Tables?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Chuck, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck Guest

    OK, I give in. Tell me why some people on this group gasp and throw up
    their hands when tables are used? Is there something I don't know
    about? Did they decide to remove tables support from the new browsers?

    I'm just trying to understand the distaste for tables.

    -Chuck. (www.wormspeaker.com)
    _____________________________________________________
    Spread love and understanding...
    but don't be afraid to bloody your knuckles doing it.
    -Alex Ross
    Chuck, Jan 9, 2004
    #1
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  2. Chuck

    Cameron Guest

    Chuck wrote:

    > OK, I give in. Tell me why some people on this group gasp and throw up
    > their hands when tables are used? Is there something I don't know
    > about? Did they decide to remove tables support from the new browsers?
    >
    > I'm just trying to understand the distaste for tables.
    >
    > -Chuck. (www.wormspeaker.com)
    > _____________________________________________________
    > Spread love and understanding...
    > but don't be afraid to bloody your knuckles doing it.
    > -Alex Ross


    People are complaining because tables were designed for tabular data
    rather than page layout, I personally can't see the big deal, done
    properly it works, and not all browsers support CSS yet, even the apache
    group (www.apache.org) use tables for layout.

    ~Cameron
    Cameron, Jan 9, 2004
    #2
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  3. "Chuck" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > OK, I give in. Tell me why some people on this group gasp and throw up
    > their hands when tables are used? Is there something I don't know
    > about? Did they decide to remove tables support from the new browsers?
    >
    > I'm just trying to understand the distaste for tables.
    >
    > -Chuck. (www.wormspeaker.com)


    *puts on asbestos overcoat*

    Its not the end of the world if you use tables or if you don't use CSS or if
    your site doesn't 100% validate. Check any of the 'big guys' sites
    (microsoft, eBay, etc.) and you'll find they don't validate, probably use
    tables and have alot of other imperfections. Its like anything geeks
    do...they love to argue about THE proper way something should be done. ;-)

    *waits for the deluge of comments telling me how horrible my site is*

    --Tina

    --
    http://www.AffordableHOST.com
    20% Discount Code: newsgroup
    We transfer time from your current host!
    Serving the web since 1997
    Tina - AffordableHOST.com, Jan 9, 2004
    #3
  4. Chuck

    Cameron Guest

    Cameron wrote:

    <snip>
    > People are complaining because tables were designed for tabular data
    > rather than page layout, I personally can't see the big deal, done
    > properly it works, and not all browsers support CSS yet, even the apache
    > group (www.apache.org) use tables for layout.
    >
    > ~Cameron
    >
    >


    <trivial>
    sorry, the "Apache Software Foundation"
    </trivial>

    ~Cameron
    Cameron, Jan 9, 2004
    #4
  5. Chuck

    Cameron Guest

    Tina - AffordableHOST.com wrote:

    > "Chuck" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>OK, I give in. Tell me why some people on this group gasp and throw up
    >>their hands when tables are used? Is there something I don't know
    >>about? Did they decide to remove tables support from the new browsers?
    >>
    >>I'm just trying to understand the distaste for tables.
    >>
    >>-Chuck. (www.wormspeaker.com)

    >
    >
    > *puts on asbestos overcoat*
    >
    > Its not the end of the world if you use tables or if you don't use CSS or if
    > your site doesn't 100% validate. Check any of the 'big guys' sites
    > (microsoft, eBay, etc.) and you'll find they don't validate, probably use
    > tables and have alot of other imperfections. Its like anything geeks
    > do...they love to argue about THE proper way something should be done. ;-)
    >
    > *waits for the deluge of comments telling me how horrible my site is*
    >
    > --Tina
    >


    Actually, not looked at source but your page looks rather good, however
    Powered by FreeBSD and Powered by Redhat? what is what, and if you use
    both why diminish the awesome power of FreeBSD with Redhat? ;)

    ~Cameron
    Cameron, Jan 9, 2004
    #5
  6. Chuck

    Sid Ismail Guest

    On Fri, 09 Jan 2004 19:41:40 GMT, (Chuck) wrote:

    : OK, I give in. Tell me why some people on this group gasp and throw up
    : their hands when tables are used? Is there something I don't know
    : about? Did they decide to remove tables support from the new browsers?
    :
    : I'm just trying to understand the distaste for tables.


    There is none. Want to have dinner, use a table! Love it.

