Using Tables Instead of CSS

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Matt Beckwith, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. I was determined to eliminate all tables and frames from my site, except for
    those tables which are appropriate as tables.

    But it was way too frustrating trying to format left and right areas using
    CSS. Inside the body no big deal. But inside smaller areas, it got really
    weird.

    The problem was, I would get it formatted just fine using my Opera browser.
    But the same web page was all over the place in Internet Explorer. So I'd
    have to do separate klugey things for the Internet Explorer formatting.

    Bottom line, I think it's better to use tables for laying things out
    side-by-side on a page, at least until such time as all the browsers
    implement CSS the way it was intended to be implemented.

    Matt Beckwith, M.D.
    http://drbeckwith.com
    Matt Beckwith, Jul 19, 2003
    #1
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  2. Matt Beckwith

    Headless Guest

    "Matt Beckwith" <> wrote:

    >Bottom line, I think it's better to use tables for laying things out
    >side-by-side on a page, at least until such time as all the browsers
    >implement CSS the way it was intended to be implemented.


    CSS requires a higher skill level than tables.

    >http://drbeckwith.com


    That site is no excuse for not using CSS, get a pro to do it properly
    for you. Given the simple nature of your site, it shouldn't cost a lot.
    Currently there are serious issues with that site that need addressing.


    Headless
    Headless, Jul 20, 2003
    #2
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  3. Matt Beckwith

    DU Guest

    Matt Beckwith wrote:

    > I was determined to eliminate all tables and frames from my site, except for
    > those tables which are appropriate as tables.
    >
    > But it was way too frustrating trying to format left and right areas using
    > CSS. Inside the body no big deal. But inside smaller areas, it got really
    > weird.
    >
    > The problem was, I would get it formatted just fine using my Opera browser.
    > But the same web page was all over the place in Internet Explorer. So I'd
    > have to do separate klugey things for the Internet Explorer formatting.
    >
    > Bottom line, I think it's better to use tables for laying things out
    > side-by-side on a page, at least until such time as all the browsers
    > implement CSS the way it was intended to be implemented.
    >
    > Matt Beckwith, M.D.
    > http://drbeckwith.com
    >
    >


    I strongly disagree with your opinion for many reasons which I won't
    explain here and I'm sure others will disagree after viewing your homepage.

    To begin with, MSIE 6 for Windows is much more W3C web standards
    compliant when using a full doctype declaration to trigger strict
    compliant rendering mode. Margins is applied accordingly to block-level
    elements in MSIE 6 for Windows in strict compliant rendering mode.

    Second, many websites now show demos, templates regarding what you were
    trying to do and they do it with validated markup code which render
    accordingly in MSIE 6 for Windows and in other W3C web standards (HTML
    4.01 and CSS1) compliant browsers.

    Columns:
    http://www.xs4all.nl/~apple77/columns/

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

    CSS Tableless Sites
    http://www.meryl.net/css/

    DU
    --
    Javascript and Browser bugs:
    http://www10.brinkster.com/doctorunclear/
    DU, Jul 20, 2003
    #3
  4. Matt Beckwith

    DU Guest

    Matt Beckwith wrote:

    > I was determined to eliminate all tables and frames from my site, except for
    > those tables which are appropriate as tables.
    >
    > But it was way too frustrating trying to format left and right areas using
    > CSS. Inside the body no big deal. But inside smaller areas, it got really
    > weird.
    >
    > The problem was, I would get it formatted just fine using my Opera browser.
    > But the same web page was all over the place in Internet Explorer. So I'd
    > have to do separate klugey things for the Internet Explorer formatting.
    >
    > Bottom line, I think it's better to use tables for laying things out
    > side-by-side on a page, at least until such time as all the browsers
    > implement CSS the way it was intended to be implemented.
    >
    > Matt Beckwith, M.D.
    > http://drbeckwith.com
    >
    >



    "All of the properties, values, and features defined in the CSS, Level 1
    (CSS1) specification are supported, including the box model that defines
    how to measure and format elements and their associated margin, border,
    and padding properties."
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnie60/html/cssenhancements.asp

    According to Netscape DevEdge, MSIE 6 for Windows supports 96% of all
    CSS1 properties. And the one missing, borderSpacing, is not even a CSS1
    property on top of that.
    Browser feature detection
    http://devedge.netscape.com/toolbox/tools/2001/feature-detection/

    There are still bugs in browsers but for a large, very large part, CSS1
    properties and DOM1 properties and methods are very well supported by
    MSIE 6 for Windows, Opera 7, recent Mozilla-based browsers, Konqueror,
    Safari, and other W3C web standards compliant browsers.
    The main challenge remaining in the very large majority of cases is on
    the web developers' side: it is to code accordingly webpages (and that
    implies using a full doctype declaration) and to validate markup and css
    with validators.

    DU
    --
    Javascript and Browser bugs:
    http://www10.brinkster.com/doctorunclear/
    DU, Jul 20, 2003
    #4
  5. In article <>, Matt Beckwith wrote:
    > I was determined to eliminate all tables and frames from my site, except for
    > those tables which are appropriate as tables.
    >
    > But it was way too frustrating trying to format left and right areas using
    > CSS. Inside the body no big deal. But inside smaller areas, it got really
    > weird.
    >
    > The problem was, I would get it formatted just fine using my Opera browser.
    > But the same web page was all over the place in Internet Explorer. So I'd
    > have to do separate klugey things for the Internet Explorer formatting.


