Zeldman’s ‘Three-Legged Stool’ Approach to Web Standards
Anyone who’s spent time in web design/development, and who belives in the magical (some would say ‘fairie-induced’) nature of web standards, knows about Jeffrey Zeldman. As one of the original standardistas, he’s given much thought to good content and correct markup.
So there’s your introduction. It’s a well-thought-out approach to building your websites in a modular fashion, so that the pieces are easy to update and can be used across pages to reduce bandwidth.
This separation results in websites that are adaptable across many different browsers, platforms, and devices.
And then it gets tricky
There is no such thing as black or white. Using the
Where are the lines? Does it matter?
In the HTML5 Working Group, there’s been a lot of fuss over some of the new elements being thought up. Accordion-style content? Progress bars? Calendar widgets? “Don’t those belong in jQuery?”
In CSS3, there’s also a bit of hubbub over the animations and transformations. When you can effectively code a movie using only CSS and a bit of HTML, are you going too far?
My Own Thoughts
Obviously, it would be snobbish to ban any cross-over between the three pillars. The question, then, becomes “why do we cross?” and “how much can we cross?”
As well, those seemingly-action-based animations or hover or transformations may be entirely presentational, so it makes sense to put them in CSS.
When you get right down to it, the question is one of intent: Why is this element doing that thing? “Because it looks pretty.” Or, more realistically, “Because it fulfills a design requirement.”
And you can do so much with it.
We should be very careful when adding new mixes to the specification, but there’s no reason to ban that outright. Meanwhile, developers need only keep mindful of their reasons for implementing things the way they are.