The trouble with CSS

Geek note: Great, savvy comments from Tim Bray on the pluses and minuses of dealing with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Like democracy, they’re better than the alternatives, but that’s not necessarily saying much.

Two key points that he makes:

  • CSS is harder to maintain than either content or computer programs. Personally, I find them nightmarish, and it’s so-so easy for a CSS document to descend into meaninglessness.
  • When you make a change and the resulting CSS doc blows up your page, there is really no straightforward way to debug the causal chain. Had that happen the other day for this site and finally had to regress back to a known working copy, despite making only minor changes.


  1. Bur CSS are very convenient in erflecting the global change.