October 30, 2007

Late-night giggles

CSSEleven.com. Doesn’t this come across as too goofy to be taken seriously? After staring with bleak wonder at the capitalised marketroid copy

CSS Eleven is an international group of visual web designers and developers who are committed to helping the W3C’s CSS Working Group to better deliver the tools that are needed to design tomorrow’s web

I feel the uneasy sensation that the group doesn’t have a firm idea of how to achieve this. Lacking an agenda or manifesto and thus forging on directionless, the site becomes a rolling advertisement for the eleven’s companies, blogs & books, with wordy introductions that are unnecessary for the target audience and will probably be skipped, because honestly who wants to read eleven resumés of the self-elected?

At this point I was going to make a crack about CSSTwelve with Julia Roberts, but instead I’ll get serious: The group aims to rally designers instead of having them whine piecemeal on disparate forums for the next ten years. This is a worthy cause; with the WHATWG’s effort reaching critical mass a community CSS group has a significant chance of changing the Working Group’s direction. Keeping the yapping mass content (and correctly informed) while managing useful suggestions will take considerable time and effort; a quick peek at the first two months of HTML5WG emails demonstrates how people can get most upset that their issue hasn’t even been discussed yet (that may or may not be a sly nod to someone in the CSSEleven.)

(An aside: Fantasai’s treatise on the CSSWG gave people a fair idea about the limited time and manpower available to the poor souls burdened with planning CSS’ future, but I’ve always felt that CSS3’s modular approach was the beginning of the fall; I’m pleased to see news of a “CSS snapshot” of sorts. It’s still not the right approach, and does nothing to combat the perfectionism trap—If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well—that’s understandably difficult to avoid when writing unversioned specs, but it’s a wonderful line in the sand for browser vendors.)

I wish the CSSEleven the best of luck, and may they soon have some content, a blog and a community meeting place.

Time for bed!

posted by Andrew