Tables vs iFrames vs Div

Discussion in 'HTML' started by PW, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. PW

    PW Guest

    I read the "dear brucie" thread below ...

    I develop the occasional website for friends, I do a little bit of
    commercial work, and I use HTML to mark-up web reports at work.

    I've never ventured into iFrames or <div> because tables have always done
    everything that I need.

    Could someone explain, or provide a link to a discussion as to, the
    down-side of using tables ? I can't imagine that theres a load-time
    component associated with tables, as its all HTML.

    I'd like to know why the HTML veterans as so passionate about iFrames, and
    dispise tables so much. There must be a good reason, because they are the
    pro's.

    Thanks,
    PW
     
    PW, Jan 25, 2004
    #1
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  2. PW

    DU Guest

    PW wrote:

    > I read the "dear brucie" thread below ...
    >
    > I develop the occasional website for friends, I do a little bit of
    > commercial work, and I use HTML to mark-up web reports at work.
    >
    > I've never ventured into iFrames or <div> because tables have always done
    > everything that I need.
    >
    > Could someone explain, or provide a link to a discussion as to, the
    > down-side of using tables ? I can't imagine that theres a load-time
    > component associated with tables, as its all HTML.
    >
    > I'd like to know why the HTML veterans as so passionate about iFrames, and
    > dispise tables so much. There must be a good reason, because they are the
    > pro's.
    >


    All these reasons were already repeated in this newsgroup many times
    before. You're asking others to type everything all over again when a
    simple search would fulfill your curiosity.

    > Thanks,
    > PW
    >
    >


    People use tables and nested tables to position elements on a page. They
    don't know how to position elements, how to control the layout, how to
    make the rendered layout scalable, etc. So table and table design is the
    solution in their mind, not the problem.
    If they knew nothing else besides MS-Excel, then they would use it to
    post messages, compose emails, reply in newsgroups, etc..
    Some people can not figure out how to configure different elements with
    precise dimensions, a specific font, etc..; so they do a gif out of
    these elements with an image software. The making of the gif is not the
    problem; it's the solution from their perspective.
    But when you know the defects, usability burden and accessibility
    problems these false solutions cause, then you realize they never were
    solutions from the beginning.

    "Why tables for layout is stupid:
    problems defined, solutions offered"
    Seybold Seminars, San Francisco 2003
    http://www.hotdesign.com/seybold/

    MacroMedia has a few tutorials on why+how to avoid table designs.

    Look Ma, No Tables.
    http://glish.com/css/

    900 different CSS Tableless Web Sites
    http://www.meryl.net/css/

    DU
     
    DU, Jan 25, 2004
    #2
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  3. PW

    PW Guest

    PW, Jan 25, 2004
    #3
  4. PW

    Richard Guest

    DU wrote:

    > PW wrote:


    >> I read the "dear brucie" thread below ...
    >>
    >> I develop the occasional website for friends, I do a little bit of
    >> commercial work, and I use HTML to mark-up web reports at work.
    >>
    >> I've never ventured into iFrames or <div> because tables have always
    >> done everything that I need. Could someone explain, or provide a link to
    >>a discussion as to, the down-side of using tables ? I can't imagine that
    >>theres a load-time component associated with tables, as its all HTML. I'd
    >>like to know why the HTML veterans as so passionate about iFrames,
    >>and dispise tables so much. There must be a good reason, because they
    >>are the pro's.


    > All these reasons were already repeated in this newsgroup many times
    > before. You're asking others to type everything all over again when a
    > simple search would fulfill your curiosity.


    >> Thanks,
    >> PW
    >>
    >>


    > People use tables and nested tables to position elements on a page. They
    > don't know how to position elements, how to control the layout, how to
    > make the rendered layout scalable, etc. So table and table design is the
    > solution in their mind, not the problem.
    > If they knew nothing else besides MS-Excel, then they would use it to
    > post messages, compose emails, reply in newsgroups, etc..
    > Some people can not figure out how to configure different elements with
    > precise dimensions, a specific font, etc..; so they do a gif out of
    > these elements with an image software. The making of the gif is not the
    > problem; it's the solution from their perspective.
    > But when you know the defects, usability burden and accessibility
    > problems these false solutions cause, then you realize they never were
    > solutions from the beginning.


