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Thread: Tables vs CSS

  1. #26
    Free your mind Toly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerBob
    but accessibility involves making your site readable and usable by people who have to use all sorts of non-browser devices in order to browse the Web.
    What kind of non-browser devices?
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    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toly
    What kind of non-browser devices?
    I think he meant "non-PC" devices like PDAs, cellphones, etc. The Web is not just about IE and Netscape and it never really was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greg.harvey
    No. But it needs to be easy for pseudo-intelligent screen reading software to read your code and find the relevant bits to read out.
    Can you link me to a website that contains full information?

    Thank you.

  4. #29
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4SeeN
    Can you link me to a website that contains full information?

    Thank you.
    About accessibility? http://accessify.com/ does a good job .

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    Thank you.

  6. #31
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toly
    What kind of non-browser devices?
    MAB... Mozilla Amazon Browser. If you have FireBird, download this extension and open it off the Tools menu after restarting. Makes Amazon a thousand times easier to use. While technically still a browser, the interface of this extension is not what you would expect in a browser.

    You could build mini-apps like this for your site if needed if you were accessible. You could also show it on newer cellphones, PDAs and the like. Ironically, older mobile devices and WebTV don't support the standards that everyone is building sites to these days. Oh such is life make your site accessible and cut off an entirely different audience.
    Last edited by Hierophant; Oct 22, 2003 at 18:23.
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  7. #32
    SitePoint Member u4ea's Avatar
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    I have been thinking about CSS... But I still need to learn a bit more before I convert my sites. I have only played with a small amount of CSS so far.
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  8. #33
    Google Engineer polvero's Avatar
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    I used a table for the entire page layout...
    but within the itty bitties...i used div's
    http://www.saclass.com
    i don't see any problems with usin' simple tables.
    i've made sure it worx with moz, NS, IE 5+, and opera...
    anything else i don't really care about...
    but it depends also weather you're yahoo.com or some guy on the corner block.
    a site like yahoo or google or msn....you gotta make sure you're using accessible content...
    otherwise, i got 97% of my users using one of those agents i just listed (IE 5+, opera, NS, moz)

  9. #34
    SitePoint Enthusiast bonkedproducer's Avatar
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    Come on lets be honest - I've given up tables and I've seen the great results (doing that alone gets me #1 rankings in google on my important key words - before I was like 6 pages deep) but if you are still hanging onto tables for layout and design because it's difficult or hard to grasp, how likely as a designer are you going to be able to meet the complex needs of accessability?

    CSS is by far the way to go, get off the life boat of tables - once you get into using them you'll wonder how you ever put up with some of the stuff we've done with em... I feel so dirty sob
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    Google Engineer polvero's Avatar
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    so bots can read thru div's and not tables..?
    ya see...that just doesn't make sense to me.
    to me that's not really separating design from content. when i think of separating design from content, i think of having my stuff over here | and my CSS over here...so what's the big dif?

  11. #36
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonkedproducer
    Come on lets be honest - I've given up tables and I've seen the great results (doing that alone gets me #1 rankings in google on my important key words - before I was like 6 pages deep)
    your Google ranking has nothing to do with CSS over tables - nothing.

    the reasons for using CSS are starting to remind me of all the people in college telling me how hemp could save the world. It could be used to replace paper, fuel cars, feed the hungery, cloths....

    Look CSS is a good thing, no doubt, but the fact is, its a real pain in the ars. I just got done building this all CSS and XHTML design. I am pleased with the way it turned out and CSS certainly was the slimfast way of doing things. The site is better for using CSS over tables for many of the above reasons.

    With that said, I'm telling you that CSS-P layout was a REAL pain. That is trying to please all browsers. It took me a week to do what I could have done in an hour with tables. Im sure that will change in the future, but just so you dont get stary-eyed about CSS. Its a pain.

  12. #37
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgotha
    I just got done building this all CSS and XHTML design. I am pleased with the way it turned out and CSS certainly was the slimfast way of doing things. The site is better for using CSS over tables for many of the above reasons.
    You should use it more often then...

  13. #38
    SitePoint Enthusiast bonkedproducer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgotha
    your Google ranking has nothing to do with CSS over tables - nothing.
    Gee that's so odd - just making that simple change to my site (no change in content, no resubmission, nothing) increased my google ranking dramatically (giving me the number one ranking for my most important keyword phrase), of course I also insured that my page was XHTML 1.0 compliant as well. But you obviously don't know much about SEO or CSS if you think that placing the main content of the page first on each page doesn't affect your page ranking. You see, now that I've done this to my site, each time it is spidered, the most wieght is given to my content, not tons of tables to facilitate layout - meaning the core of my page is given the proper weight it deserves. But hey, learning new things is hard - so why do that.

    Yes, my first CSS only layout was a bit of a pain, but since then my designs have increased in speed because of the time saved during development, and I also took a lot of time to make sure that my site was compliant not quirky, and that I maintained the exact same look as I had with my tabled layout. I find it somewhat sad that more people aren't willing to learn new things these days. Maybe if more clients demanded it, more designers would be making sites that work for everyone and comply with standards.
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  14. #39
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    again CSS over tables had nothing to do with your SERP - Moving pertinent content to the top helps - minimally, but that could be done with tables too.

    Your higher listing is likely do to a change in the algorithm - happens all the time. Could be that others lost inbound links as yours increased. The fact is there are many reasons that could have caused this - reasons that are much more probable than your CSS conclusion.

  15. #40
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgotha
    again CSS over tables had nothing to do with your SERP - Moving pertinent content to the top helps - minimally, but that could be done with tables too.
    Can you demonstrate how you can have your content appear first in the code in a three-column layout using tables with navigation on the left?

