Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

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92 Replies - 6267 Views - Last Post: 05 March 2009 - 07:28 PM

#1 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Post icon  Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:35 AM

I've always thought of formatting, whether through style sheets or not, as the last thing that needs to be done to finish off a project, but not part of the programming. Can you "program" in CSS, and if so, how would you and why would you want to?

Or is all this talk of CSS programming the result of ignorant HR people putting it on job descriptions?

This post has been edited by skyhawk133: 05 February 2009 - 08:34 AM

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Replies To: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

#2 pr4y  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:48 AM

As far as a programming language, CSS is definitely its own language. If you know HTML like the back of your hand, but have never even looked at CSS, you can't just jump in and know everything right off.

For instance:

#class {
border-style: "Dotted";
}
.class h1 {
size: "5px";
}



CSS has a hierarchy structure of its own, and with respects to its unique programming style, you must consider it a language.




Of course I agree that CSS is a VERY shallow language when in comparison with others, but it does need to be aknowledged as its own.
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#3 SoLi  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:58 AM

isn't 'programming' usually used to refer to compiled languages, where as 'scripting' is used for interpreted.

I dunno how far into the very front-end of development this can be taken though...
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#4 pr4y  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:01 AM

View PostSoLi, on 5 Feb, 2009 - 06:58 AM, said:

isn't 'programming' usually used to refer to compiled languages, where as 'scripting' is used for interpreted.

I dunno how far into the very front-end of development this can be taken though...



I've designed ENTIRE sites out of CSS. http://www.theguitarpros.com

Everything. All CSS. The only HTML you will find on that page are the DIV tags and Tables containing the actual data. Everything else is all CSS.

Given that knowledge, would someone that doesn't know CSS at all be able to design websites USING CSS? Nope.

CSS is its own language. Period.
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#5 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:11 AM

View Postpr4y, on 5 Feb, 2009 - 07:01 AM, said:

I've designed ENTIRE sites out of CSS. http://www.theguitarpros.com

Everything. All CSS. The only HTML you will find on that page are the DIV tags and Tables containing the actual data. Everything else is all CSS.


What are these? They look like php files to me. ;)

	<li id="selected">
		<a href="http://www.theguitarpros.com/index.php"><font color="#787878">Home</font></a>
	</li>

	<li>
		<a href="http://www.theguitarpros.com/tabs.php">Tabs</a>
	</li>

	<li>
		<a href="http://www.theguitarpros.com/video.php">Videos</a>
	</li>
	
	<li>
		<a href="http://www.theguitarpros.com/lessons/1">Lessons</a>
	</li>
	<li>
		<a href="http://www.theguitarpros.com/community">Community</a>
	</li>

	<li>
		<a href="http://www.theguitarpros.com/submit.php">Submit Tabs</a>
	</li>
			<li><a href="http://www.theguitarpros.com/register.php">Register</a></li>
		


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#6 thehat  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:25 AM

View Postpr4y, on 5 Feb, 2009 - 03:01 PM, said:

I've designed ENTIRE sites out of CSS. http://www.theguitarpros.com

Everything. All CSS. The only HTML you will find on that page are the DIV tags and Tables containing the actual data. Everything else is all CSS.

Everything apart from the deprecated <font> and <center> tags, and tables used for non-tabular data you mean? :)

I do agree with what you're saying though. CSS may not be overly complicated and may read more like a set of rules than a program, but it has it's own language, and does take some time to learn properly. Admittedly, that's more the fault of the varying degrees of browser support, but with CSS3 it is becoming more powerful and includes basic techniques for reading the DOM.
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#7 pr4y  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:30 AM

@ CT -

As far as the DESIGN GOES, everything is CSS. The entire page would be blank if I were to delete my styles.css, because everything is identified in the CSS files.

OBVIOUSLY there is PHP script / data execution behind the CSS / HTML... thats just a given man :P
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#8 gregwhitworth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:31 AM

I think that you should look at CSS as a lawnmower engine - you fix it and then a professional diesel engine worker comes up to you and says, that isn't an engine at all. When in actuality it is, albeit simpler, it still does make something move. Personally I would say that it is a "scripting" language, and I personally love its intuitive nature. I don't know where in the rule book of creating languages "crazy syntax" is listed, but it should be deleted.

--

Greg
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#9 5thWall  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:33 AM

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that CSS is a language. It's a highly specialized declarative language, certainly not Turing complete. But a language all the same.

So yes you can 'program' in CSS.

And as far as 'programming' and 'scripting' goes, there's nothing that says you can't compile an 'interpreted' language or interpret a 'compiled' language. Certainly you don't usually see a C++ interpreter or a Scheme compiler, but that doesn't have to be the case.
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#10 thehat  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:38 AM

View Postpr4y, on 5 Feb, 2009 - 03:30 PM, said:

As far as the DESIGN GOES, everything is CSS. The entire page would be blank if I were to delete my styles.css, because everything is identified in the CSS files.

Did you give us the wrong link? Attached image is that site with its stylesheet disabled, note the graphical backgrounds to the table and the differences in font face.

Attached Image
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#11 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:45 AM

I guess for my thinking, there needs to be some way to loop and make decisions for it to be a language, scripting or programming. I'm not aware of anything like 'if' statements or 'for' loops in CSS.
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#12 thehat  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:56 AM

So do you consider html to be a language?
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#13 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:18 AM

View Postthehat, on 5 Feb, 2009 - 07:56 AM, said:

So do you consider html to be a language?

Sorry, I meant programming language. I think that html and css are languages in basically the same sense that English is a language. They each transfer/translate information without processing it.
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#14 5ubw0r1d  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:19 AM

I think this is a tough topic to answer one way or the other. I think its really down to whoever is using it.

I think if you look at it from the point of view of seperating content, design and function then it could be argued that neither HTML or CSS are programming languages. Instead, HTML is just a means of formatting your content and CSS is a means of, well styling your content. Then using javascript, ajax, php or whatever to provide the functionality of your page.

(Of course that only applies if you follow W3C XHTML strict standards, which if you don't you really should).

In saying that, both HTML and CSS contain non-standard english syntax so why shouldn't they be considered languages, particuarly when the L in HTML stands for language :P
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#15 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "program" in CSS?

Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:22 AM

View Postthehat, on 5 Feb, 2009 - 09:56 AM, said:

So do you consider html to be a language?


Well, the "L" in HTML stands for something. ;)

How about SQL? Or XSLT? Or even some of the purer forms of Lisp?

These are all declarative languages. They aren't procedural and do not execute in that sense, but they are certainly an instruction set designed for a particular processor.

I don't say I "program" in SQL or HTML, but that I write it. I reserve the term programing for when I make something happen as opposed to describe what should happen. However, this is more a bias on my part than anything else. If someone says they're programming CSS, I'm willing to concede the usage.
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