    Sid
    Sid Ismail, Jan 9, 2004
    #6
  7. "Cameron" <> wrote in message
    news:btn0lj$b7m$...
    > Tina - AffordableHOST.com wrote:
    >
    > > "Chuck" <> wrote in message
    > > news:...
    > >
    > >>OK, I give in. Tell me why some people on this group gasp and throw up
    > >>their hands when tables are used? Is there something I don't know
    > >>about? Did they decide to remove tables support from the new browsers?
    > >>
    > >>I'm just trying to understand the distaste for tables.
    > >>
    > >>-Chuck. (www.wormspeaker.com)

    > >
    > >
    > > *puts on asbestos overcoat*
    > >
    > > Its not the end of the world if you use tables or if you don't use CSS

    or if
    > > your site doesn't 100% validate. Check any of the 'big guys' sites
    > > (microsoft, eBay, etc.) and you'll find they don't validate, probably

    use
    > > tables and have alot of other imperfections. Its like anything geeks
    > > do...they love to argue about THE proper way something should be done.

    ;-)
    > >
    > > *waits for the deluge of comments telling me how horrible my site is*
    > >
    > > --Tina
    > >

    >
    > Actually, not looked at source but your page looks rather good, however
    > Powered by FreeBSD and Powered by Redhat? what is what, and if you use
    > both why diminish the awesome power of FreeBSD with Redhat? ;)
    >
    > ~Cameron



    Thanks for the compliment!

    Our site runs on 2 dedicated servers (not Cpanel), which have no other
    hosting accounts on them. Both of these servers use FreeBSD exclusively.

    However, we offer Cpanel hosting accounts...and all of our Cpanel servers
    use RedHat. Cpanel will work with FreeBSD, but CPanel doesn't support it
    and (I've heard) there are problems.

    I tried to separate the 2 logos by moving the FreeBSD away from the others.
    Hoping it would make more sense. :)

    --Tina

    --
    http://www.AffordableHOST.com
    20% Discount Code: newsgroup
    We transfer time from your current host!
    Serving the web since 1997
    Tina - AffordableHOST.com, Jan 9, 2004
    #7
  8. Chuck

    Richard Guest

    Chuck wrote:


    > OK, I give in. Tell me why some people on this group gasp and throw up
    > their hands when tables are used? Is there something I don't know
    > about? Did they decide to remove tables support from the new browsers?


    > I'm just trying to understand the distaste for tables.


    > -Chuck. (www.wormspeaker.com)
    > _____________________________________________________
    > Spread love and understanding...
    > but don't be afraid to bloody your knuckles doing it.
    > -Alex Ross



    Tables were originally designed as the "ONLY" way to do presentation.
    CSS comes along and suddenly those that approve of it's use, say tables are
    not to be used for presentation.

    I made a comment just the other day at how horrible msn.com was with their
    coding and how crappy it looked.
    Guess what? It's been changed royally. And not one table!

    But if you go to microsoft.com, it's table city.

    I think it's truly a personal choice and what you feel comfortable working
    with.
    At least the older browsers know how to handle tables. Don't they?
    Richard, Jan 9, 2004
    #8
  9. Chuck wrote:
    > OK, I give in. Tell me why some people on this group gasp and throw up
    > their hands when tables are used? Is there something I don't know
    > about? Did they decide to remove tables support from the new browsers?
    >
    > I'm just trying to understand the distaste for tables.


    Chuckle! You can't hope to understand. It is a holy war, not a rational
    discussion.

    First, no one with at least 2 brain cells to rub together objects to using
    tables to represent data comprising 2 semantic dimensions. (Also known a
    "tabular data"). They will be supported on the web for decades.

    Second, there is no good reason to gasp (etc) about layout tables. Simple
    layout tables are effective, efficient, usable, accessible, flexible, and
    future-proof. (If anyone says otherwise, ask for the evidence. It won't be
    convincing).

    You can validate layout tables as XHTML 1.1. No browser that hopes to be
    popular will dare to deny its potential users access to one of mankind's most
    valuable information resources, which is overwhelmingly layout-table-oriented.
    Obviously no one is going to wipe those resources off the web! Probably at
    least 100,000 table-oriented pages per day are published on the web.

    Modern non-visual browsers for blind people are getting better at handling
    layout tables. Other browsers such as Opera in "small screen mode" can display
    page using layout tables on sceens only 240 pixels wide. Obviously that trend
    will continue, because browsers of all sorts *have* to be able to access that
    vast global resource. There is no plausible proposal to cease support for
    tables, even for layout tables.

    It is a sin to use layout tables. You could fry in the web author's hell. But
    if you don't believe there is a web author's hell (other than trying to find a
    hack to make CSS positioning work in yet another browser), you are safe.

    Some people are trying to rewrite history. Table layout helped to make the web
    the exciting and successful place it is. Gosh! How bad!

