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    I am extremely happy with this article. I’d be thrilled if more people wrote about the history/anthropology of the evolution of web technology / web standards.

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      This is an amazing article and a great piece of work. Crazy that someone put so much effort into researching the history of CSS, and all I can give is an upvote. Wish there were more like this.

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        Imagine how high-caliber front end developers would be if they had to learn a Lisp to style HTML. The world would be so different.

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          As with many other examples over the history of the Internet, it was the technology which was easiest for a beginner to pick up which won, rather than those which were most powerful for an expert.

          The article seems to suggest that CSS was successful because it did not require one to be “high-caliber” to write it.

          It would be good if everyone were wizards and understood things well, but people often need things and don’t have the time to become conversant with a complex tool.

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            Oh I agree with you completely, but it’s a fun thought experiment.

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              Given the fetishism frontend devs display for weird build chains and compiling-to-JS, I shudder to think of the monstrosities that would be borne by having access to a language with proper macros.

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                Pretty sure frontend devs want those things because of the limitations of the medium rather than in spite of them.

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                  I think that there’s an entire industry devoted to preaching the “limitations of the medium” when devs should just pull on their big-kids pants and learn how to write for the platform they have.

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            Should have stuck with LaTeX and .sty files then!

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            CSS does not include parent selectors (a method of styling a parent based on what children it contains). …

            it was considered critically important that the page be renderable before the document has been fully loaded

            ^^^^ This.

            I wonder how long it took to load a page back then, compared to the time it takes now. It easily takes more than 10 seconds nowadays, and during these 10 seconds, it’s easily that you see a completely blank page with absolutely no content whatsoever (or perhaps some useless custom static load indicator). Shall we call it a “first megabyte problem”?

            Someone should write a historical article of how backwards has our standards have come over the years.