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Showing Off My <body> and Loving It

By Christopher Schmitt | April 7th, 2008 | Filed in Education, General, HTML/XHTML, Outreach, Training, Web Standards (general)

I’m so tired of people half-assing it on Casual Day, but Naked Day? Now you have my full attention

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The third CSS Naked Day will be held on Wednesday, April 9. This annual event is intended to promote the POSH portion of the Web Standards trinity by having designers and developers remove all CSS from a Web site — thereby stripping it of its design and thus underscoring the concept of separation of presentation and content.

To get involved, just delete or comment any references to CSS on your Web site during Wednesday.

Exhibitionists can even advertise their page’s nakedness on the official event site. Also included on the site is a PHP function to automatically remove CSS references from your site for the big day.

Why won’t WaSP get naked?

The Web Standards Project Web site gets a lot of traffic each day from curious folks who are new to Web Standards and may not yet understand concepts like POSH and progressive enhancement. We want them to see a styled site on each and every visit so they can witness these practices in action. And as one might suspect, it’s hard to teach with your drawers showing, much less off your <body>.

That said, many popular Web developer tools (including the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar and the Web Developer Toolbar for Firefox/Flock and Seamonkey) give a user the ability to easily disable CSS, thus rendering the same unstyled experience whenever you want and not just on one day.

So, please give these tools a try to see how WaSP structures its sting and be sure to enjoy CSS Naked Day this Wednesday.

Your Replies

#1 On April 8th, 2008 3:38 am trovster replied:

“The Web Standards Project Web site gets a lot of traffic each day from curious folks who are new to Web Standards and may not yet understand concepts like POSH and progressive enhancement.”

This is my problem with this concept. This is never going to happen on high-traffic websites (those which probably suffer the most from bad markup) because it will simply confuse and infuriate users (even if the markup is brilliant) because they expect a designed website.

The sites which participate are already preaching to the converted. Because those who know about the “naked day” probably know about good markup. And if they don’t, using the tools you suggested is better than checking once a year.

#2 On April 8th, 2008 3:42 am Chris Heilmann replied:

Furthermore POSH is not a standard but a hype word that failed to cause a hype. If semantic HTML is plain and old how come we had to advocate for using proper semantics when there was nothing but HTML at our disposal as web developers.

Same goes for naked day. It is fun thing to do, but it just does not reach the right people in terms of advocacy. My favourite is that evey year a lot of blogs go naked. Yay, now you can show the world what the template that came out of the box or wasn’t done by you looks without style sheets. Oh wait, it is a blog, most people will read it in a feed reader…

#3 On April 8th, 2008 9:32 am Dominic replied:

Why not Open Source Day or something different!

#4 On April 8th, 2008 12:27 pm Tim A Visher replied:

One thing I dig about Naked day is that it makes me think about how to design my sites so that they are functional and elegant at their core. CSS, to me, should tastefully add to the bare content. If the bare content on its own does not function, then I feel like I’m not doing a very good job as a designer.

Now, if you’ll go to my website, you’ll see that I suck at actually doing that, but that’s ok, it’s still neat to think about and try to implement! ^_^

#5 On April 8th, 2008 1:02 pm WaSP Member goodwitch replied:

I’m looking forward to gettin’ naked by shedding my css and showing nothin’ but deliciously semantic mark-up. Reminds me of when I look in the mirror with no make-up on and love the bare bones me.

#6 On April 8th, 2008 3:48 pm Mike Cherim replied:

I don’t get naked for the same reason. I have six sites and it’d be a poor decision for four of them, I’d be able to get away with it on two, but I won’t even do it to my portfolio (linked from my name) and Accessites because I just feel too many visitors wouldn’t understand and I’d have to explain, etc. I’d rather just write an article about it then those curious can turn off styles and check it (and be more than satisfied) for themselves.

#7 On April 9th, 2008 11:45 am Conrad Decker replied:

I agree…I think that it may not make sense for a majority of sites to do this, but for those of us that can – then why not? It’s a simple way to get a little recognition, and if nothing else it might make people ask the question “Hey, what’s wrong with your site?”. Then you have a reason to explain it to them. I personally see no harm.

#8 On April 9th, 2008 11:36 pm Ben Buchanan replied:

Personally I think the whole point of CSS Naked Day is that yes, you DO need to explain it to people. If people understood it, there wouldn’t be much need for it.

Frankly I think it’s a bit weak for WaSP to opt out because it would have to educate people about web standards. Sorry to be blunt, but isn’t that what you’re here for? Showing the site without CSS is witnessing POSH and progressive enhancement in action.

Yes, WaSP would need to run the “where is the design?” block at the top of the page – like any number of participating sites. But with that explanation in place, surely all would be well?

While I really do see the point that some sites don’t have enough to gain from CSS Naked Day, I don’t think WaSP is one of those sites.

#9 On April 10th, 2008 11:08 pm David replied:

Okay, so you don’t practice what you preach. I think I’ve seen as much of this website as I need to.

#10 On April 12th, 2008 4:32 am prisca replied:

Very disappointed to find you didn’t ‘strip’ for naked day…. very weak….

Yes, I agree – it would have a huge effect on all those visiting the site – I thought that was the point???

I don’t think anyone would have objected to a solution similar to the one on the ‘friends of ed’ site – a styled box with the site’s menu contained within the unstyled page. This allowed anyone to access the links as they are used to – but made a very string point due to the page being otherwise unstyled…

This approach could have worked for the WaSP site as well – not taking part at all does feel like a huge let down, in my opinion…..

#11 On April 15th, 2008 4:32 pm Jonathan replied:

What I don’t understand is that the WASP site looks awesome without styles. It’s an inspiration to people who wonder how they could possibly present a style-free version of their own site.

#12 On April 22nd, 2008 5:41 pm Jordan Clark replied:

I think that it is irrelevant whether WaSP goes naked or not; as trovster said in comment #1, it will only be a case of preaching to the converted anyway.
I went naked on my personal website for the day, and I think I converted my “audience” (i.e.: my mother’s behind me all the way!)
What I’m trying to say is: to really get the point across to the masses, you need the likes of Google, MSN and YouTube to get on board… then again, some things are best left covered up!

#13 On May 29th, 2008 7:55 am graaam replied:

Why not Open Source Day or something different

#14 On June 6th, 2008 2:26 pm AlexeyGfi replied:

Interesting idea: HTML without CSS, but it is not realy normal, because every value in html-tag – it is analogue of CSS (mayby reverse: every CSS-value – analogue of html-tag-parametter ). It is like present world without mathematic ;-)

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