Andrei’s redesigning Design By Fire. I hesitate to comment on a partially-finished design, since I never know if the things that annoy or delight me are going to go away in the next revision. I will say that there seems to be an awful lot of whitespace in the masthead area. I’m more interested in responding to the concluding sentences of the section titled “Floats suck”:
All that CSS goodness however, does not mean that I think the logic behind float makes any real design sense, especially to someone who has an extensive graphic design background like myself. The whole float layout approach smacks of using a CSS property for more heavy duty work than it was intended.
That is precisely the case.
float was never meant as a layout tool. I summarized the history of floats in the article “Containing Floats“, but the short version is that floats are not supposed to be a design tool. They’re simply meant to take an element, put it to one side, and let other content flow around it. That’s all.
Floats have been bent to the purpose of large-scale layout for exactly one reason:
Because you can clear a footer below two floated columns, float layout came into being. If there had ever been a way to “clear” elements below positioned elements, we’d never have bothered to use floats for layout. We’d have used floats in layouts, but that’s not the same thing.
So to me, floats sort of suck for design purposes. They’re not bad, but not great. If you use them for their original (albeit limited) purpose, though, they rock.