    --
    Barry Pearson
    http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
    http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
    http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
    Barry Pearson, Jan 9, 2004
    #9
  10. Chuck

    Cameron Guest

    Richard wrote:
    <snip>
    > But if you go to microsoft.com, it's table city.
    >
    > I think it's truly a personal choice and what you feel comfortable working
    > with.
    > At least the older browsers know how to handle tables. Don't they?
    >
    >


    Yeah, I noticed Microsoft use loads of tables for layout but I thought
    www.apache.org would be a better one to point out, for obvious reasons ;)

    ~Cameron
    Cameron, Jan 9, 2004
    #10
  11. Chuck

    Nico Schuyt Guest

    Chuck wrote:
    > OK, I give in. Tell me why some people on this group gasp and throw up
    > their hands when tables are used? Is there something I don't know
    > about? Did they decide to remove tables support from the new browsers?
    > I'm just trying to understand the distaste for tables.


    For me the most important thing is it makes my designs more flexible. If,
    for instance, I want my menu on the right instead of the left in a site it's
    done in a few minutes. When tables are used it's a lot of work.

    Below some arguments from different persons in a former discussion in this
    ng:

    1. Layout is a presentation matter. HTML (and thus the <table> tag!) is
    designed for marking up a document's structure -- not for specifying how it
    looks.

    2. Tables can introduce accessibility problems (although these are often
    overstated!)

    3. If tables were always used strictly for marking up tabular data, we would
    now have some pretty nifty spreadsheet-like features in browsers -- sort
    alphabetically by table column, automatic totals of numeric cell ranges,
    click on a table cell to highlight the appropriate row and column
    headers, etc. I want these features. So everybody! only use tables for
    marking up tabular data!

    4. As with all things CSS, it is useful to have all your styling in one
    place so if you want to, say, move your navigation bar from the right to
    the left, you don't need to edit 100 different HTML files: just one CSS
    file.

    5) User agents can cache style sheets, and pages using style sheets for
    layout are (in my experience) always smaller then the equivalent table
    abuse. This means faster loading pages, and cheaper bandwidth bills.

    6) Different style sheets can be provided for different media types
    automatically. A page can look great on screen, and great on paper without
    the visitor having to follow a link to another page. Then you can have
    another style sheet for handhelds so narrow displays get the benefit of a
    single column version of a design.

    7) As the HTML is simpler, it is easier to read and write.
    Nico Schuyt, Jan 9, 2004
    #11
  12. Richard <anonymous@127.000> wrote:
    > Tables were originally designed as the "ONLY" way to do presentation.


    Tables were NEVER designed to do presentation. Authors abused them.

    > I made a comment just the other day at how horrible msn.com was with
    > their coding and how crappy it looked.
    > Guess what? It's been changed royally. And not one table!


    You'd better be kidding.

    > I think it's truly a personal choice and what you feel comfortable
    > working with.


    There's more benefits to not using tables than just comfort.
    --
    Michael Wilcox
    mjwilco at yahoo dot com
    Essential Tools for the Web Developer - http://mikewilcox.t35.com
    Michael Wilcox, Jan 9, 2004
    #12
  13. "Nico Schuyt" <> skrev i meddelandet
    news:3fff26fa$0$64978$...
    > Chuck wrote:
    > > OK, I give in. Tell me why some people on this group gasp and throw up
    > > their hands when tables are used? Is there something I don't know
    > > about? Did they decide to remove tables support from the new browsers?
    > > I'm just trying to understand the distaste for tables.

    >
    > For me the most important thing is it makes my designs more flexible. If,
    > for instance, I want my menu on the right instead of the left in a site

    it's
    > done in a few minutes. When tables are used it's a lot of work.
    >
    > Below some arguments from different persons in a former discussion in this
    > ng:
    >
    > 1. Layout is a presentation matter. HTML (and thus the <table> tag!) is
    > designed for marking up a document's structure -- not for specifying how

    it
    > looks.
    >
    > 2. Tables can introduce accessibility problems (although these are often
    > overstated!)
    >
    > 3. If tables were always used strictly for marking up tabular data, we

    would
    > now have some pretty nifty spreadsheet-like features in browsers -- sort
    > alphabetically by table column, automatic totals of numeric cell ranges,
    > click on a table cell to highlight the appropriate row and column
    > headers, etc. I want these features. So everybody! only use tables for
    > marking up tabular data!
    >
    > 4. As with all things CSS, it is useful to have all your styling in one
    > place so if you want to, say, move your navigation bar from the right to
    > the left, you don't need to edit 100 different HTML files: just one CSS
    > file.
    >
    > 5) User agents can cache style sheets, and pages using style sheets for
    > layout are (in my experience) always smaller then the equivalent table
    > abuse. This means faster loading pages, and cheaper bandwidth bills.
    >
    > 6) Different style sheets can be provided for different media types
    > automatically. A page can look great on screen, and great on paper without
    > the visitor having to follow a link to another page. Then you can have
    > another style sheet for handhelds so narrow displays get the benefit of a
    > single column version of a design.
    >
    > 7) As the HTML is simpler, it is easier to read and write.



