CSS too hard


T

tuntis

Doesn't anybody else think that CSS is way too hard, ESPECIALLY if
you've been building layouts with tables before? Here, I'll copypaste a
rant from my blog (tuntis.net):
Why is CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) so great for layout? Sure, it might “give lower bandwidth usage” and make “sites more compatible”, but what’s the point of all the trouble? A well managed table layout mixed with CSS works just well and takes half the time it would take to make in CSS;

1. CSS for “modern web layout” is a pain to learn; z-index, absolute positioning… all that you can make with a table!
2. Properly made table layouts don’t suck and are easy to manage.
3. However, don’t get me wrong: CSS is a great system; but I believe that it is too complicated for website layout.

So, let’s make a quick Google search:

And the results are;
Stockvault.net - Why tables suck for Web Design

The above site says “1. Tables Slow Down Your Site.”.

True, I guess. Doesn’t mean that tables suck if you don’t want to brawl with an overcomplicated system. Doesn’t matter nowadays; a small amount of people use slower connections than broadband anymore.

The above site says “2. Tables Make Messy Code”.

“Why make your code more complicated than it needs to be? Tables end up generating an extroidinary amount of code lines, and increases the size of the HTML file. Also, when you need to change something specific in your code, hundreds of lines of code aren’t fun to search through.”

OH SNAP! How about a simple HTML comment for each section to search for? Filesize doesn’t matter; CSS doesn’t magically save you from making cool layout images, background images, etc.

Many CSS layouts are overcomplicated; admit it, CSS isn’t god.

The above site says “3. Tables Were Meant For Data Needing To Be Shown As A Table”.

But they have proven to be an effective way of web design.

The above site says “4. Tables Limit Your Creativity”.

Eh? That is a very incorrect statement! CSS limits your creativity unless you have been studying it for ages; if your layout needs something that’s too overcomplicated for tables, use the “oh-so-mighty” CSS. Point being, there’s no point to use CSS for everything, since it’s much harder.

“So why would you want to use tables? Take the time to learn CSS/XHTML, and you’ll save time and increase revenue in the long run.”

Wrong.

So use tables and CSS when absolutely needed; that’s my solution.

I'd like to hear some comments to this, so "let's discuss". (I hope this
gets spread to better news servers anyways, since my ISP's one sucks)
 
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B

Beauregard T. Shagnasty

tuntis said:
Doesn't anybody else think that CSS is way too hard, ESPECIALLY if
you've been building layouts with tables before?

Hard? Not in the least; it's quite easy. Different mindset? Yes,
definitely.

If you stop using WYSIWYG tools, it becomes even easier.
Here, I'll copypaste a rant from my blog (tuntis.net):

Nothing new there... all the usual arguments as to "why I want to stay
in the 20th century." :)
 
T

tuntis

Beauregard T. Shagnasty kirjoitti:
Hard? Not in the least; it's quite easy. Different mindset? Yes,
definitely.

If you stop using WYSIWYG tools, it becomes even easier.


Nothing new there... all the usual arguments as to "why I want to stay
in the 20th century." :)
I don't use WYSIWYG tools; it is much more confusing/just plain
confusing to have "z-indexes", "absolute positioning" and whatever the
else you can invent.
 
B

Beauregard T. Shagnasty

tuntis said:
Beauregard T. Shagnasty kirjoitti:
I don't use WYSIWYG tools;

Ok, good for you. Most people who complain about CSS do use them.
it is much more confusing/just plain confusing to have "z-indexes",
"absolute positioning" and whatever the else you can invent.

That's the "mindset" part. And training. I use minimal positioning, and
haven't found the need for z-indexes. So far, I haven't needed to
"invent" anything.
 
L

Leif K-Brooks

tuntis said:
I don't use WYSIWYG tools; it is much more confusing/just plain
confusing to have "z-indexes", "absolute positioning" and whatever the
else you can invent.

z-index is only necessary for stacking one element on top of another,
which is something that you _can't_do_ with a table-based layout.
 
J

Jonathan N. Little

Beauregard said:
tuntis wrote:


That's the "mindset" part. And training. I use minimal positioning, and
haven't found the need for z-indexes. So far, I haven't needed to
"invent" anything.

Agree, you're over-managing the design. Much can be accomplished with
margins, padding and maybe floats to allow you to position elements yet
remain flexible to various window dimensions and font sizes.

TIP: Discard the 'print-centric' model for your designs. A webpage is
not a magazine spread.
 
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J

John Hosking

tuntis said:
Doesn't anybody else think that CSS is way too hard, ESPECIALLY if
you've been building layouts with tables before? Here, I'll copypaste a
rant from my blog (tuntis.net):

How about copypasting the *url* to the rant instead of all this
oddly-formatted text?

