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Old-School Horrors

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web and the founder of the W3C, viewed his creation as a medium for the easy exchange of text documents; therefore, he included no typographic control in the structured language of HTML. As described in the section “Jumping Through Hoops” in Chapter 2, “Designing & Building with Standards,” web designers initially used <tt>, <pre>, <blockquote>, and semantically meaningless paragraph tags to vary typefaces, achieve positioning effects, and simulate leading. They next began using GIF or Flash images of text, a practice that continues to this day [13.1], often at the hands 0f skilled designers who have difficulty accepting the limitations of CSS and XHTML and the tradeoffs that are inherent in balancing user versus designer needs.

13.1. Every “word” on this page (http://www.evilnation.be/) is a Flash vector, not real text, hence not searchable, accessible, or amenable to copying and pasting. Skilled designers who care about typography often have difficulty accepting the limitations of XHTML and CSS and the tradeoffs of user control.



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