    > "Why tables for layout is stupid:
    > problems defined, solutions offered"
    > Seybold Seminars, San Francisco 2003
    > http://www.hotdesign.com/seybold/


    Nice. But bucks the alt.html convention that rules the use of more than one
    # is not kosher.
    What the hell is this supposed to be?
    function hiveware_enkoder(){var i,j,x,y,x=
    "x=\"67x=\\\"\\\\3366=x!P2\\\"=x623d2232383\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\3353636366234343"
    +




    > MacroMedia has a few tutorials on why+how to avoid table designs.


    I'll bet they do. After all, they want to promote the use of flash.



    > Look Ma, No Tables.
    > http://glish.com/css/


    While the main page works flawlessly, the others do not.
    His 3 column layout is royally screwed. the outer 2 divisions lay over the
    center making the center unreadable. Plus the fact the divisions break apart
    badly in IE.



    > 900 different CSS Tableless Web Sites
    > http://www.meryl.net/css/


    > DU
     
    Richard, Jan 25, 2004
    #4
  5. PW

    Steve R. Guest

    PW wrote in message ...
    > I've never ventured into iFrames or <div> because tables have always done
    > everything that I need.


    Lots of Website creators still use tables for layout, (including the
    company I work in), because they are easy to use, they are reliable, and
    work across all browsers.

    CSS although supposedly *the* way to do it now, causes many problems for
    many people designing websites and also has some browser problems. Just
    look at the number of "CSS problem" posts on the HTML newsgroups to see
    what I mean.

    I iframes are not difficult. Just use the mark-up I've used on the page
    below and alter it to suit your needs. Just play with the mark-up till you
    get used to how it can place the iframe, alter its size and to enable
    scroll bars or not.

    http://www.myby.myby.co.uk/image/
     
    Steve R., Jan 25, 2004
    #5
  6. PW

    jake Guest

    In message <buvapi$hu$>, DU
    <> writes
    >PW wrote:
    >
    >> I read the "dear brucie" thread below ...
    >> I develop the occasional website for friends, I do a little bit of
    >> commercial work, and I use HTML to mark-up web reports at work.
    >> I've never ventured into iFrames or <div> because tables have always
    >>done
    >> everything that I need.
    >> Could someone explain, or provide a link to a discussion as to, the
    >> down-side of using tables ? I can't imagine that theres a load-time
    >> component associated with tables, as its all HTML.
    >> I'd like to know why the HTML veterans as so passionate about
    >>iFrames, and
    >> dispise tables so much. There must be a good reason, because they are the
    >> pro's.
    >>

    >
    >All these reasons were already repeated in this newsgroup many times
    >before. You're asking others to type everything all over again when a
    >simple search would fulfill your curiosity.
    >
    >> Thanks,
    >> PW
    >>

    >
    >People use tables and nested tables to position elements on a page.
    >They don't know how to position elements, how to control the layout,
    >how to make the rendered layout scalable, etc. So table and table
    >design is the solution in their mind, not the problem.
    >If they knew nothing else besides MS-Excel, then they would use it to
    >post messages, compose emails, reply in newsgroups, etc..
    >Some people can not figure out how to configure different elements with
    >precise dimensions, a specific font, etc..; so they do a gif out of
    >these elements with an image software. The making of the gif is not the
    >problem; it's the solution from their perspective.
    >But when you know the defects, usability burden and accessibility
    >problems these false solutions cause


    What 'accessibility' problems?

    >, then you realize they never were solutions from the beginning.
    >

    [snip]

    >900 different CSS Tableless Web Sites
    >http://www.meryl.net/css/


    Sadly, contains many too many sites that don't allow text to be
    re-sized, window to be re-sized, or that don't quite work with IE6 (i.e.
    overlapping columns).

    Interestingly, they all look pretty much the same: main text column with
    a thinner right-side menu column.

    ....... and not a 'famous' site amongst them :-(

    >
    >DU


    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jan 25, 2004
    #6
  7. PW

    Whitecrest Guest

    In article <AULQb.9026$>, "Steve
    R." <stevie_ritchie(NOSPAM)@hotmail.com> says...
    > > I've never ventured into iFrames or <div> because tables have always done
    > > everything that I need.

    > Lots of Website creators still use tables for layout, (including the
    > company I work in), because they are easy to use, they are reliable, and
    > work across all browsers.


    Additionally all the professional graphics programs will slice a picture
    up for you AND supplies you with the HTML tables needed to put it all
    back together (surprisingly, with absolutely no extra code, only the
    table tags and images) Cut/paste into your favorite HTML editor, and
    you are on your way.