CSS does not equal z-index or absolute positioning. And what's hard to
learn about z-index (except that you don't usually need it to use CSS)?

Properly made CSS layouts don’t suck and are easy to manage - often even
easier than table layouts.

In some cases, yes...

Yeah, that's what I was thinking; we should do a search. Definitely!
(Um, pssst! what are we searching for?)

[some stuff snipped]

I admit it. I am ashamed of myself for my idolatry. Pardon me while I
disassemble my shrine (which I have relatively positioned in the corner,
1% of the room's width away from the left wall...)

It's not only incorrect, it's *very* incorrect? Must be pretty bad.

Yes, tables can only handle things that are only *somewhat*
overcomplicated. For things which are *too* overcomplicated, go to CSS
(or as I always like to call it, the oh-so-mighty CSS).

Keeps me from spilling my milk while I eat my corn-on-the cob.

Wrong? Oh. :-(

I do! I use tables when tables are absolutely needed. I use CSS when CSS
is absolutely needed. And I use nothing when nothing is absolutely
needed. I guess we agree!

I'd like to hear some comments to this, so "let's discuss". (I hope this
gets spread to better news servers anyways, since my ISP's one sucks)

I would comment, but I keep hearing DNFTT. Sorry.

HAND!
 
E

Ed Seedhouse

Doesn't anybody else think that CSS is way too hard, ESPECIALLY if
you've been building layouts with tables before? Here, I'll copypaste a
rant from my blog (tuntis.net):
I'd like to hear some comments to this, so "let's discuss". (I hope this
gets spread to better news servers anyways, since my ISP's one sucks)

Go ahead. The rest of us who use modern design methods and know how
much simpler and effective they are will appreciate the lack of
competition.
 
J

Jonathan N. Little

tuntis said:
Doesn't anybody else think that CSS is way too hard, ESPECIALLY if
you've been building layouts with tables before? Here, I'll copypaste a
rant from my blog (tuntis.net):

I'd like to hear some comments to this, so "let's discuss". (I hope this
gets spread to better news servers anyways, since my ISP's one sucks)

Believe what *you* wish but the simple fact that a site with /n/ pages
in order from an example layout of ...
company logo upper left
vertical menu on left edge
content on right

.... to ...
company logo upper right
horizontal menu
content below

.... whereby ...
Site A: employed tables, nested tables, spanned rows and columns to
place elements

Site B: employed modern markup with semantic markup describing lists as
lists and tables as tables and paragraphs as paragraphs with styling
handled with an attached external stylesheet.

.... what will be the work required ...
Site A is one major overhaul and labor-intensive revision with all /n/
pages requiring full-revison.

Site B may only require only a *single* page, the stylesheet, to revise
the entire site, or *maybe* minor revision to /n/ pages.

Now if you are a masochist, or want to justify really big-bucks
maintenance fees to clients, then maybe Site A is your ticket! But no
way one can one reasonably say Site A is easier or more efficient to
maintain over Site B. Maybe it is time for you to update your skill-set.
 
T

tuntis

Leif said:
z-index is only necessary for stacking one element on top of another,
which is something that you _can't_do_ with a table-based layout.
Oh, sorry, I don't really know the proper terms for all that "stuff".
John said:
> Properly made CSS layouts don�t suck and are easy to manage - often
even easier than table layouts.
Often? I thought that was "always".
> I admit it. I am ashamed of myself for my idolatry. Pardon me while I
disassemble my shrine (which I have relatively positioned in the corner,
1% of the room's width away from the left wall...)
You're funny. (No, that wasn't sarcasm.)
> It's not only incorrect, it's *very* incorrect? Must be pretty bad. Correct.
> Wrong? Oh. :-(
Oh wow! How about you shove your "sarcasm" up your ass? Internet *is*
serious business, you know!
 
J

Jonathan N. Little

tuntis said:
Oh, sorry, I don't really know the proper terms for all that "stuff".

even easier than table layouts.
Often? I thought that was "always".
disassemble my shrine (which I have relatively positioned in the corner,
1% of the room's width away from the left wall...)
You're funny. (No, that wasn't sarcasm.)
Oh wow! How about you shove your "sarcasm" up your ass? Internet *is*
serious business, you know!

And you might pull your head out of yours...his points are good if your
actually considered them. Anyway if you are replying to John why did you
post under Leif?
 
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B

Beauregard T. Shagnasty

tuntis said:
Oh wow! How about you shove your "sarcasm" up your ass? Internet *is*
serious business, you know!

(I know there's a smiley at the end of that ...)

Seriously, CSS really is easier than tables-for-layout, once you've
found the mindset.
 
