LESS, HAML, HTML Structure

A quick follow-up on the weekend posting about the Ruby group: there was mention of another package, LESS, that generates CSS as well. This might be worth checking out as well. I appreciate the feature that the CSS is static on the server and only generated when the plugin notes that the source file (with .less extension, of course) has changed. This speeds up serving the file, and speeds the responsiveness on the client, since nothing needs to be parsed, interpreted and applied.

In “It’s the Headings, Stupid!” Jon Udell points out that pretty visually-structured HTML still shouldn’t lose the structural power built into HTML: seven levels of headings, paragraphs, ordered and unordered list, definition lists, anchor tags, captions, titles and alt attributes. A sober reminder that not all the readers of our web sites are “ooh!” and “aah!” over our choice of colors or silly javascript animations, but are searching for content!

In a follow-up on Twitter, Pat Allen points to a SlideShare presentation with excellent audio of the Melbourne Ruby User Group and a presentation by Ben Schwarz “Why HAML Sucks or Why You Should Think Before Choosing HAML for Your Next Project” The long-winded title, Ben explains, is from an initially controversial title that got the conversation going, but was a bit too extreme. He makes some very good points in the presentation. I like the idea of audio synched with the slideshow; that works well. Obviously, hards-on presentations would have other challenges, but for a slide-heavy presentation, this works well.

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