    > CSS although supposedly *the* way to do it now, causes many problems for
    > many people designing websites and also has some browser problems. Just
    > look at the number of "CSS problem" posts on the HTML newsgroups to see
    > what I mean.


    The fact that IE support for CSS is unreliable at best(according to the
    anti MS people in the group) means that it is unreliable in about 80% or
    90% of your visitors. So should you use it?

    Now on the other side of the coin, I do like the possibilities of what
    you will be able to do with CSS as soon as all the browsers support it.

    --
    Whitecrest Entertainment
    www.whitecrestent.com
     
    Whitecrest, Jan 25, 2004
    #7
  8. PW

    Brian Guest

    PW wrote:
    >
    > Could someone explain, or provide a link to a discussion as to, the
    > down-side of using tables ?


    I refer people to this:
    http://www.allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?Tableless_layouts

    And I just found this one:
    http://www.w3.org/2002/03/csslayout-howto

    > I can't imagine that theres a load-time component associated with
    > tables, as its all HTML.


    http://www.radionz.co.nz/digitallife/archives/series3/meyer.html

    "The other real advantage of course for businesses is the smaller the
    file sizes the less bandwidth they consume. If you can reduce the
    total byte size of all of your web pages by lets say 33% that’s 33%
    off your bandwidth costs."

    > I'd like to know why the HTML veterans as so passionate about
    > iFrames,


    There are occasional uses for iframe or frames. But to implement them
    correctly requires substantially more work. You can reduce your work
    by implementing them improperly, but then the site is not easily
    spidered by search engines, difficult to print, and difficult to navigate.

    > and dispise tables so much.


    Perhaps I'm not a HTML veteran, but I happen to like tables. Here are
    examples of a couple of tables I've done:

    http://www.tsmchughs.com/menus/wine
    (I'd ask that you kindly ignore the ugly wine bottle images. They are
    there temporarily to fill in space recently created by a minor change
    in the page layout; I expect replacement images next week.)

    http://www.julietremblay.com/portfolio/catalogue.html

    --
    Brian (follow directions in my address to email me)
    http://www.tsmchughs.com/
     
    Brian, Jan 25, 2004
    #8
  9. PW

    Jeff Thies Guest

    > > I can't imagine that theres a load-time component associated with
    > > tables, as its all HTML.


    There certainly is!

    Table layouts do not render progressively. Often, everything in that table
    will have to load before you see anything.

    Jeff
     
    Jeff Thies, Jan 25, 2004
    #9
  10. PW

    DU Guest

    jake wrote:
    > In message <buvapi$hu$>, DU
    > <> writes
    >
    >> PW wrote:
    >>
    >>> I read the "dear brucie" thread below ...
    >>> I develop the occasional website for friends, I do a little bit of
    >>> commercial work, and I use HTML to mark-up web reports at work.
    >>> I've never ventured into iFrames or <div> because tables have always
    >>> done
    >>> everything that I need.
    >>> Could someone explain, or provide a link to a discussion as to, the
    >>> down-side of using tables ? I can't imagine that theres a load-time
    >>> component associated with tables, as its all HTML.
    >>> I'd like to know why the HTML veterans as so passionate about
    >>> iFrames, and
    >>> dispise tables so much. There must be a good reason, because they
    >>> are the
    >>> pro's.
    >>>

    >>
    >> All these reasons were already repeated in this newsgroup many times
    >> before. You're asking others to type everything all over again when a
    >> simple search would fulfill your curiosity.
    >>
    >>> Thanks,
    >>> PW
    >>>

    >>
    >> People use tables and nested tables to position elements on a page.
    >> They don't know how to position elements, how to control the layout,
    >> how to make the rendered layout scalable, etc. So table and table
    >> design is the solution in their mind, not the problem.
    >> If they knew nothing else besides MS-Excel, then they would use it to
    >> post messages, compose emails, reply in newsgroups, etc..
    >> Some people can not figure out how to configure different elements
    >> with precise dimensions, a specific font, etc..; so they do a gif out
    >> of these elements with an image software. The making of the gif is not
    >> the problem; it's the solution from their perspective.
    >> But when you know the defects, usability burden and accessibility
    >> problems these false solutions cause

    >
    >
    > What 'accessibility' problems?
    >


    If content of a table can not be linearized, then such content will not
    be easy to access with applications and devices for people with
    disabilities and for applications with small screen like cell phones and
    PDAs. Some applications and devices will render a table just like your
    hanging-on-the-wall-calendar uses a grid to render tabular data. In a
    table, there should be defined column header and row header cells.
    Column headers and row headers should mean something in relation with
    the content of the table, otherwise you're misusing the table element.