    I can see no reason whatever why there would be problem on you pege
    assuming you aim similar look.

    > Bottom line, I think it's better to use tables for laying things out
    > side-by-side on a page, at least until such time as all the browsers
    > implement CSS the way it was intended to be implemented.


    Well, in your case that is not true.

    > Matt Beckwith, M.D.
    > http://drbeckwith.com


    Is that overflow intended? And that super small serif font? (I had
    forgotten to set my minimum font, and it looked something like 5px - not
    that I like 9px serif anyway)

    --
    Lauri Raittila <http://www.iki.fi/lr> <http://www.iki.fi/zwak/fonts>
    Saapi lähettää meiliä, jos aihe ei liity ryhmään, tai on yksityinen
    tjsp., mutta älä lähetä samaa viestiä meilitse ja ryhmään.
    Lauri Raittila, Jul 20, 2003
    #5
  6. Matt Beckwith

    Adrienne Guest

    Gazing into my crystal ball I observed "Matt Beckwith"
    <> writing in news::

    > I was determined to eliminate all tables and frames from my site,
    > except for those tables which are appropriate as tables.
    >
    > But it was way too frustrating trying to format left and right areas
    > using CSS. Inside the body no big deal. But inside smaller areas, it
    > got really weird.
    >
    > The problem was, I would get it formatted just fine using my Opera
    > browser. But the same web page was all over the place in Internet
    > Explorer. So I'd have to do separate klugey things for the Internet
    > Explorer formatting.
    >
    > Bottom line, I think it's better to use tables for laying things out
    > side-by-side on a page, at least until such time as all the browsers
    > implement CSS the way it was intended to be implemented.
    >
    > Matt Beckwith, M.D.
    > http://drbeckwith.com
    >
    >


    Your site has some other serious problems, the most glaring of which is
    the lack of the alt attribute in your image elements. The page has no
    Document Type. The page also has no real structure, no heading elements,
    etc.

    Here's what the W3 validator had to say (be sure and read the Outline bit):
    http://makeashorterlink.com/?W24414355

    --
    Adrienne Boswell
    Please respond to the group so others can share
    http://www.arbpen.com
    Adrienne, Jul 20, 2003
    #6
  7. Matt Beckwith

    DU Guest

    Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > DU <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>"All of the properties, values, and features defined in the CSS,
    >>Level 1 (CSS1) specification are supported, including the box model
    >>that defines how to measure and format elements and their
    >>associated margin, border, and padding properties."

    >
    >
    > Do you take such a statement (by Microsoft) at face value?
    >


    In this case, as worded, I would say it is a fair statement. I'm not
    referring to bugs here: there are CSS1 bugs in MSIE 6 for Windows but,
    as I said, the CSS1 properties are supported.

    >
    >>According to Netscape DevEdge, MSIE 6 for Windows supports 96% of all
    >>CSS1 properties. And the one missing, borderSpacing, is not even a
    >>CSS1 property on top of that.

    >
    >
    > So how reliable is that material, if they don't even know what CSS1 is?
    > But seriously, that material _only_ checks what property _names_ (as
    > mapped into DOM) a browser _recognizes_.


    True. It can't measure how well the support is with test cases but at
    least it returns a basic measurable value on this issue which can serve
    as a beginning of a discussion or serious testing.

    This says absolutely nothing
    > about the actual support. It's actually much worse if a browser
    > recognizes a property and implements it wrong than if it does not
    > recognize it


    I actually agree with you on this. When a browser does not implement a
    property, then you're not disappointed in the sense that you know what
    to expect while a browser claiming to support a property when it fails
    lots of testcases or it is very slow is disappointing and irritating.

    - the latter is something that a competent author is
    > always prepared to, along with the principle that CSS is just optional
    > presentational suggestions.
    >
    > And IE 6 fails to support fixed positioning, for example.


    .... which is a CSS 2 property.

    This is
    > relevant in many situations where one would like to replace layout
    > tables or frames by the use of CSS. It also fails to support max-width,
    > which is the simple answer to the question "how to prevent my text from
    > extending across the screen, still allowing users to view it on small
    > screens too" - a question that is now addressed by authors by using
    > various tricks and kludges, including table layout.
    >


    My post was referring to CSS1. I'm not diminishing the importance, worth
    of other css properties but my post was targeting a simple issue: CSS1
    properties and DOM1 properties and methods are very well supported in
    MSIE 6 for Windows. Obviously the OP is exaggerating in the other sense.
    I'm convinced the OP does not need a complex layout or some acrobatic
    CSS coding and no cross-browser code.

    > In the OP's situation, however, CSS could probably be relatively easily
    > used to replace layout tables. It's usually _simpler_ to do that for
    > small areas inside a page than for a page as a whole. And probably the
    > strategy should start from redesigning the pages, starting from a
    > version that uses _no_ CSS and _no_ presentational features of HTML.
    > This gives the rock solid starting point and creates the ultimate
    > fallback that makes the page accessible. Then start adding
    > presentational suggestions, probably leaving positioning last, since
    > things like colors and fonts and borders are simpler in practice. (CSS
    > positioning is relatively simple per CSS; it's the complicated
    > descriptions, poorly chosen terminology, and especially buggy browsers
    > that have made it difficult.)
    >


    DU
    --
    Javascript and Browser bugs:
    http://www10.brinkster.com/doctorunclear/
    DU, Jul 20, 2003
    #7
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