CSS for UI design?

, Jun 27, 2003

The css Zen Garden shows not only the beauty in design, but also inspired a thougt on how cool it would be to use CSS to render user interfaces. A problem in most enterprise systems is that UI screens (dialogs, windows, whatever) have both structure and layout. The presentation layer is not just that - not everything is about presentation. So it would be great if for example in a complex web app that uses an MDA approach, you were able to generate the UIs.
The problem with this approach is that a UI that has been generated will never have the look and feel of one that has been carefully designed and layoutet by an expert. So how can one achieve a clear separation here? AFAIK, which is not much with regards to CSS, it should be possible to generate pure HTML screens, just containing the usual controls, possibly with an id attribute identifying the elements - and then, in a completely separated file, position the elements in a way that makes sense.
There is only one problem, which is called Netscape 4.x But even those seem to become less and less relevant.