    >> , then you realize they never were solutions from the beginning.
    >>

    > [snip]
    >
    >> 900 different CSS Tableless Web Sites
    >> http://www.meryl.net/css/

    >
    >
    > Sadly, contains many too many sites that don't allow text to be
    > re-sized, window to be re-sized, or that don't quite work with IE6 (i.e.
    > overlapping columns).


    That's another issue. Of course, font-size should be scalable, using
    relative length unit which is known to be best for screen media.
    Ideally, columns' width should be scalable, resizable in case the window
    is resized; most of the time, at least one column should be relying on a
    relative value of the browser window viewport.
    Finally, note that MSIE 6 for Windows has a long lasting bug on
    overflow. overflow:visible is not rendered accordingly to W3C CSS2 rec.
    and this might well be the cause of the overlapping columns you mention.

    >
    > Interestingly, they all look pretty much the same: main text column with
    > a thinner right-side menu column.
    >


    There can not be 50 layout possible when you're looking to build a 2
    columns layout or 3 columns layout. These 900 layouts show that you can
    be a table free layout, CSS-based, entirely compliant to W3C
    recommendations, which will be more widely supported, accessible,
    interoperable and device-independent.

    > ...... and not a 'famous' site amongst them :-(
    >
    >>
    >> DU

    >
    >


    This site lists urls of website of people who submit urls. At
    webstandards.org, I often see new sites which are talked about and
    inevitably, tableless design is mentioned. The latest mentioned is
    Vancouver-based North Shore Credit Union: the layout is not based on tables.

    http://www.webstandards.org/
    http://www.nscu.com/

    DU
     
    DU, Jan 25, 2004
    #10
  11. PW

    DU Guest

    Steve R. wrote:

    > PW wrote in message ...
    >
    >>I've never ventured into iFrames or <div> because tables have always done
    >>everything that I need.

    >
    >
    > Lots of Website creators still use tables for layout, (including the
    > company I work in), because they are easy to use, they are reliable, and
    > work across all browsers.
    >


    No one would want to argue with you on this. But then, can you answer
    what are these web designers supposed to say when asked about
    - why they use nested tables
    - bandwidth-hogging due to tables
    - slower parsing and rendering time due to tables
    - inability of text-to-speech browsers and other small screen devices to
    render accordingly what was supposed to be tabular data to begin with
    - compliance with accessibility laws
    - higher time to upgrade a site based on table layout; a real nightmare
    in some cases (e.g.: http://www.yahoo.com)

    > CSS although supposedly *the* way to do it now, causes many problems for
    > many people designing websites and also has some browser problems. Just
    > look at the number of "CSS problem" posts on the HTML newsgroups to see
    > what I mean.
    >


    Everything you mentioned in these 2 sentences is general, abstract,
    absolute, without any specifics, tangibles, without any detail, without
    any relativity, with undistinguishable generalities, with nothing
    concrete. No names, no urls, no code, no stats, no study, no newsgroup
    name, no poster name, no subject line, no number mentioned, etc.

    Your post never even put under the slightest doubt that most people
    designing websites are not professionals to begin with, most people
    designing websites never received a training of any kind to do so, most
    people do not have (or never have read) a single book on web design,
    HTML, CSS, DOM, javascript. IMO, 95%+ of all people designing websites
    use WYSIWYG popular and free editors, copy and paste code from
    copy-N-paste sites and assume everything is perfect. W3C assumes that
    99% of all sites out there would fail markup validation. All this could
    explain why so many people asks so many questions and have so many
    problems. In this very newsgroup, I would say that 90% of all questions
    or problem mentioned are related to the poster's code and not to a
    specific bug in a defined browser.

    "Although apparently suited to layout on the surface, under the hood it
    becomes clear that tables do a pretty lousy job of page construction.
    Among their shortcomings is the implied bias of the code towards
    presentation rather than structure, the necessity to nest tables in
    order to achieve the most basic of layouts, and enough redundant
    bandwidth-hogging tags to feed a large family of tag eating monsters for
    literally a month."

