Lindsey Simon declares his love to CSS …

Interview: timo / 17. Mai 2009 / Tags: , ,

Lindsey Simon

Lindsey Simon is a Front-End Developer for Google’s User Experience team. Simon hails from Austin, TX where he slaved at a few startups, taught computing at the Griffin School, and was the webmaster for many years at the Austin Chronicle. He currently lives in San Francisco and runs a foodie website -

Why do you love CSS?
The CSS Zen Garden still sums it up for me - being able to take a single page of content and then completely transform its presentation with a layer that leaves the content and structure intact seems like magick, and so it is. I’ve always appreciated non-destructive transformations and enhancements for presentation/usability, even in the past advocating XSLT in the browser for widgets (ok, that might have been a little crazy ;)
What drives you crazy when using CSS?
Inferred styles can make explaining why something is behaving the way it is quite challenging - I always see engineers’ eyes roll back in their heads as they tell themselves that this is an insane world to play in - nothing is as it seems. In general, the language of HTML/CSS for layout is pretty painful and all attempts to make it easier to swallow come with caveats and compromises.
Why should people write well structured / semantic markup?
The better job one does at the markup stage, the more flexible and future-proof the document can be. The analogy to physical structures is pretty apt - a well built house can be more easily remodeled, lasts longer, and endures the hazards of nature much better than one which may look good on the outside but upon inspection is weak - many more people will be able to make a variety of uses from a well structured/semantic document (future engineers, designers, differently purposed user agents, etc..) than otherwise.

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