Damn CSS, and damn school.

I remember when I would write a webpage, and just getting it up and working was enough. My first webpage, which has been lost to the electro-ether, was written in a vi session on a dumb terminal in late 1992 or early 1993. It was post-hypertext, but pre-Mosaic.

After my initial forays into the WWW, I was even guilty of using frames upon occasion, and tables and I were practically on a first name basis.

Now, nothing less than W3C Validated XHTML with CSS 2.0 will do. I simply can’t rest until I’ve eliminated every last stray orphan tag, and design elements in the html? Anathema to me.

<div class=”heston” id=”voice”>
Damn you SILS. Damn you all to hell!

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

4 replies on “Damn CSS, and damn school.”

Totally not worth it. If you’re going to show it to any potential employers do the nice CSS. Otherwise just slap the project on the Web and edit only if you need to. Sheesh, and you wonder why you feel overworked…

Gotta agree with Trish here, J. I mean, this is one aspect of my professional job and even I’m not concerned enough to build a 100% validating document. My efforts are better spent developing the product for the university, and taking time to create W3C-approved XHTML with CSS is just masterbation. If it works and looks the same on each platform, it’s a success.

don’t listen to them! valid code is just so much prettier. and you can parse it a lot easier too. like when you decide you’re sick of you’re current blog software and want to switch (not that I know anyone who would want to do this… again) back to movable type.

Still disagreeing: XML validated code is nice up until a point. That point is when you start adding namespaces and other such nonsense that, while great for XML, is kind of pointless for HTML, when most browsers strip it out and throw it away, meaning that all you got by making your code W3C standard is extra transmission time over the ether.

As far as easier to parse, especially in the case of converting data from one format to another, you could just use HTML Tidy to format it proper and then parse.

As far as going from wordpress to moveabletype, if you’re parsing pages, you may want to consider that it is easier to remove the entries/comments/etc from the database that drives wordpress and convert them to the moveabletype tables…

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