The world of the web has come a long way since its early days of moving GIFs and table based layouts. In the dark days of the internet as a web developer, you were restricted to aligning elements either left, right or center, with little else to work with in terms of layout. You had access to 216 colors and a couple dozen ‘web safe’ fonts (which sounds like more than it actually was). You were driven to use (ugh) tables to achieve any sort of compelling layout. With their limitless rows and cells to fill with graphics and type, tables could be used to placate the deep, wanting need to make content on the web as rich as content in print, with only marginal success.
Despite all the amazing things CSS can do, the complex layouts of magazines and other publications is still the things dreams are made of when it comes to the world wide web. That is, until Adobe (who else?) decided that enough is enough and began the holy crusade of bringing desktop publishing into the browsers. Enter, CSS Regions and Exclusions, and they are definitely as awesome as they sound.
Long has the world of print been able to wrap text around complex objects and flow text seamlessly around pull-quotes and images. CSS Regions and Exclusions would allow web developers the ability to do exactly that. With Regions and Exclusions, web developers and designers will soon have the ability to flow text into, through and around any object.
Note: CSS Regions and Exclusions are still very much a work in progress and are only visible in Google’s Chrome browser. Even then, a bit of nerd magic is required to view CSS Regions and Exclusions in all their splendor.
The World Wide Web is only going to continue to get better. Unfortunately, some of the most innovative and creative things being done on the internet these days in terms of web design and development are not compatible with legacy browsers (*cough* IE *cough*). Which begs the question, “Why would you want to view only half of the web?” So do yourself and your fellow web developers (who work tirelessly to bring you the best) a favor and upgrade your browser. You’ll be happy you did.
(Fun Fact: Did you know Web Developers rarely come out of their caves during normal human hours? If you come across one in the wild, do not attempt to snap pictures on your Windows Phone or Blackberry, as this will likely startle and enrage it. Modest offerings of Red Bull and cheese pizza will keep these majestic creatures returning for more once every two and half days, which is the average waking cycle of the Webinus Developorus.)