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Tables vs. Tableless

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by Slapyo, Mar 14, 2006.

?

What do you use?

  1. Tables

    44.4%
  2. Tableless

    63.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. #1
    I've always used tables to help position content on my sites. Lately though I have been trying to use CSS only. It's tougher to do because of the differences in browsers. Are there any real advantages to doing it like this, or is using tables just as good?
    SEMrush
     
    Slapyo, Mar 14, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #2
    ahh not this shit again.

    use what you know, and what looks best - that's it :)
     
    Dekker, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  3. Slapyo

    Slapyo Well-Known Member

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    #3
    LOL I know. I'm just curious what the users at Digital Point think.

    Honestly, I think it comes down to exactly what you said. Use what you know and what looks best. Just a matter of preference.
     
    Slapyo, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  4. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #4
    I would rephrase this to say use what you know and what works best. In a world of PDAs, cell phones, and people with disabilities, not everyone will see what you see. Considering which method works best also forces one to consider maintainability for the future.
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  5. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #5
    Let's see.

    Any non-trivial table based page cannot be semantic nor well structured, though it may be well formed (valid). Since it cannot be well structured, it is not portable across UAs. Being non-semantic, presentation depends on UA guesswork—even with well formed html, or requires the use of deprecated elements and attributes. All of the graphical browsers in common use today will render a table based page rather well.

    A non-trivial table layout cannot be made fully accessible to the handicapped.

    A CSS based layout requires well structured, semantic, well formed html. That automagically makes it cross UA compatible. CSS2, aka css-p, is well supported by all modern browsers in common use. There is one obsolete, non standards compliant, bug-ridden, misbegot PoS with an undeservedly large market share that must be catered to. Fortunately, IE's bugs and shortcomings are generally well known, as are the work-arounds, patches and hacks used to overcome them.

    Alternative stylesheets may be constructed to accommodate different media, without the need to alter the content and its markup.

    CSS based pages are implicitly barrier free, requiring only common steps to arrive at a high degree of accessibility for the handicapped.

    CSS based layout has had broad support for five years. Any web developer who still embraces table based layouts instead of css can only be considered an amateur. Tables were introduced with html3.2 in 1997, css2 came in 1998, IE5 in 1999 with decent support, and IE6 in 2001.

    By way of analogy, mass production of automobiles in the U.S. began in 1913. Would you consider a mechanic who only understood 1960s auto technology a professional? I think not.

    So do whichever you think best.

    cheers,

    gary
     
    kk5st, Mar 14, 2006 IP
    Rod likes this.
  6. mdvaldosta

    mdvaldosta Peon

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    #6
    I use tables for layout and CSS for the formatting
     
    mdvaldosta, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  7. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #7


    Pure gobbledygook to this amateur. Seriously, you lost me on that first sentence. My sites are coded so lame, I am completely self taught and the gaping holes in my knowledge are a scarry thing. I know I use tables a lot, and I also have a bunch of css coded that I barely understand. Oh well, I will continue to let sucess be my guide.

    Oh yea, and what is that about the handicapped. Are they are serious design concern for you, or am I missing something?
     
    browntwn, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  8. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #8
    There is a difference between site ownership or management and site development. You can be a pretty good owner of a successful site without knowing a whole lot about development, and vice versa. The question here dealt with page development. From the owner POV, tables are more costly in bandwidth and especially in maintenance.

    Now this, as an owner, should seriously concern you. From a business standpoint, having barriers against the handicapped using your site is like arbitrarily not allowing left handed people to buy from you. The percentages are about the same. How would that affect sales?

    From a legal standpoint, watch out. The handicapped, to paraphrase a movie line, are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore. In the U.S., the ADA prohibits discrimination. Some courts, in small cases, have held it applicable to commercial web sites. Unfortunately, all the cases have settled with non-disclosure agreements in place. But, check out the Target Stores suit. Laws in Canada, Europe, The U.K., Australia and New Zealand are more specific and strict than here. The law aside, ethically, it's just the right thing to do.

    So, yeah, the handicapped are a serious design concern for me

    cheers,

    gary
     
    kk5st, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  9. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #9
    I do the site design, it just isn't much to talk about.

    With respect to the handicapped, I would of course try to accomodate wherever possible. I design with simple goals, WorthyContent, Easy (for me and surfer), no trickery. So, to be honest, I don't see that I'd change much. Not really sure how you accomodate for potential visitors of every handicap on a website. It is hard enough to know what your site is going to look like to any given visitor's computer anyway. . .

    It would be like some kind of bizzare Vonnegut like Internet if everyone had to design a site for visitors of every potential handicap. And since you never know who is going to visit your site, you would need to design it for all potential visitors. If one took into consideration that each of those people, with their particular handicap could be on various platforms and various os and various browsers with varius settings. I think the Internet would be something from a Vonnegut novel.
     
    browntwn, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  10. mdvaldosta

    mdvaldosta Peon

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    #10
    ROFL, I think their are alot more left handed people than blind internet users. I mean come on, designing a website with tables is NOT descrimination against the blind - no matter how much you 'holier than thou' CSS guys push your agenda.

