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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Argument for non-readable CSS

Web developers have long understood that a lot of their hard work is free for the taking. This because most of the files generated to create sites are ASCII/UTF-8 open-source files. Included:

  • html
  • css
  • JavaScript
  • and anyone with access to your server can review, copy or even change-- PHP, Python, JSP, Perl, ASP, AJax and most other open script server files.

This one of the reasons-- I have not done a lot with scripting languages, though I think them very powerful. I often tweak-- PHP and have created one or two functions-- for use with my showcase site-- WiredPages, however, I work mostly with Java, which is not open source-- in the context of my use.

Have I benefitted from the mostly open source world of website development? Yes, though not as much as you might think. Most of my work is original-- or an idea based on something else-- but an entirely different methodology used to achieve the same look or concept.

That said, someone with my skills-- could greatly benefit from the open source world of HTML/CSS, especially in the web design environment-- even though I consider myself more a web developer than a web designer.

Another area- that has has benefitted me because of open source web design? My extensive collection of free templates. Some very nice templates. One of my latest finds, which I tweaked quite a bit is used for a WordPress demonstration blog I maintain on Hosting-Q, here.

So why would I ask-- is it time to make internet ascii/utf-8 files-- binary files? The files I am talking about? HTML, CSS, JavaScript. What would this entail? Making these compiled files-- so they are not easily read by the naked eye-- and producing browsers that are able to read both ascii and binary files. This should be a very easy thing for browser developers... My servlets that read XML data-- I include a switch to check the type of file being read so that it automatically reads the correct format.

Why might HTML and CSS have been UTF-8 in the first place? The learning curve. I feel it was thought that many would need examples for web design/development to catch on-- and making it as accessible as possible when the Internet was first coming on line-- made it much easier to learn.

Another argument for compiled versus non-compiled files? Compiled files are normally smaller in size and take less time to download and execute. Sometimes getting the required .js [external Javascript] files to enable that fancy site menu takes longer than it should.

Today-- a lot of hard work is being given away. I believe HTML and CSS will someday have the option of being compiled versus-- open source. I am not sure when. Searching the internet for topics related to this area-- I did not find many. Not sure why.

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