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Oct 22 2004

Ordered Zen

I am proud to announce my entry in to the CSS Zen Garden has been accepted. Ordered Zen was actually completed a few months ago, but was just added to ‘The Garden’ yesterday. Why does this make me so happy? Well, besides the obvious honor of being placed in such a useful and admired collection, allow me to give you a little background.

Pretty close to a year ago, I was a table maniac. I drew the line at using CSS for fonts, and the occasional border. Sure, I’d glanced over Zeldman’s DWWS. I’d heard talk about semantics and CSS layout techniques. But I held firm to my beliefs (which were true at one time, many years ago) that Netscape and older browsers just couldn’t handle the advanced layout of CSS. And because of this view, I was pretty ignorant of just how powerful CSS could be for layouts. I was still focused on the presentation of a site, so whatever I had to do to get the content to look the way I wanted it to, that’s what I did.

But then, I stumbled upon the CSS Zen Garden. Within minutes, my web design world was turned upside-down. I’d read the books, I’d heard the talk, but until I really saw it in action, I wasn’t convinced. But after seeing the breadth of design, and the effectiveness of semantic XHTML, I was hooked.

And painfully hooked. I knew nothing about how to get any of this done. It’s like your grandpa trying to send an email. It’s a totally different thought process than you’re used to. So over the next few months I was trying my best to create my own CSS/XHTML layouts, but it was very frustrating. So many little bugs, so many hacks, exceptions, and rules. But every return to The Garden, I’d regain my hope. “I know it’s possible, I’m looking at it right in front of me.”

So now I have finally contributed back to the tool that got me started in the first place. It’s quite an honor. So thanks Dave, and keep up the good work.