Design Element
Comment on "First Look at iWeb 1.0"
by Grayson — Jan 17
Just to add my opinion: while there's nothing inherently wrong with using div elements instead of p elements since both will render correctly when styles are added, there's another (political) issue at stake.

Web page designers have been trying to move towards a semantic web for several years now by focusing on CSS and making practical use of HTML elements. This allows for things like microformats and the like and makes understanding the underlying document structure much, much easier.

Apple's use of generic divs instead of semantic HTML moves everything a step backwards. After table-based markup started losing to the CSS crowd, div tags were used excessively and a backlash against simply defining everything in a div and then styling occurred.

Apple's decision to use styled divs is a generation back from what current web design should be. It also results in pages that are exceedingly bloated. Generated code will certainly be much less efficient than hand-rolled code but it appears that Apple took no effort in improving the quality of generated code.

As it stands, iWeb-generated code makes three mistakes in my opinion: It is excessively verbose, it makes no attempt at semantic meaning, and it is impossible to style after generation.

With this said, better code generation is at the very bottom of my wishlist for future iWeb updates. The vast majority of users won't ever look at it, much less try to understand it. So long as it looks good and renders correctly, the only real harm is to bandwidth. I'd be very surprised if it took up as much as or more than a couple K per page difference so it shouldn't hurt many people.
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