Sometimes it's ok to fudge it

I stumbled across a laundry list of “Popular Web Design Links” over the weekend, and I’ve been having quite a spiffin’ time poking around other peoples’ blogs and forums, and reading posts and their related comments. I came across some interesting tidbits, had a few “aha” moments, and a little bit of just good old-fashioned validation of my own best practices when it comes to web design.

I have to admit, though, that I was a little bit put off by the number of posts I came across featuring people who are dead set on “doing it right.” Don’t get me wrong. I truly believe that coding to standards is always something to strive for, and I do try to stick to my principles as far as the whole “presentation” vs. “content” issue goes.

The fact is, though, that sometimes rules are meant to be bent. I admit it. I routinely set up styles called “left” and “right” and use them to float elements…you guessed it…to the left or to the right. Yes, I know that’s evil as far as the coding gods are concerned. But it’s also practical. When I’m typing my code, I can remember “left” and “right.” I don’t have to endlessly search for some sort of false semantic meaning for an image or a paragraph or even a table cell that I want to align to the right. I can just slap a label on the element and move on.

Yes, I know that someday that “right” might become “left.” I guess that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Sometimes it’s better to be simple and straightforward than to be…well…”right.”

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