    Tableless layout with Dreamweaver by Drew McClellan
    http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/mx/dreamweaver/articles/tableless_layout.html


    > I iframes are not difficult. Just use the mark-up I've used on the page
    > below and alter it to suit your needs.


    Are you actually inviting people to copy your code and then paste your
    code into their page without understanding it? without even
    investigating their webpage requirements, needs, usability analysis to
    begin with? without assessing the webpage design issues for starters?

    Just play with the mark-up till you
    > get used to how it can place the iframe, alter its size and to enable
    > scroll bars or not.
    >
    > http://www.myby.myby.co.uk/image/
    >
    >


    You can use a knife to unscrew a screw, you know. A knife is easy to
    use, it's reliable, and it will work with almost any screw.
    You can use a screwdriver to cut your steak or cut yourself a slice of
    pizza, you know. A screwdriver is easy to use, it's reliable, solid, and
    it will work with any kind of meat and any kind of pizza size.

    DU
     
    DU, Jan 25, 2004
    #11
  12. PW

    DU Guest

    Steve R. wrote:

    > PW wrote in message ...
    >
    >>I've never ventured into iFrames or <div> because tables have always done
    >>everything that I need.

    >
    >
    > Lots of Website creators still use tables for layout, (including the
    > company I work in), because they are easy to use, they are reliable, and
    > work across all browsers.
    >
    > CSS although supposedly *the* way to do it now, causes many problems for
    > many people designing websites and also has some browser problems. Just
    > look at the number of "CSS problem" posts on the HTML newsgroups to see
    > what I mean.
    >


    "Newbie Designer posts a link to a test page, asking for help because it
    doesn’t behave as expected in this or that browser. Guru Designer
    replies, telling Newbie Designer that their page doesn’t validate, and
    that they should go validate their page before asking such questions."
    Why we won’t help you
    http://diveintomark.org/archives/2003/05/05/why_we_wont_help_you

    "Most of the Web sites on the Web are not valid. We may assume that this
    is the case for 99% of the Web pages"
    My Web site is standard! And yours? (W3C Quality Assurance tutorial)
    http://www.w3.org/QA/2002/04/Web-Quality

    It is known that roughly at least 60% (presumably more than that) of
    all users out there use MSIE 6 for windows. Now, MSIE 6 for windows has
    corrected many bugs related to what is know as the incorrect
    implementation of the CSS1 box model: even MSDN and Microsoft publicly
    acknowledged this some 30 months ago. Now, if all users out there would
    write syntaxically compliant markup code and then trigger standards
    compliant rendering mode in MSIE 6 for windows, then there wouldn't be
    so many buggy pages out there and there wouldn't be any justification
    left to use table design. On this precise matter, it's no longer a
    matter of browser bugs; it's a matter of web designer's competence and will.

    DU
     
    DU, Jan 25, 2004
    #12
  13. Jeff Thies wrote:

    >Table layouts do not render progressively. Often, everything in that table
    >will have to load before you see anything.


    True in many cases, but it depends on the browser and is only an issue
    if the entire page is put into a table.

    Micha
     
    Michael Fesser, Jan 26, 2004
    #13
  14. PW

    jake Guest

    In message <bv1fcv$m2u$>, DU
    <> writes
    >jake wrote:
    >> In message <buvapi$hu$>, DU
    >><> writes
    >>
    >>>
    >>> People use tables and nested tables to position elements on a page.
    >>>They don't know how to position elements, how to control the layout,
    >>>how to make the rendered layout scalable, etc. So table and table
    >>>design is the solution in their mind, not the problem.
    >>> If they knew nothing else besides MS-Excel, then they would use it
    >>>to post messages, compose emails, reply in newsgroups, etc..
    >>> Some people can not figure out how to configure different elements
    >>>with precise dimensions, a specific font, etc..; so they do a gif out
    >>>of these elements with an image software. The making of the gif is
    >>>not the problem; it's the solution from their perspective.
    >>> But when you know the defects, usability burden and accessibility
    >>>problems these false solutions cause


    >> What 'accessibility' problems?
    >>

    >
    >If content of a table can not be linearized, then such content will not
    >be easy to access with applications and devices for people with
    >disabilities and for applications with small screen like cell phones
    >and PDAs.


    [snip]

    In practise, this is rarely seem to be the case. Most sites using tables
    seem to linearise correctly without the author seemingly taking any
    special measures.

