What’s to reset?

There’s been a lot of talk dedicated to use of reset styles. Personally I don’t get it. While I do find myself “resetting” some styles on some elements on every site I make, I don’t understand the use of a separate file to reset styles. While I understand that it’s very convenient this is the one issue that has recently made me want to take the opposite side, be the devil’s advocate to say.

Firstly, in the world of Web 2.0, where websites are using large javascript libraries and intricate style sheets is there really a good reason why we’re making users download yet another file as soon as they get to your site. I understand that fast broadband has somewhat removed the need to worry about bandwidth issues as much as people did 10 years ago when a Fat pipe at home was only 56KB, but that doesn’t mean don’t have to worry about download times anymore. Every extra file that is linked adds one more request to the server. It starts to add up after a while.

And secondly, what ever happened to the as close as possible is good enough philosophy of using CSS? Using reset styles is like going back to the days of tables when it comes to how designers approached the web - that it was to be strict print like layout scheme that was controlled exclusively by the designer. One of the things about CSS was that the user could change the default styles in their browsers. While not a lot of browsers support that ability, I know Opera once did and I’m sure there is an extension for mozilla that would do that, it still a possibility that web designers need to keep in mind when making their own styles. Using reset styles that bring the styles to all elements to a “reset” the designer thinks is best for his design principles goes counter to this.

I do remember very clearly having the impression that designing with CSS was about sculpting a liquid design rather then creating rigid styles.

The most resetting you might see of me is as simple as:


I add a margin of 0 on a body only if the design needs it. I like to get the margin on the headers simple because at the higher headings the margin can be extremely big. But otherwise I try to leave everything as it is. I figure people are using IE because they may not just like how it works or its simplicity, but because of how it renders pages. A

Anyways, that’s just my two cents.

May 17, 2007 02:42 PM HTML and CSS


Comments left behind by readers like you

Hey, I'm about to be that asshole who comments completely unrelated to what you actually blogged.

Did you know I play rugby? Well, I do, and my team is playing in Orlando 6/23 at UCF. Just thought we might make a weekend out of that.

What do you think?

Posted by: Jamie | May 18, 2007 10:50 AM

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