Cascading Style Sheets

I’ve looked at articles recommending Cascading Style Sheets before, but I’ve always been frustrated by the browser incompatibilities and bugs. For the last month or so I’ve been following css discussions more closely, and I’m going to try using css again. I still don’t quite understand why people hate tables—I find them to be very useful—but the ability to use a style sheet for my sixty-something pages does appeal to me. So I’m taking a closer look.

I’ve found some good resources—this series of Apple tutorials, for one, and WebMonkey’s Style Sheet Guide then there’s Dave Raggett’s guide—and his useful “ccs readiness” checker HTML Tidy (I’m using Terry Teague’s BBTidy BBEdit plug in port). I’ve also found WDG’s Quick Tutorial and the New York Public Library Style Guide helpful, not to mention all the resources at the CSS Pointers Group.

Next of course is xml.

Text Tools for HTML

I’m old fashioned in a lot of ways. I use a text editor, BBEdit 6.5, to be precise, for my HTML (and for javascript and perl). There’s a version of BBedit, BBedit Lite, that’s free, and supports OS 9.x and OS X, and I started with it. My friend Nicholas Urfé swears by TexEdit Plus accompanied by Dean Allen’s Scripted Writing for the Web AppleScripts (yes, Apple Script is Mac only–including Mac OS X). I have them both on my list of things to look at.

But if I weren’t one of the fortunate users of the blessed Celtic computer, I’d use Arachnophilia by Paul Lutus for html under Windows. He’s announced that he’s rewriting Arachnophilia in Java2, to make it platform neutral because it “is immoral to write programs that only run on Windows.” That’s right—he’s asking users to boycott Microsoft. The new version of Arachnophilia is still CareWare.