J

Jukka K. Korpela

Scripsit Jonathan N. Little:
tuntis wrote: - -

And you might pull your head out of yours...his points are good if
your actually considered them. Anyway if you are replying to John why
did you post under Leif?

This "tuntis" is apparently completely clueless in addition to being a
misbehaving coward (who insults people hiding behind a fake identity). The
"blog" he/she/it quotes says:
"I made this “blog post†to promote the blog at search engines incase
somebody searches something related"

So please don't pay any more attention to the noise that "tuntis" makes.
 
B

Bergamot

tuntis said:
I'd like to hear some comments to this, so "let's discuss".

Yawn. The tables-vs-CSS "debate" has been done to death. Go look in the
google archives if you want to actually learn something, rather than
just rant.
 
K

Keith Nuttall

tuntis said:
Doesn't anybody else think that CSS is way too hard

It is hard, especially if you've got used to building sites with
tables.

The main problem I found is working out the best ways to use styles
without triggering the many browser bugs, mainly in Internet Explorer.

Andy Budd wrote a great book which helps explain practical uses of CSS
and browser CSS bugs. Sorry, I can't remember the title. It's something
like 'Advanced CSS Mastery'. I wish I'd read it earlier.

Keep things simple and you'll find it easier; and try not to be too
exact with layout. It's okay for things to look slightly different in
different browsers. HTML is about meaning, whereas CSS is about
presentation. Re-visit the meaning of HTML tags and try to use them as
they were originally intended.

I found CSS easy to misunderstand. If you get a good grounding in the
exact meanings of the different styles, things will get easier.
 
R

Roy A.

Oh, but that's a good thing. You don't need to positing everything.
Let it float.

CSS limits you creativity because it is not well supported by at least
some significant browser versions. Test your CSS in browsers that show
you how it is supposed to work, and try to avoid hacks to make it
work.

One strong point to use CSS is accessibility for users with
disabilities. Some times it's necessarily:

http://www.nationaltechcenter.org/access.asp

What we don't want is some sort of tag soup. If you're going to use
tables for layout, make sure that user agents can tell the difference
between all your nested tables. And keep away from x-rated HTML.
 
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A

Andy Dingley

Doesn't anybody else think that CSS is way too hard,

You've conflated two different things here:

1. Does CSS work ?

2. Is it hard to learn to make CSS work ?

Obviously CSS _does_ work (anyone who claims not to have noticed by
now is just trolling). However even though it's not hard to learn it's
almost always taught to badly as to make it needlessly hard. The real
problem here is the poor quality of almost every CSS tutorial. That,
and the number of table-advocate trolls.
 
W

wombat

Keith Nuttall said:
It is hard, especially if you've got used to building sites with
tables.

The main problem I found is working out the best ways to use styles
without triggering the many browser bugs, mainly in Internet Explorer.

Andy Budd wrote a great book which helps explain practical uses of CSS
and browser CSS bugs. Sorry, I can't remember the title. It's something
like 'Advanced CSS Mastery'. I wish I'd read it earlier.

Keep things simple and you'll find it easier; and try not to be too
exact with layout. It's okay for things to look slightly different in
different browsers. HTML is about meaning, whereas CSS is about
presentation. Re-visit the meaning of HTML tags and try to use them as
they were originally intended.

I found CSS easy to misunderstand. If you get a good grounding in the
exact meanings of the different styles, things will get easier.

My philosophy is this: Dedicate yourself to one browser you like to use
and work CSS with that. Then after you're satisfied with the end result
with what you're using check it through another browser but don't get
hung up on tiny glitches. Unless you're crazy enough to try and satisfy
all the people all the time, you should be fine. There is no uniform
standard when it comes to the net, especially with browsers. As for CSS
being hard... only when you begin.
 
A

Andy Dingley

There is no uniform standard when it comes to the net, especially with browsers.

Of course there is - the main thing stopping it is an attitude like
this:
My philosophy is this: Dedicate yourself to one browser you like to use
and work CSS with that. Then after you're satisfied with the end result
with what you're using check it through another browser but don't get
hung up on tiny glitches.

Where someone sees a de facto standard (such as IE rendering quirks)
as being more important than the real recommendation.
 
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D

dorayme

"Andy Dingley said:
Obviously CSS _does_ work (anyone who claims not to have noticed by
now is just trolling). However even though it's not hard to learn it's
almost always taught to badly as to make it needlessly hard. The real
problem here is the poor quality of almost every CSS tutorial.

I have been looking to learn about MySQL and wanting not just to
go via some user friendly control panels at ISPs but on my own
machine (Mac) and I can assure you all the css tutes now look to
be of the very highest calibre compared with the css ones.
 

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