I’ve always believed that content on the web should be free (from presentation).
The problem that we face as a citizens of the web is that some people don’t share that view. Instead designers seek to restrict our access unless it’s been packaged and presented in ways that meet their own needs, layouts and in browsers that they choose. As a designer, I know that all too well.
Strip back the layers of style that sometimes mask meaning communicated through HTML and you’ll find content that’s rich and valuable, not only for shaping our lives, but how our children and grandchildren look back on our time as custodians of the web.
CSS promised to set our content free to be styled in any way, on whatever device, platform or browser, wherever and whenever we choose. Anyone can take HTML and restyle it, improve its looks and how easily it can be read, all without changing its structure and leaving its meaning intact.
Take this example from a site that’s been much in the news these past weeks.
Replace just one stylesheet and typography improves, the content becomes more readable, the layout liquid and the grid more flexible.
View this page in your browser
Using CSS3 Media Queries, the site becomes more portable for viewing on a wider range of devices.
No HTML elements were altered, no images were edited or replaced.
You can download these examples. After-all, they belong in the public domain. They’re published under a Creative Commons Zero license, so if you feel like uploading the new stylesheet to your servers, you’re free to do that. You’re also free to adapt or improve it and if you do, I hope you’ll publish it back where it belongs. On the web.
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