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  1. #26
    SitePoint Addict hurricane.uk's Avatar
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    Whilst IE may support tabular layouts, and many other browsers too, search engines don't - the layout structure is all wrong for a spider to logically read and prioritise your content in a way that benefits the site the most. More importantly, accessibility devices such as screen readers don't support tabular layouts - for the same reason, in effect a sight impaired person landing on your tabled site will have a mass of links (for left aligned nav) along with a mass of table headings read out to them long before they get to the page content - it impairs the usability of the site for those individuals. And as such it's just plain wrong.

  2. #27
    Free your mind Toly's Avatar
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    It's funny though. There was a time tables were the only thing used to design pages. Now that there's an alternative, everyone says that tables are plain wrong in all senses and useless. Just like in real life.
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  3. #28
    SitePoint Addict hurricane.uk's Avatar
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    There was a time when the steam liner was the only thing used to cross the Atlantic - doesn't happen that way now, because there's something better able to do the job available. Tables were never intended for layout, they were just seconded to the task by designers in the absence of more appropriate tools - that's as much the fault of the browser manufacturers as it it anyone else as the standards for using CSS-P have been around for a number of years.

  4. #29
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toly
    It's funny though. There was a time tables were the only thing used to design pages. Now that there's an alternative, everyone says that tables are plain wrong in all senses and useless. Just like in real life.
    Nobody's saying that tables are "wrong". They still have valid uses in presenting tabular data. There's a reason that HTML has more elements than <table>, <tr>, <td>, <font>, <img> and <br>. Elements are supposed to have some meaning behind them that is not strictly visual in nature, hence the reason for tags like <em>, <address>, <fieldset>, <abbr>, etc. My point of view is that the elements are there for a good reason, and they should be used as intended.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_C
    Tables aren't going anywhere. They're still part of the current specs and they haven't even been deprecated. Really, why would they be? They're still good for presenting tabular data.
    this is very much to the point. tables will probably not "go away". however, they were never intended for _layout_

    i guess i'm thinking of way back and marking up information semantically with H1, H2, P even HR and so on! CSS layout preserves this type of structure and is, in my opinion, more to the nature of how to display content through a web browser. table layouts, it seems, is more an attempt to control a design and see it the same way everywhere - like you would on paper or a DVD menu. when used for layout, tables can (but don't always) even restrict the ability of some users to access the content (see the usability forum here at SP) - if someone has visual issues and cranks the font size in their browser, this could break your fixed "to the pixel" design (not all times, i know) whereas CSS layout would gracefully accept that type of user-controlled display factor and the user experience and his access to your content would not be impeaded.

    i've seen posts here of people wondering why their table structure doesn't go "all the way to the bottom" (of their web browser). what does that mean? everyone's "bottom" (of their web browser - heh) is different - full screen, not full screen, screen rez...

    other visual markup tags are being/have been decprecated for semantic structure tags: em and strong instead of bold and italic, etc. and figure tables should be deprecated from being used for layout. we're designing web pages, not CD-ROMs


    end of rant... sorry

    // e
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  6. #31
    blonde.... Sarah's Avatar
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    Although I would like to believe that tables used for layout will soon be a thing of the past - I just cannot.

    My reasons are work based though. I do a lot of work for governments, schools, public sectors companies - who don't necessarily have the money or are not allowed to update their browsers as often as the rest of us. Therefore I have a high percentage of NS4 users which I have to cater for.

    (and boy are those NS4 users vocal if it isn't perfect for them! and believe me telling them to upgrade - well you can't its not their call )

    So in a perfect world this would be true, but it just isn't. Until these types of bodies update I am going to have to continue including tables as my main design layout element. I don't want to but really I do not have much of a choice.

    I do also include css design only - where I can, but I have to say they are the minority for me at present.

    This article I found interesting as it certainly pointed out a few details I wasn't aware of when using tables. Considering we will still be using tables for tabular layout - I certainly think this is relevant.

    Nice article well laid out and I enjoyed reading it.
    Regular user

  7. #32
    Free your mind Toly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah
    My reasons are work based though. I do a lot of work for governments, schools, public sectors companies - who don't necessarily have the money or are not allowed to update their browsers as often as the rest of us. Therefore I have a high percentage of NS4 users which I have to cater for.
    Just wondering, but you don't need money to update browsers, so why would they not be allowed to update them?
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  8. #33
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toly
    Just wondering, but you don't need money to update browsers, so why would they not be allowed to update them?
    Company policy usually.

  9. #34
    Free your mind Toly's Avatar
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    How wierd.
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    "He that is kind is free, though he is a slave;
    he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king." - St. Augustine

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Company policy usually.
    nobody at my company can install _anything_ without filing a "corpoarte systems request". our workstations are set up so that we don't have administrator privelages which are needed when installing apps that modify the system registry (or something like that)

    it's a pain, but considering that most people don't _really_ know how to use certain programs for the most part, it could be dangerous to a corporate network if someone, for example, installs and uses some file sharing program that a hacker could abuse ...


    // e
    clever sig file

  11. #36
    Anonymous
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    Good article, except it is based on the premise that most people are using 4 and 5 level browsers. This seems to be a conclusion on the author's part drawn from the fact that most people are using Windows 98. However, all of the stats the I have looked at indicated that the market is mostly split between IE5 (which includes 5.5) & IE6. 4 level browsers come in under 5%, including Netscape 4.x. For example, see http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2003/May/browser.php. This is also reflected in the Web Trends reports kept by the marketing department of the web company I work for. In this light, there seems to be very little reason to not use CSS for layout, albeit in a way that doesn't prevent older browsers from accessing content.

    JT

  12. #37
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toly
    Just wondering, but you don't need money to update browsers, so why would they not be allowed to update them?
    you need money to upgrade the pcs the browsers are running under. if an old 486 or Pentium was still ok-ish to run something like netscape4 under Windows 95, it would be hard pressed to run IE6, Windows XP, etc...
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
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  13. #38
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by // e
    nobody at my company can install _anything_ without filing a "corpoarte systems request". our workstations are set up so that we don't have administrator privelages which are needed when installing apps that modify the system registry (or something like that)

    it's a pain, but considering that most people don't _really_ know how to use certain programs for the most part, it could be dangerous to a corporate network if someone, for example, installs and uses some file sharing program that a hacker could abuse ...


    // e
    Yes. Luckily, there is now MozillaFirebird, which doesn't install itself into the registry. Unzip and you're ready to browse .

  14. #39
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Yes. Luckily, there is now MozillaFirebird, which doesn't install itself into the registry. Unzip and you're ready to browse .
    yep, that was cool! i use firebird for surfing everyday... it's fast, light and *compliant*

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  15. #40
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    I am astounded that this is on the network. I was going to take the time to pull apart some of the innacuracies and contradictions, but frankly it isn't worth the effort. I would urge aspiring designers to simply ignore most of what is written. Sorry to be harsh, but I gotta call it as I see it...

  16. #41
    Anonymous
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    Thnx, this article made things a lot clearer. Keep on the good work.


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