would be so embarrassed to be part of such a mess.

How is it that browser developers aren’t smart enough to figure out a way we can use a single css tag, even for future standards?

Too many browsers

Competition is supposedly a good thing right? Well, I am not so sure that when dealing with free projects that is the case. I believe it is true for competitive businesses, but nobody is selling a browser.

Browsers are starting to sprawl worse than Linux. How many browsers do we rally need?

Here is a short list of browsers and they are all free:

  • IE 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Konqueror (KDE)

Sometimes with free projects, different from commercial projects, a division of the work force is a bad thing. I feel the same way about browsers as I do for Linux. If two groups worked together, they would often get more done than working apart. Sometimes there are natural divisions that lead to benefits in different areas, such as a desktop Linux version versus a server Linux version. With browsers there really isn’t a natural division like that.

We are re-inventing the wheel with each browser.

Unfortunately, control of the browser is coveted. The browser is the single most used application by the billions of computer users on our world. Controlling something as simple as the default browser homepage could mean the difference of millions, and perhaps billions, of dollars in advertising sales.

So to me, the question is this: How can we have a single browser but every commercial company still gets this “control” that they so desperately want?  Wow…once you really get the question pinned down, the answer is easy.

There is no reason that a single browser shouldn’t exist and all current browser developers could stop working on their browser and get one single browser to work. Use a BSD license so Windows and Apple and everyone else could include this browser with their own default settings (the default home page however they want, etc…), and mobile phones could do the same.

Then the next time the standard is increased from html5 to html6, we won’t have the mess we have now trying to go to html5. And we won’t have to wait as long because the combined efforts will take us to there so much faster.


  1. Windows says:

    From my point of view HTML 5 complications are bases on its extended capabilities. I've seen games on HTML 5 which are not worse than those on flash, that is amazing.

  2. [...] demand a simpler CSS for HTML5! Filed under: FreeBSD — rhyous @ 2:06 pm Read more Share this:DiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Leave a [...]

Leave a Reply

How to post code in comments?