web consortium bans popular tags

A W3C operative, speaking on condition of anonymity, has informed us that DIV and SPAN tags will be removed from the XHTML 2.0 specification. That is, they will no longer validate. Our source explained that while it may seem an extreme measure, it must be done in order to achieve a state of semantic harmony. Our pages, and in some cases our persons, can and should become one with the Googlebot. I can understand that.

The people who twisted HTML tables into unnatural shapes and configurations (your author included) are the same people who have commandeered DIVs and SPANs to do similarly funky doodle things. This must end. We know the web is not a magazine so we should not try to make it look like one - even if it means our sites will be more engaging and make more money. This is a serious business and there is no room for flights of financial whimsy.

Our source had more information. Please read on.

filter hacks strictly prohibited

The W3C will also ban the use of filter hacks, which are typically malformed code comments comprised of character strings that take advantage of browser error-handling peculiarities to hide CSS rules from one browser or another, while confusing the hell out of people as they try to learn how to use CSS. Of course, some people love CSS filter hacks and they can be quite interesting to look at (the hacks, not the people). Here are some of my favorites:

/*/*//*/ good:riddance; /* */
#t\65 stElement {thismeans: #testElement;}
#yo_dudes {content: "\"/*" }msie can't see this!/* */
@media tty { i{content:"\";/*" "*/}}
@m; @import 'styles.css'; /*";}}/* */

CSS filters can lead to wild mood swings in certain individuals, while having a sedative affect on others. It's my personal belief that filter hacks are class 1 depressants and should require a prescription.

Browser developers will be encouraged to offer dedicated (and syntactically clean) filtering capabilities - similar to Microsoft's conditional comments:

<!--[if IE 6]>
<style>
.red {color: red;}
</style>
<![endif]-->

A bit more intuitive?

table-less, div-less, and span-less?

That's right - and you heard it here first. The W3C is hard at work on new tags and a new CSS specification that will give us everything we need to make any kind of layout we can imagine. To tide us over the five or ten years it will take for all the details to be ironed out (and for browsers to catch up), we need to employ a transitional approach.

a template for the transition

We're providing this page, free and clear, as a template you can use during the transition. It contains neither DIVs, SPANs, nor Tables. The markup is pure as can be. Note this day, 1-April-2005, as the dawning of a new and semantically pure era.

Go in peace and spread the good news.