Chronic Divitis And Classitis, What Are They?
Jeffery Zeldman offers this entertaining definition for Divitis and Classitis:
Classitis is the measles of markup, obscuring meaning as it adds needless weight to every page. The affliction dates back to the early days of semi-CSS-capable browsers and the many designers’ initially childish comprehension of how CSS works.
Alas, many have not yet outgrown that childish misunderstanding of CSS … Classitis is as bad in its own way as the
<font>tag ever was; rarely does good markup require it … At other times classitis is exacerbated by a still more serious condition … divitis … Classitis and divitis are like the needless adjectives with wich bad writing is strewen. They are the weeds in the garden of meaning. – Jeffrey Zeldman, Designing with Web Standards
An example of markup wraught with divitis and classitis:
div elements and 11 classes for a single item. What a stench! :) View this markup in action.
The equivalent markup disease free:
Cleaner, more meaningful, and with all the functionality of the former code. One
div element and 3 classes for a single item. ShamWow! View this markup in action.
Both of these markup snippets are visually and functionally equivalent. In the first example the
classes, and cryptic
ids weigh down the page and pollute the meaning of the markup. In the later, a more semantic / structural approach is taken Both these snippets were pulled from my attempts at the Google Web Developer Exercise.
Clean meaningful markup is the API that users and web crawlers consume – it’s important and easy to keep things clean, it just takes a little experience. Thank goodness for patterns like MVC that let us control our API (the markup).