John Allsop, creator of the Style Master CSS editor, has been exploring. He has just published the results of his real world semantics – a study of class and ID names in the wild.
It makes interesting reading, showing up us lazy web developers using non-semantic names (“white”, “sidebar”) more often than perhaps we should. However, it also raises a very interesting idea – look at the first few comments – namely that if a standardised naming convention were adopted, stylesheets would be interchangeable between websites. A lot like the CSS Zen Garden has done in a small way.
This is an idea I explored a little while ago, but I was looking just at RSS feeds and feed readers. The possibilities of not just having interoperable data through web services and XML, but having interoperable layout styles through CSS, is a very exciting one. Just imagine making your own Amazon or Ebay online shop; pick the categories you want to show, choose a stylesheet from the list, click “Publish” and there’s your completed website. Fantastic.