    How about moving elements around based on new style without rewriting the table structure?

    Both of these are possible in a layout that relies on CSS based positioning.

    Are tables better than CSS Positioning? No... Is CSS better than Table-based positioning? Depends on what your needs are.

    p.s. If you use tables for layout in XHTML Strict, it should still validate just not an accessible practice to get into.
    Wayne Luke
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  16. #41
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Luke
    Can you demonstrate how you can have your content appear first in the code in a three-column layout using tables with navigation on the left?
    Because I like a challenge
    HTML Code:
    <table width="750">
    <tr>
      <td style="height: 1px;"></td>
      <td rowspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px;">Content will go here above navigation and everything else.</td>
      <td style="height: 1px;"></td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Navigation on left</td>
      <td>Navigation on Right</td>
    </tr>
    </table>
    This is called the "table hack" and was used in accessibility circles long before CSS positioning was a viable option to designers. As you can see, the content is before the navigation in code, but there's no real visual difference on screen.

  17. #42
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Because I like a challenge
    What about the second question? How can the flow be changed if we need the navigation on the right without touching the table structure?
    Wayne Luke
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  18. #43
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Luke
    What about the second question? How can the flow be changed if we need the navigation on the right without touching the table structure?
    It can't and I never said it could. I agree that tabled sites aren't very flexible from a development and maintenance standpoint, but a lot of the accessibility and SEO arguments against tables don't hold much water to be honest. That was the point I was getting at really.

  19. #44
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    I agree that tabled sites aren't very flexible from a development and maintenance standpoint, but a lot of the accessibility and SEO arguments against tables don't hold much water to be honest. That was the point I was getting at really.
    I would only second that - and you don't have to convince me of the strengths of CSS, I am well aware of what they are and what they are not. What they are not is some kind of SEO booster.

    Do you think the spider goes oh look cool a <div> that's much tastier than a <td> ?

    Sure often times it means leaner code, always a good thing, but not typically a factor in SERP.

    There are plenty of legitimate reasons to use CSS-P over tables - we don't need to come up with false ones.

  20. #45
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    I don't think they do either... The point of CSS isn't Search Engine Optimization though. It was never that. In fact, I don't think the W3C even cares what rank your site is within a search engine listing, otherwise they would regulate the industry.

    The main objectives of CSS are threefold...

    1) Portability. This includes cross-platform support. Interoperability in browsers is just a by product. CSS is designed to make the web available on many different devices including PCs, Phones, Print devices, Aural devices and more. Some of these devices cannot even render tables.

    2) Ease of Maintenance. This goes with portability. When a change needs to be made, it should be transparent to the content engine and suit the device. Stylesheets deliver this. CSS is just one implementation.

    3) Accessibility. By using CSS for positioning and formatting elements your pages will be more accessible across more devices.

    Any other benefits that someone might get out of the effort is simply a bonus.

    Search Engine Optimization never enters into and equation of CSS vs. Tables for layout. Nor does CSS replace the proper use of Tables. My questions were not in relation to SERP or SEO however... They were more towards the flexibility that CSS provides. Any search engine benefits you wrangle out of that is just a nice benefit.
    Wayne Luke
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  21. #46
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    so we agree - cool

  22. #47
    Free your mind Toly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonkedproducer
    Maybe if more clients demanded it, more designers would be making sites that work for everyone and comply with standards.
    What happens if clients start to demand designing pages in Front Page? Trying to force something just because it seems right is not the answer. Tables are still the standard and they won't go away.
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  23. #48
    SitePoint Enthusiast tapdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerBob
    ...figure out how to move something from one place to another without messing up the entire page.
    I've been there. Bob was speaking of massive table use and nesting tables. I can really understand what he says about a page being 8k instead of 80k and maintaining 2xx pages by hand would be a nightmare. If my day-job was web page crafting, I would certainly devout more time to CSS deployment. However, I am only an amature-hobbyist when it comes to computers not to mention www as part of that hobby.
    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerBob
    Now, all of my pages' layout is handled by CSS, which means that, from now on, I can completely change the layout, colors, fonts, sizes, borders, etc. of every page almost instantly, just by editing a few lines in my main stylesheet.
    I have a site with a maybe three-dozen pages and a few open source CMSes. I use CSS to control colors, fonts, sizes, borders, etc. but not for layout. I've never really done anything by the W3C and I haven't ever had a reason to, yet. I always forget the doctype? I guess my take on the whole CSS vs tables is: it's up to you and you're needs. For me, with virtually no audience and just my enjoyment, I'm happy with tables for layout and CSS for style. I use only span and class to avoid font,b,i,u,blink,bgcolor... tags. I tend to avoid div tags. A tabular presentation is fine for my needs. Here's my most extensive CSS file http://www.tapdig.com/tapdig.css. (It probably validates, but I've never tried it)

    If I'm spitting out tabluated data from a perl script or if I'm making a mind-numbingly simple web page, I forget the CSS altogether. But if I were to deploy a 2xx page site, you bet I'd dive deeper into standards and utilizing CSS to it's potential. Again, "it's up to me and my needs (and my audience)." So far the Peach Pit Press book "DHTML and CSS" answers all my reference needs.
    Last edited by tapdig; Nov 2, 2003 at 15:15.

  24. #49
    because you gotta have beer! firegryphon3207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toly
    What happens if clients start to demand designing pages in Front Page? Trying to force something just because it seems right is not the answer. Tables are still the standard and they won't go away.
    most common perhaps, but not the standard. And if clients start demainding pages done in frontpage, then I'm out of business because I won't do it.
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  25. #50
    Free your mind Toly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firegryphon3207
    And if clients start demainding pages done in frontpage, then I'm out of business because I won't do it.
    You'll have to adapt.
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