Technology Web

Semantic CSS

Recovered from the Wayback Machine. has released a new paid upgrade: custom CSS. Now those who host their weblogs with the service can pay for an upgrade and customize their weblogs. To start, the company provided a Sandbox theme layout that can be altered through the custom stylesheet.

It’s interesting to read about this theme in the associated forum thread. There seems to be confusion associated with web page semantics and abstracting out the presentation from the layout. The theme creator wrote, The Sandbox is powerful because it generates semantic classes for a myriad of pages, which allows practically absolute control over the theme with CSS alone. He also wrote, The Sandbox will undoubtidly(sic) be the easiest theme for novices to write CSS for, with selectors that are semantic and logical/.

I’m assuming he means that the theme uses ordered and unordered list elements for lists, but what this has to do with CSS, I don’t know.

Quick Review:

XHTML and HTML are page elements.

Some (X)HTML elements have associated semantics, such as tables for tabular data, and OL or UL for lists. However, both have and will continue to be abused.

No matter how you push it, DIV is not a semantic element–no more meaning than the cardboard box that contained my last Amazon order.

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, have to do with the presentation of the elements. Through these, you can make unordered lists not look like unordered lists; but this just changes the presentation, not the semantics.

What’s really meaningful? Atom feeds that don’t break and that validate. Yes, that would mean a lot to me.

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