    Using Operas 'small screen mode', most tables-based sites seem to
    linearise quite happily, so I doubt that PDA users have much of a
    problem.



    >>
    >>> 900 different CSS Tableless Web Sites
    >>> http://www.meryl.net/css/

    >> Sadly, contains many too many sites that don't allow text to be
    >>re-sized, window to be re-sized, or that don't quite work with IE6
    >>(i.e. overlapping columns).

    >
    >That's another issue. Of course, font-size should be scalable, using
    >relative length unit which is known to be best for screen media.
    >Ideally, columns' width should be scalable, resizable in case the
    >window is resized; most of the time, at least one column should be
    >relying on a relative value of the browser window viewport.
    >Finally, note that MSIE 6 for Windows has a long lasting bug on
    >overflow. overflow:visible is not rendered accordingly to W3C CSS2 rec.
    >and this might well be the cause of the overlapping columns you mention.


    Maybe. But if it doesn't work in IE, then it doesn't work for 90% of
    your visitors.
    >
    >> Interestingly, they all look pretty much the same: main text column
    >>with a thinner right-side menu column.
    >>

    >
    >There can not be 50 layout possible when you're looking to build a 2
    >columns layout or 3 columns layout. These 900 layouts show that you can
    >be a table free layout, CSS-based, entirely compliant to W3C
    >recommendations, which will be more widely supported, accessible,
    >interoperable and device-independent.


    ... more widely supported .. ?

    Not really. Tables-based layouts still have the edge over CSS-based ones
    in this argument. Now, in 5 years time, things might be different --
    when all browsers are standards-compatible, and the older non-conformant
    browsers have been laid to rest.

    >
    >> ...... and not a 'famous' site amongst them :-(
    >>
    >>>
    >>> DU

    >>

    >
    >This site lists urls of website of people who submit urls. At
    >webstandards.org, I often see new sites which are talked about and
    >inevitably, tableless design is mentioned. The latest mentioned is
    >Vancouver-based North Shore Credit Union: the layout is not based on
    >tables.
    >
    >http://www.webstandards.org/
    >http://www.nscu.com/
    >
    >DU


    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jan 26, 2004
    #14
  15. PW

    Chris Morris Guest

    jake <> writes:
    > In message <buvapi$hu$>, DU
    > <> writes
    > > [table layouts]
    > > But when you know the defects, usability burden and accessibility
    > > problems these false solutions cause

    >
    > What 'accessibility' problems?


    w3m and links/elinks/links2 [1] both have problems with layout tables.
    They try to support tables by positioning things on the page, which
    works fine with data tables, even if you have to horizontally scroll
    occasionally with the wide ones. Unfortunately quite a lot of the
    time with layout tables this ends up with the entire page being wider
    than the (usual) 80 character limit imposed by the terminal. And then
    it gets really inconvenient.

    Openwave has about 30 characters width at a readable font size and
    suffers this effect *really* badly. The Openwave SDK is available for
    testing purposes, though needs a modern windows OS to run. It seems
    to be a fairly common rendering engine for mobile phones, etc -
    certainly I've seen numerous variations on its UA string in web
    logs. (UP.Browser/$version is the key string) - Don't know how common
    compared to Opera, in the handheld market, but I've had a fair number
    of hits from variations of it to a low traffic site.

    Now, admittedly, none of these are common browsers. But then
    Netscape/IE 4-, the last common browsers to have serious trouble with
    CSS, are rare and getting rarer, and Openwave at least is getting more
    common (temporarily, maybe?).

    [1] When in text mode. When in graphics mode links2 does a good job of
    rendering layout tables.

    --
    Chris
     
    Chris Morris, Jan 26, 2004
    #15
  16. PW

    jake Guest

    In message <>, Chris Morris
    <> writes
    >jake <> writes:
    >> In message <buvapi$hu$>, DU
    >> <> writes
    >> > [table layouts]
    >> > But when you know the defects, usability burden and accessibility
    >> > problems these false solutions cause

    >>
    >> What 'accessibility' problems?