    Hello Nico,
    I am trying to convert tables into CSS for layout wherever I can. It takes
    time. I am not sure though whether it is possibile to always use tables for
    layout. But it may depend on that I know more about tables than about CSS.
    Please, read my answer in the post. "Re: Layout and data"




    --
    Luigi ( un italiano che vive in Svezia)


    http://www.italymap.dk
    http://www.scaiecat-spa-gigi.com/sv/oversattning.html
    Luigi Donatello Asero, Jan 9, 2004
    #13
  14. Chuck

    rf Guest

    "Richard" <anonymous@127.000> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Chuck wrote:


    > I made a comment just the other day at how horrible msn.com was with their
    > coding and how crappy it looked.
    > Guess what? It's been changed royally. And not one table!


    You must be looking at a different msn.com. From here all I see is tables. A
    veritable furniture shop of them.

    Cheers
    Richard.
    rf, Jan 10, 2004
    #14
  15. Chuck

    Nico Schuyt Guest

    Luigi Donatello Asero wrote:
    > Hello Nico,
    > I am trying to convert tables into CSS for layout wherever I can. It
    > takes time. I am not sure though whether it is possibile to always
    > use tables for layout. But it may depend on that I know more about
    > tables than about CSS. Please, read my answer in the post. "Re:
    > Layout and data"


    Just did :)
    Nico
    Nico Schuyt, Jan 10, 2004
    #15
  16. Chuck

    Bob Guest

    On Fri, 9 Jan 2004 23:12:03 +0100, "Nico Schuyt" <>
    wrote:

    >1. Layout is a presentation matter. HTML (and thus the <table> tag!) is
    >designed for marking up a document's structure <>


    Except that there was no way to describe positioning before CSS-p.
    When you leave out the history, you leave out an important factor.

    >2. Tables can introduce accessibility problems (although these are often
    >overstated!)<>


    They can. Not all of us live in the UK or produce US Gov't spec sites.

    >3. If tables were always used strictly for marking up tabular data, we would
    >now have some pretty nifty spreadsheet-like features in browsers <>


    You get that with XML/XSLt. It has nothing to do with HTML tables.
    You will never see browsers implementing this feature for HTML.
    Wrong vehicle.

    >4. As with all things CSS, it is useful to have all your styling in one
    >place <>


    Very useful. It would have been great if CSS existed in 1994 when
    browsers started to take off.

    >5) User agents can cache style sheets, and pages using style sheets for
    >layout are (in my experience) always smaller then the equivalent table
    >abuse. This means faster loading pages, and cheaper bandwidth bills.

    <>

    Use XML and XSL:FO. Even less overhead. What that's you say ?
    Not all browsers support XML with CSS ? Oh... I see there's a
    problem when not all browsers support the technology you're trying to
    use for web presentation.

    >6) Different style sheets can be provided for different media types
    >automatically. <>


    A nice idea. It will be nice when it has wide support.

    >7) As the HTML is simpler, it is easier to read and write. <>


    Easier to read the HTML ? Yes. However, the CSS is a hacked jumble
    because you have to jump through hoops to make it work in the most
    recent browsers. The CSS is not easier to write because of this.
    In addition, matching up the CSS-P details with the HTML and
    figuring out what a page will look like is no less difficult,
    and perhaps more difficult, than figuring out what the HTML
    and table based layout is doing.
    Bob, Jan 10, 2004
    #16
  17. Bob wrote:
    > On Fri, 9 Jan 2004 23:12:03 +0100, "Nico Schuyt" <>
    > wrote:

    [snip]
    >>7) As the HTML is simpler, it is easier to read and write. <>

    >
    > Easier to read the HTML ? Yes. However, the CSS is a hacked jumble
    > because you have to jump through hoops to make it work in the most
    > recent browsers. The CSS is not easier to write because of this.
    > In addition, matching up the CSS-P details with the HTML and
    > figuring out what a page will look like is no less difficult,
    > and perhaps more difficult, than figuring out what the HTML
    > and table based layout is doing.


    The problem is that CSS used for positioning doesn't express the author's
    design intentions. Instead it expresses one possible implementation of those
    design intentions.

