Can one developer do HTML (Joomla/CAKE) and another developer efficiently write CSS? Is it possible to quickly style a complex page with un-proven html without any html changes or a page layout-sketch? Does anyone out there write CSS for programmers developing in Joomla and CAKE? What steps do you use to understand the html page layout? Do you make a page-layout sketch? Are you allowed to tweak their code? Can html (Joomla CAKE) development be efficiently separated between html and css developers or should the developer writing the html also do the css?

When I create a page, I ALWAYS make a quick page layout sketch (for now and support next wk/mo/yr), start with a general css, then build html using style="" for page format. Since I built the html, I have a sketch and understand the page layout, so inserting style statements on the CSS sheet is quick and simple. When I inherit a job from others, there is already a css written, the html is proven, and usually web changes can be done without having to totally understand every detail of the page layout.

But I have never before had to reverse engineer a html layout from a developer's new code (or Joomla or CAKE) with no layout and no css. It seems to me that html and css are irretrievable intertwined and html and css together could actually be done much quicker than to figure out how html is supposed to build a completely non-styled page and write the CSS accordingly.

I was given a very complex Joomla created project requiring multi-layered css layout and was told to rush, rush, rush. I am an experienced LAMP / JS / jQuery programmer, but have never used Joomla. The layout required horizontal line dividers, but Joomla Modules were half page width so I had to hack the template. I was given a PSD and told to chop the background artwork. When the header was 1300px wide, I questioned the width and was told OK. When images chopped by others were not proportional, I discovered it was a 300dpi psd. Everything had to be exported at 72 dpi from ai, but fonts were missing so anything chopped with text was incorrect. I started over with a 1000px wide layout wildly speed-brute-forcing css with no idea how the html was laid-out. I was supposed to use dependency css and first child css and not make any Joomla changes:

div.item-page.order-form {
css here
}
div.item-page.order-form p:first-child{
css here
}
div.item-page.order-form p:first-child + p{
css here
}
div.item-page.order-form p:first-child + p strong{
css here
}

The same Chronoform form was on the page twice with identical id's, so it took forever to figure out a way to style one instance without affecting the other instance. And the client was sending web visitors to the site, so I was supposed to build the site while keeping it always looking good for web traffic. And I had never seen Joomla before.

Instead of stopping to make a page-layout sketch, I got sucked into rush-rush-rush, artwork had to be clipped 3 times because of improper dpi and missing fonts, and duplicate forms with duplicate id's created a nightmare. I absolutely should have make a page sketch, rush-rush or not . . . and Joomla outputs ridiculously unformatted html. It was the worst discombobulated mess I have ever created. It took almost twice as long as had I developed the site from scratch including wait time for the designer to send a 72 dpi psd. (Reducing the 300 dpi psd was not allowed).

Can one developer do HTML (Joomla/CAKE) and another developer efficiently write CSS? Should I have been able to quickly style a complex page with un-proven html without any html changes or a page layout-sketch? Any comments by anyone out there writing CSS for HTML developers would be greatly appreciated.