    >
    >w3m and links/elinks/links2 [1] both have problems with layout tables.
    >They try to support tables by positioning things on the page, which
    >works fine with data tables, even if you have to horizontally scroll
    >occasionally with the wide ones. Unfortunately quite a lot of the
    >time with layout tables this ends up with the entire page being wider
    >than the (usual) 80 character limit imposed by the terminal. And then
    >it gets really inconvenient.
    >
    >Openwave has about 30 characters width at a readable font size and
    >suffers this effect *really* badly. The Openwave SDK is available for
    >testing purposes, though needs a modern windows OS to run. It seems
    >to be a fairly common rendering engine for mobile phones, etc -
    >certainly I've seen numerous variations on its UA string in web
    >logs. (UP.Browser/$version is the key string) - Don't know how common
    >compared to Opera, in the handheld market, but I've had a fair number
    >of hits from variations of it to a low traffic site.
    >
    >Now, admittedly, none of these are common browsers. But then
    >Netscape/IE 4-, the last common browsers to have serious trouble with
    >CSS, are rare and getting rarer, and Openwave at least is getting more
    >common (temporarily, maybe?).
    >
    >[1] When in text mode. When in graphics mode links2 does a good job of
    >rendering layout tables.
    >

    Most interesting, Chris. Not something I've taken the trouble to
    investigate.

    I've tended to think that if a page functions OK in Opera's small-screen
    rendering mode -- simulating a screen about 280 pixels wide, then it's
    probably OK (I think this is the same rendering engine used in some
    Nokia phones). From what I've seen, Opera seems to handle tables-based
    layout without problems -- assuming that they linearise correctly in the
    first place.

    regards.
    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jan 26, 2004
    #16
  17. PW

    DU Guest

    jake wrote:

    > In message <bv1fcv$m2u$>, DU
    > <> writes
    >
    >> jake wrote:
    >>
    >>> In message <buvapi$hu$>, DU
    >>> <> writes
    >>>
    >>>>
    >>>> People use tables and nested tables to position elements on a page.
    >>>> They don't know how to position elements, how to control the layout,
    >>>> how to make the rendered layout scalable, etc. So table and table
    >>>> design is the solution in their mind, not the problem.
    >>>> If they knew nothing else besides MS-Excel, then they would use it
    >>>> to post messages, compose emails, reply in newsgroups, etc..
    >>>> Some people can not figure out how to configure different elements
    >>>> with precise dimensions, a specific font, etc..; so they do a gif
    >>>> out of these elements with an image software. The making of the gif
    >>>> is not the problem; it's the solution from their perspective.
    >>>> But when you know the defects, usability burden and accessibility
    >>>> problems these false solutions cause

    >
    >
    >>> What 'accessibility' problems?
    >>>

    >>
    >> If content of a table can not be linearized, then such content will
    >> not be easy to access with applications and devices for people with
    >> disabilities and for applications with small screen like cell phones
    >> and PDAs.

    >
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > In practise, this is rarely seem to be the case. Most sites using tables
    > seem to linearise correctly without the author seemingly taking any
    > special measures.
    >


    Quite on the contrary. A site layout based on table design can not be
    linearized accordingly. I think we don't understand each other here.

    > Using Operas 'small screen mode', most tables-based sites seem to
    > linearise quite happily, so I doubt that PDA users have much of a problem.
    >
    >
    >
    >>>
    >>>> 900 different CSS Tableless Web Sites
    >>>> http://www.meryl.net/css/
    >>>
    >>> Sadly, contains many too many sites that don't allow text to be
    >>> re-sized, window to be re-sized, or that don't quite work with IE6
    >>> (i.e. overlapping columns).

    >>
    >>
    >> That's another issue. Of course, font-size should be scalable, using
    >> relative length unit which is known to be best for screen media.
    >> Ideally, columns' width should be scalable, resizable in case the
    >> window is resized; most of the time, at least one column should be
    >> relying on a relative value of the browser window viewport.
    >> Finally, note that MSIE 6 for Windows has a long lasting bug on
    >> overflow. overflow:visible is not rendered accordingly to W3C CSS2
    >> rec. and this might well be the cause of the overlapping columns you
    >> mention.

    >
    >
    > Maybe. But if it doesn't work in IE, then it doesn't work for 90% of
    > your visitors.
    >


    A site which was not tested with MSIE 6 for windows and which has
    overlapping columns shouldn't be listed at http://www.meryl.net/css/
    Can you tell which site number at meryl.net gave you overlapping columns
    with MSIE 6? At which scr. resolution? Was your browser application
    maximized?

