CSS 3 Grid – just like layout tables, but more annoying

While I do respect the idea behind separating content markup (HTML) from visual styling rules (CSS), it sucks in actual practice.

Consider the CSS 3 Grid.

This would be much easier if we just had gone with an HTML <layout> or <grid> tag back in 1995, then developed media/device specific sub-dialects of HTML instead of going down the CSS route. Back then, supporting a grid or layout element would have been as simple as copying/pasting table rendering code; and there were a lot of proposals to add exactly that kind of element back then.

Instead though, committees were formed and CSS was inflicted. The CSS proponents, and those that came to the web afterwards and don’t know any different, all have a lot of praise for CSS and the neat things it lets us do.

But to me, real result of going with CSS instead of sanity is that, 15 years later, we’re still only in the proposal stage for an officially sanctioned grid-style layout mechanism.   

Dart: Because Google is Tired of Getting Sued

Google has announced Dart; a structured programming language for the web.  If you don’t understand why Google is making Dart, or wonder “do we really need a new language” then you need to understand two things.

  1. JavaScript sucks. Sorry, it just does. It has come a long way over the years, but the best that can be said is that it sucks less than it used to. No matter how far it evolves, it will always carry the baggage it picked up during its chaotic youth.  
  2. Google has always relied heavily on tools to convert real programming languages (Java mostly) into JavaScript. But they, like Microsoft in the late 90’s, have gotten sued by Java’s overlords. So they, like Microsoft, have decided to write their own platform. Not only can they solve the problem better, they also are less likely to get sued for it. 

Dart has a decent shot at gaining real popularity from what I see. There certainly is a lot of demand for something like this, and Google’s name should help sell it.