Following the big web-log CSS flamewar, I redid the site templates to use CSS for multi-column layout. I had used tables to do multi-column layout in the past but sacked them because they slowed down page loads (in terms of both overall time and apparent time to start showing content).

In theory, CSS takes care of these problems. In practice, it does not degrade well, and many niche browsers don’t support it. So while it looks good and loads quickly on some browsers, it’s a total mess on others.

So the CSS layout (including the calendar) is gone until I have the time and interest to burn figuring out how to create a site which will work for the 80% of the people who read this site using something other than Mozilla, IE 5 for Mac, or Lynx. Oh well, it was a nice idea.

Also worth pointing out: CSS layout is a huge pain to work with. None of the tools are any good. Browsers interpret the same commands in subtly different ways, and some of the major (and for my purposes, important) tags are just plain ignored. Designers have lobbied for CSS use by suggesting it frees the designer from having to fight with the code to get it to work across all browsers. I’m no web designer, but I wonder if they’ve actually used CSS, since it appears to have all the same problems but in new and different places.