    >>
    >>> Interestingly, they all look pretty much the same: main text column
    >>> with a thinner right-side menu column.
    >>>

    >>
    >> There can not be 50 layout possible when you're looking to build a 2
    >> columns layout or 3 columns layout. These 900 layouts show that you
    >> can be a table free layout, CSS-based, entirely compliant to W3C
    >> recommendations, which will be more widely supported, accessible,
    >> interoperable and device-independent.

    >
    >
    > .. more widely supported .. ?
    >
    > Not really. Tables-based layouts still have the edge over CSS-based ones
    > in this argument.


    I think we don't understand each other here too. A 2 columns layout just
    has 1 column on the left and 1 column on the right: there can not be
    other ways to do a 2 columns layout obviously. That's what I meant. A
    CSS based design is more scalable, flexible, interoperable, accessible
    than a table design. It will usually be smaller in size and faster to
    parse and render than a table design using nested tables.

    Now, in 5 years time, things might be different --
    > when all browsers are standards-compatible, and the older non-conformant
    > browsers have been laid to rest.
    >


    Rigth now, MSIE 5 for windows, Konqueror 3.1, Safari 1.1, Mozilla 1.4+,
    NS 7.x, Opera 7.x (and a few others) are used by about 96% of all users
    out there and these browsers are known to support very well HTML 4.01
    elements, attributes, syntax, CSS1 properties and DOM1 attributes and
    methods. Not a perfect support on everything but a very good support for
    a very wide spectrum of webpage cases. I'm not the only one claiming
    this: an unanimity of reviewers (E. Meyer, PP Koch, westciv.com, R.
    Lionheart, Nestcape DevEdge, webstandards.org, etc..) say so along with
    testpages for anyone willing to test and see for himself.

    Here's one:
    "Last September, I put a batch of browsers through some gruelling tests
    to see how well they coped with Cascading Style Sheets layouts. More
    specifically, I wanted to see how far I could push them before they fell
    over. When you use CSS for layout, if the browsers don't behave as
    expected, you can end up with a mess."
    and the results were that 8 browsers score 95% or better on 20 different
    layouts; only ICab (version 2.9.5) scored below 90%.
    http://www.wpdfd.com/editorial/wpd1003.htm#feature

    DU

    >>
    >>> ...... and not a 'famous' site amongst them :-(
    >>>
    >>>>
    >>>> DU
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >> This site lists urls of website of people who submit urls. At
    >> webstandards.org, I often see new sites which are talked about and
    >> inevitably, tableless design is mentioned. The latest mentioned is
    >> Vancouver-based North Shore Credit Union: the layout is not based on
    >> tables.
    >>
    >> http://www.webstandards.org/
    >> http://www.nscu.com/
    >>
    >> DU

    >
    >
     
    DU, Jan 26, 2004
    #17
  18. PW wrote:
    > I read the "dear brucie" thread below ...
    >
    > I develop the occasional website for friends, I do a little bit of
    > commercial work, and I use HTML to mark-up web reports at work.
    >
    > I've never ventured into iFrames or <div> because tables have always
    > done everything that I need.
    >
    > Could someone explain, or provide a link to a discussion as to, the
    > down-side of using tables ? I can't imagine that theres a load-time
    > component associated with tables, as its all HTML.

    [snip]

    There are few downsides to using simple layout tables. But some people may try
    to convince you otherwise. Typically, their statements don't stand up to
    scrutiny. Have a look at the following:

    Layout tables considered valuable
    http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/layout_tables/

    Reflections on CSS Positioning
    http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/layout_tables/css_positioning.htm

    In defence of layout tables
    http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/layout_tables/defence.htm

    A brief history of tables
    http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/layout_tables/history.htm

    Sayings
    http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/layout_tables/sayings.htm

    Don't get caught up in this holy war. There are 2 or more imperfect systems -
    tables and CSS positioning. Use either or both according to need. The sky
    won't fall in, and you won't end up in court.

    --
    Barry Pearson
    http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
    http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
    http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
     
    Barry Pearson, Jan 30, 2004
    #18
  19. PW

    Whitecrest Guest

    In article <VoBSb.531$>,
    says...
    > Don't get caught up in this holy war. There are 2 or more imperfect systems -
    > tables and CSS positioning. Use either or both according to need. The sky
    > won't fall in, and you won't end up in court.


    Truer words have never been spoken

    --
    Whitecrest Entertainment
    www.whitecrestent.com
     
    Whitecrest, Jan 31, 2004
    #19
    1. Advertising

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