The thing about CSS is, you start with plain content and style it until you’re happy. But humans don’t do that. They start with styled content, and modify the style until they are happy. So the perfect solution should be a basic style that can be infinitley modified, one little bit of CSS at a time. That would require all of the elements and content to be labeled so they could be styled after-the-fact. No easy task.
As a WordPress user since way back, that has been the Holy Grail of WordPress land. WordPress is a content management system; a container into which you put your content. As such, it started with a really simple style, which wasn’t easily modified. You needed to be a WordPress CSS person to modify your style the way you visually desired.
Using styles others had modified was always a hassle for me. Easy ones were everywhere (boring) and hard ones were a hassle. Often I wished WordPress would just give me content I could style from scratch, or else give me a decent and unique style “theme” i could adopt. And so on. I lamented over the lack of reasonable styling options with Version 1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, and finally 2.0.
Along the way I tried Kubrick, the meta theme like systems, and the ajaxy mess you see here (terrible for SEO, if that wasn’t obvious).
So now we get Sandbox, which promises to reduce the content back to CSS-stylable content as it should be. It looks very promising from here. Oh, and it has some new thing called hAtom which (if I read this correctly) marks up the page content to make it directly syndicatable – that is, an RSS/Atom reader can parse it right off the page (no need for a feed). Wow. Now if that doesn’t mess with the search engines, nothing does. I’ll take the hAtom with an expectation that it’ll be a year or so before such a thing becomes manageable.
I’ll try out the sandbox theme as soon as it matures a few weeks.