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CSS is to In-Line Markup as American Sign Language is to English

Dave Aiello, "I've spent the last week learning the nuances of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS is a mechanism for centralizing the styling of the pages of a website in a single (or a small set of) descriptive documents. CSS is probably the state-of-the-art mechanism for separating form from content on the web."

"If you know anything about the Slash content management system, you know that use of CSS is the antithesis of the kind of markup used to produce a site like CTDATA. With Slash, there's almost no separation between form and content. In thinking about writing this piece, the analogy I came up with was between English and American Sign Language: you can say the same things, but zealots will tell you that there are big enough differences for each to be considered separate languages."

"Just like when I first implemented Slash, progress during my first encounter with CSS was slow and painful. I had to press on because the value of Movable Type (a web publishing platform which uses CSS) for my application justified suffering through the pain of learning a new method of styling web pages."

"I began working with CSS by taking an existing site style and modifying it so that the website I am working on doesn't look like a blatant stylistic rip-off of any other site. Later on, I extended the modified style sheet so that it would accomodate a type of content that wasn't present on the site where the style sheet originated. This process was pretty easy, and demonstrated to me that CSS is very extensible."

"I'm happy to report that the design of my new site is done, and the deployment should be occurring soon. So, if you are interested in seeing the site that caused me such difficultly, you don't have long to wait."

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CTDATA Venutures (CTDATA) develops Internet and Intranet applications for corporations and non profit organizations. Our services include:

  • Consulting services for Movable Type and TypePad-based publishing systems (visit our Weblog Improvement website for more information),
  • Financial services business process consulting,
  • Content management system and knowledge management system consulting,
  • Apache web server engineering and hosting,
  • MySQL, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server architecture and development,
  • SOAP, REST, and XML-RPC system architecture and programming, including Amazon Web Services and
  • Weblog publishing.
For more information, contact Dave Aiello by email at dave [at] daveaiello.com or call him at +1-267-352-4420.
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