    People sketching out what they think a web page should look like to be
    effective typically don't have concepts like "float" in mind. They are more
    likely to draw some boxes on a piece of paper, or sketch them in PowerPoint,
    or whatever. And there is good reason for this, because research shows that
    layout such as that matters to users.
    http://psychology.wichita.edu/optimalweb/print.htm

    A good architecture for heterogeneous distributed systems is to transmit the
    intentions and let the various systems implement them in their way. It is a
    matter of judgement where to draw the line, but it is about the point where
    human beings stop adding value and technology can take over. (Eg, in a
    different context, send source code or script, not order code). Whereas if you
    transmit the implementation details, the user's system had better implement
    every detail to specification, else it breaks. And the user's system doesn't
    have the intentions available in order to try get as near as it can to what
    was intended.

    There are several ways of implementing (say) a 3-column design in CSS-P.
    (Float the sidebars, use absolute positioning, float the centre column or use
    normal flow, perhaps give the centre column wide margins ... ). Why commit
    the user's system to any one implementation, when it might handle a different
    implementation better? It would be better to work at a higher level of
    abstraction.

    And that is what a layout table is! A higher level of abstraction. It is in
    the wrong place, in mark-up rather than in some metadata or schema somewhere,
    but that is less important than the fact that it appears inherently to be a
    superior expression of the layout intentions. (At least until CSS3, columns,
    etc).

    Tables are still not the optimum level of abstraction. Neither tables nor
    CSS-P nor standard mark-up identify key concepts like "site navigation" that a
    blind person could make use of. Instead, such things tend to be accessed by ad
    hoc means. Perhaps put them first so that the reader will hit them early. Or
    have D-links. Structured mark-up doesn't solve this problem, although an <h1>
    should be a good way to get to the article (rather than to the site
    navigation).

    --
    Barry Pearson
    http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
    http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
    http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
    Barry Pearson, Jan 10, 2004
    #17
  18. Bob wrote:

    > On Fri, 9 Jan 2004 23:12:03 +0100, "Nico Schuyt" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>6) Different style sheets can be provided for different media types
    >>automatically. <>

    >
    > A nice idea. It will be nice when it has wide support.


    Support for the CSS print media has been featured in most major browsers
    for ages. Certainly IE 4+, Netscape 4+, Opera 5+ do. Perhaps earlier
    versions too.

    WebTV supports the tv media, I believe. Handheld is supported by some
    handheld browsers, and Opera 7's small-screen rendering mode. Projection
    is supported by Opera 5+. The w3 browser for emacs supports aural CSS.
    (A lot of people think w3m supports aural CSS. They are mistaken.)

    So support for different media types -- especially screen, print and
    handheld -- is supported well enough.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me - http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/?page=132
    Toby A Inkster, Jan 10, 2004
    #18
  19. "Barry Pearson" <> skrev i meddelandet
    news:_2WLb.233$...
    > Bob wrote:
    > > On Fri, 9 Jan 2004 23:12:03 +0100, "Nico Schuyt" <>
    > > wrote:

    > [snip]
    > And that is what a layout table is! A higher level of abstraction. It is

    in
    > the wrong place, in mark-up rather than in some metadata or schema

    somewhere,
    > but that is less important than the fact that it appears inherently to be

    a
    > superior expression of the layout intentions. (At least until CSS3,

    columns,
    > etc).


    When is CSS expected to come?
    > Tables are still not the optimum level of abstraction. Neither tables nor
    > CSS-P nor standard mark-up identify key concepts like "site navigation"

    that a
    > blind person could make use of. Instead, such things tend to be accessed

    by ad
    > hoc means. Perhaps put them first so that the reader will hit them early.

    Or
    > have D-links.



    What are D-links?




    --
    Luigi ( un italiano che vive in Svezia)


    http://www.italymap.dk
    http://www.scaiecat-spa-gigi.com/sv/oversattning.html
    Luigi Donatello Asero, Jan 10, 2004
    #19
  20. Barry Pearson wrote:

    > There are several ways of implementing (say) a 3-column design in CSS-P.
    > (Float the sidebars, use absolute positioning, float the centre column
    > or use normal flow, perhaps give the centre column wide margins ... )
    > [...] It would be better to work at a higher level of abstraction.
    >
    > And that is what a layout table is! A higher level of abstraction. It is
    > in the wrong place, in mark-up rather than in some metadata or schema
    > somewhere


    Of course with a full implementation of CSS2, there are things like
    "display: table-cell;" at our disposal, so this higher-level of
    abstraction *is* available.

    CSS2 positioning is only a mess because of IE's crappy support for CSS.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me - http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/?page=132
    Toby A Inkster, Jan 10, 2004
    #20
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