Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Lockergnome and standards – is it the end?

Last year, Lockergnome went under a radical re-design, moving from its dated tag soup layout to a new, fully standards-compliant, entirely-CSS semantic layout. This newer design looks awesome, and really helped to show the world what could be done with CSS on a large scale.
However, leap forward to today and this issue of Windows Fanatics:

Lockergnome.com is about to become less confusing as it goes back to more a basic code structure. We’re going to unbury the menus and options and chalk up the past few months to experience. I’m not saying that we won’t employ fancy scripts now and again, but we’re refocusing our new(er) layout on the thing that most likely brought you to us: the content.

Is this going to be a step backward? In a way, yes. I’ll certainly miss certain aspects of our ultra-hip CSS implementation. However, until 99% of the installed browser / e-mail client base supports the same standards, we’re gonna leave the fancy-schmancy stuff to other online resources.

The link has the quote in full – I’ve removed a couple of sentences for brevity. While Chris is somewhat unclear as to what changes will be made, it may mean a return to the tag soup days, and I really hope this isn’t the case. Lockergnome’s redesign set a precendent and it should still be leading the pack, not retreating just to satisfy an ever-decreasing minority. Heck, Wired’s redesign was many months ago and they’ve stuck with it.
On the other hand, site navigation does leave a little to be desired and I hope that the re-design does clear this up, and it could be that the CSS is merely streamlined as opposed to being discarded altogether. Let’s hope so.
Dave Shea and Photo Matt also have very good entries on the subject.

3 Comments

  1. I’m not entirely sure what this means; I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what happens to the website.
    However, if I’m right in presuming this means they’re stepping back from pure standards-compliance in favour of less ‘correct’ coding that actually works for most people, great.
    Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for compliance, but never for its own sake, and never if it diminishes accessibility for those using non-compliant browsers (like it or not, the majority).

  2. Sorry; before anyone pounces on my earlier comment, I used the wrong term:
    Standards-compliant coding will tend to be accessible, but a more… ‘relaxed’ approach to standards might well have better usability for many visitors.

  3. Actually the Wired redesign was the featured in this interview. Really highlights why standards are the way to go.