    As for the Target lawsuit, it's a California lawsuit... more stupid lawsuits get served outta that state than all the other states put together. So, I wouldn't be using that crutch just yet.

    PS - I'm not knocking CSS. As I said I use it for text formatting (easier to maintain and it saves weight). But, until I can design a website that looks good and is stable in all browsers (other than those ugly and everwhere same old 2 and 3 col layouts... and hell even those almost always look messed up in IE too) it just ain't gonna happen.
     
    mdvaldosta, Mar 14, 2006 IP
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  11. DomainMaster

    DomainMaster Banned

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    #11
    I use both.
     
    DomainMaster, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  12. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #12
    The blind are not the only handicapped. 8%+ of all men are color-blind to one degree or another. That's a handicap. As people age, they lose the ability to discern blue and violet. That's a handicap. There are people with reduced, but not absent, vision. That's a handicap. There are people with ADD. That's a handicap. There are people with certain stroke related disabilities. That's a handicap. There are people subject to epileptic-like seizures. That's a handicap. There are people with any number of reduced motility issues. That's a handicap.

    Hell, color-blindness alone just about covers left-handedness.

    There's no 'holier than thou' agenda. It's just about being professional. You do what you think is right for you.

    Yeah, and the precedents set there tend to propagate to the rest of the states pretty quickly.

    As long as you're not willing to keep up in your craft, you'll not likely be able to code anything complex. Again, your choice; amateur or professional.

    gary
     
    kk5st, Mar 14, 2006 IP
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  13. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #13
    It's not so much that you have to do something for each type of handicap, it's more that you shouldn't erect barriers. Joe Clark's book will give you an idea of the issues.

    cheers,

    gary
     
    kk5st, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  14. corinaw

    corinaw Not Banned

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    #14
    corinaw, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  15. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #15
    That is exactly why us "'holier than thou' CSS guys" are pushing for everyone to LEARN.
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  16. Mystique

    Mystique Well-Known Member

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    #16
    Totally agree!... although it is true that is what WORKS best, with looking as addon.

    I have spent long months learning all about CSS, implementing tableless templates that look great in IE and Opera and sucks in Mozilla browser... fixing them and them matching the Monsters but not rendering properly with the traditionals.

    After doing a research I found that most of the strong names on the Internet have tables and CSS mixed as mentioned by mdvaldosta.

    Although some others "upgrade" to tableless, such as sourceforge, and now are almost useless causing all type of problems when you navigate through it.

    The final decision: as mdvaldosta (once again) I'm using a single table as layout container and the rest is CCS formatting with ocassional tables present in blocks, sucha as Google Search...

    Have you realized it is formated with tables?
     
    Mystique, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  17. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #17
    some of the stuff just doesn't work

    like vertically centering text within a div, you can get it look to nice in a few browser but not all. a table does it very very easily though.
     
    Dekker, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  18. Mystique

    Mystique Well-Known Member

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    #18
    There are 2 methods for vertical center in CSS, one works for IE/Opera but not Netscape/Firefox and vice versa, and there is no way to mix it to make them render correctly.

    To do such alignment you need to use div, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah
    while our sincere tables only requires vAlign=middle or vAlign=center

    That is why I decided for a basic 3 colums layout made with tables, and because I need to stretch it at my convenience to display only 2 in some areas. That is not soported by CSS either... except leaving a blank space in place, which is not the purpose.

    Also as Corinaw said, less code the better and CSS exceeds in code <CENTER> in div is <div style="text-align:center;">... see? at the end you finish with more blah, blah, but with table you need to be careful not using too much, particularly nested because that slow your page loading time.




    As I said, tables are sincere... CSS is evil, although useful as aid ;)
     
    Mystique, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  19. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #19
    i only used CSS for that, as well as the navigation bar. it's a pain to space things out the same with a table can.

    i got it to work in IE, but not in firefox, so i just said boff it. just made a table with td width="10%" for all ten. much simpler.
     
    Dekker, Mar 14, 2006 IP
  20. relixx

    relixx Active Member

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    #20
    well, besides that apparently CSS layouts can help you rank better (I have no proof of this but a lot of SEO ppl believe this) it does cut back on the amount of code on your pages and thus will help save on bandwidth costs. Also, making changes to the layouts is far less labour-intensive as most of the info is stored in a single CSS file :)

    On the down side it can be annoying trying to figure out hacks for the browser bugs and making things cross-browser compatible, but in the end, if done properly, you should be very happy with the results :)
     
    relixx, Mar 14, 2006 IP