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For those wondering if CSS is the place for this sort of thing – my view on it is that it depends entirely on what you’re animating.
If the animation is purely about the presentation of an item, then I think CSS is the right place. The loading spinner is a good example of this – the fact that it spins is just a presentation thing. Being able to have semantic markup and content that indicates loading is occurring, and then change the presentation of that to look like a spinner is a purer implementation than the status quo.
It’s a similar to images. They can be represented in HTML or CSS. We make a call on a case-by-case basis whether the image is content or presentation and then use the appropriate technology. Same goes for animation.
That’s my take on it.