How to combat modern crappy websites?

Paul Hänsch paul at
Mon Apr 25 15:02:54 UTC 2016

Well, I think the main reason is, that web developers just don't know.

Dynamic appearing and hiding of conten can be done with CSS 2.1 (or  
earlyer versions if you keep it simple)
- Single page sites with navigation
- folding/unfolding navigation menues (even with clicking, not just  
- Option boxes appearing dynamically
- Tooltips
- side panels

Screen size adaptions can be done in CSS 3.0 (or earlyer, again if you  
do fine with little)
- side bars folding to the bottom
- button icons / button texts showing only on large screens
- Navigation menus folding into "hamburger buttons" on small

Some other specials:
- Video playback can be done in pure HTML
   (even before, but better with HTML-5)
- Carussel animations can be done in CSS 3.0
   (they suck anyway, but that's beside the point)
- Highlighting image sections etc can be done... well
   not sure if earlyer than CSS 2.1

All this falls back gracefully, even if the respective CSS features are  
not supported.

= = = = = = = = = = = ADVERTISEMENT = = = = = = = = = =

  So, who of you volunteers to implement this on the FSFE homepage?

  We currently have:
  - the language switcher
  - the closing button on our translation warnings
    (should display a highlighted map, apparently defunct)
  - the caroussel animation on the frontpage
  - Tooltips on
  - the hamburger button (on small screens)
  - the contribution slider on
  - probably some more...

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

In most cases the CSS-Implementatios is *easyer* than doing the same in  

A while ago I held a lightnig talk in front of some dozend web startup  
developers. I didn't prepare anything, I just happened to be in the  
same place drinking beer. When no one wanted to hold the first talk, I  
jumped in and showed some some of those hacks, mostly the hiding and  
unhiding thing. It turned out the audience was surprised. Some where  
even very interested, they just didn't know this was possible and easy.

Another reason is, I suspect, that some web developers, with regard to  
their sites, don't make the distinction between a document and an  
application. The argument is well founded with the Chomsky Hierarchy.  
Dynamics and interactivity, when introduced by CSS layouting are very  
different from the same dynamics, when they are introduced through  
JavaScript. They are much more controllable in regards to computer  
security and they avoid issues that come up in the context of Software  

The most down-to-earth argument (steming from this language class  
argument) is probably that CSS based interactivity doesn't interfere,  
even interacts with sensory aids and input aids. Those are not only  
required by users with bodily handicaps, but are also used in  
environments where people wear protective gear or operate machines  
while using a website.

Looking at code of modern web pages, I often suspect that the authors  
are not well aquainted with CSS. So it's really a matter of education.  
People in a 100,000 Euro start-up company might just be working on  
their first commercial web project after university.

Maybe it helps if we hang out on StackExchange more.

Paul Hänsch                     █▉            Webmaster, System-Hacker
Jabber: paul at    ▉▉     Free Software Foundation Europe
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 819 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the Discussion mailing list