Update: 2006-04-06 It’s over and I lived!

I’m getting this in early, in case I forget or don’t have time on the day - April 5th has been declared the First Annual CSS Naked Day. No my web site is not broken.

This is a minor big deal in the web world. Credit to Dustin Diaz for coming up with the idea.

To those who don’t understand: CSS is a web maker’s tool for styling a web page. In the early days of the web people used all sorts of tricks just to make their pages look good, but they often only worked on one or two specific Internet browsers. So someone using Internet Explorer might see a pretty web page, but someone else using a Mac’s Safari browser might see something else entirely. Not to mention that all these crafty tricks twisted the information in the web page into nooks and crannies all over the page - making it difficult to extract the information using the ‘wrong’ browser or a web page reader such as a blind person might use.

The people who make decisions about the Internet decided it would be better for the information to be set out logically on the page, and have the pretty designs added later (this was in the original plan for the Internet, but it kinda got forgotten by a lot of designers). CSS is a way of ‘prettying’ a web page without changing the underlying information, and leaving the info accessible in a logical and sensible way. Web designers can make a basic page, and then use different CSS ‘style sheets’ to make the page look a certain way on a computer screen, a different way on a tiny mobile phone screen, even sound a certain way on a web page reader!

If you are here on the 5th of April, you can see this site sans CSS, and you should still be able to find your way around. In effect, this is how a blind person might ‘see’ my site, so it has to still be usable or I have failed to make my site fully accessible. Other sites listed at the above site are going naked too, in an effort to promote this idea of ‘usability’.

If you aren’t here before or after the 5th, you can still see what I’m talking about if you use Firefox, by selecting the View menu > then Page Style > then No Style, or in Opera: View > Style > Usermode.

Select View > Page Style > Basic Page Style in Firefox to go back, or View > Style > Authormode in Opera. It is also possible to do something like this in other browsers, but it can be more tricky.

So enjoy CSS Naked Day, and in the spirit of this nudieness, a lewd joke:
Q: How do you titillate an ocelot?
A: Oscillate his tit a lot!