POSH or not ?

After reading Plain Old Semantic HTML (POSH) on the microformats wiki, it left me wonder exactly what is a POSH site. I agree with the POSH and will adopt any principles I am not currently using for the next version of this blog, I don’t know if it will make the grade as a POSH site.

The problem is that while it will be based on the Sandbox theme, use semantic id and class names, without browsers CSS3 support for multiple backgrounds I will have to use six extraneous divs to get the design I want. The alternative is to use some javascript to get three columns of equal length and some fancy footwork with borders

That is the question I am asking you, does six extraneous divs make a plain ordinary semantic HTML website or not? Or should I go the javascript route


5 Responses to “POSH or not ?”

  1. Tantek Says:

    Nick, you ask:

    “does six extraneous divs make a plain ordinary semantic HTML website or not?”

    An excellent question, and I think worthy of adding to the (not yet existent) POSH FAQ.

    Please consider adding your question to:




    P.S. In my opinion (and I’ll write as much as on the issues/FAQ pages), extra DIVs or SPANs are semantically neutral, that is, they neither add to nor take away from the semantics and thus are fine. It will be interesting to see what others’ opinions are as well.

  2. Ben Buchanan Says:

    Hmm. I think a few extra divs to get around browser shortcomings is ok. It’s not what I would consider “div-itis” since otherwise we’ve got harsh language to work with.

    A page wouldn’t be POSH if it had deprecated elements, broken tags, scores of divs for no reason… As far as I can tell, the standards community already builds POSH sites; it’s more a case of raising awareness amongst non-standardista developers.

  3. Gary Barber Says:

    Confessions time , eh. extra divs to make the design work… gee no one does that! ;)

    Given the nature of CSS based semantic layout, I could just say rework the design another way. As there is always another way to build the design you dream of.

    However in reality time is often short and throwing in the odd non content div is the solution. However it depends what’s in the Divs. It they are just divs with no content, outside of the content – fine. But if they are divs within a content block that have no real need to be there then maybe thats a problem.

    MInd you if you javascript inject the divs, you are still putting the divs in, just when the page is rendered. But they are still there (technically).

    Agree with Ben, POSH sounds like a good marketing angle.

    By the way, robotreplay does slow things down a little.

  4. Raena Says:

    There’s a part of me that says hell yeah, six extraneous divs is probably overkill.

    Then I think: What’s the difference between six nested divs and a (gulp) LAYOUT TABLE with, say, three cells? Neither is semantically proper. A div is supposed to be a logical division of a page. Nesting them to get a graphic effect is as meaningless as using table cells.


    There are probably some ways around it. For example, a fixed width design is ridiculously easy to get the appearance of equal height bars because you can fake it in with one background image. A flexible one could probably be done with a similar technique as well if you put a background image on the body element, placed with a percentage, and another placed similarly against Sandbox’s wrapper div. Maybe. Hmm..

  5. Raena Says:

    Well hell, you know that already.

    There needs to be a heap more Sandbox skins in the world, I think. Maybe a CSS Zen garden style project.