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Thread: Bad day

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    SitePoint Addict DevilBear's Avatar
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    Bad day

    Hi folks,

    So... today is one of those days when I seriously consider transitioning to a new career.

    Every time I start to venture away from table-based layouts, I bang my head against multiple brick walls for a while, then give up and crawl--no, run gratefully--back to my old friends TR and TD.

    Don't get me wrong, I use CSS too; I eschew the <font> tag. But for layout? Please. Chasing down browser inconsistencies doesn't turn me on. That's not fun for me. And I'm the type who can get really frustrated about things not being the way they "should" be. I don't know how Zeldman handles it.

    I hate feeling like I'm designing for a world that doesn't really exist. Over 90% of MY users are on IE5+. In fact, it's closer to 100% than 90%. The vast majority of users are surfing with a contemptibly inferior tool, and there's nothing I can do about it.

    Hardly any of them are looking at anti-aliased text when they view my sites. They can't see dotted borders, they render like dashes, and not even decent dashes. Many of them had trouble with dashed link lines (I had to turn those off.) Etc, etc, etc.

    Today I found out that the PNG file format has been a W3C recommendation since 1996! It's been SEVEN years and Microsoft STILL doesn't support it fully. There's just no excuse for that.

    So, maybe landscaping or bartending would be a better fit. What do you think?

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    SitePoint Wizard Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilBear
    Today I found out that the PNG file format has been a W3C recommendation since 1996! It's been SEVEN years and Microsoft STILL doesn't support it fully. There's just no excuse for that.
    Second that!

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    SitePoint Enthusiast DiDoKa's Avatar
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    oohh don't give up, trust me, you might be thinking that way now, but ones you understood it, you will be baning your head against multible brick walls again and think, "why the hell didn't i get that stupid idea earlier".

    I don't really know what to tell you, but there is one thing that sure worked for me (actually within a couple of weeks), keep it simple, make it easy on yourself and a few sacrifices don't hurt, considering that the whole css layout deal really does have more advantages then disadvantages. Your users might not be there now, and they will never come, if you don't help those user to see and hear your website. (just think of it as opening a new market for you and your clients)

    Maybe start small, nobody ever said, that a table is a bad thing, just don't use deeply nested tables.

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    SitePoint Wizard jag5311's Avatar
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    keep in mind that you don't have to completely give up on your table layouts, there is nothing wrong with them, especially if you make the layouts clean and not as table intensive, keep them light. Vgarcia wrote a wonderful article in his blog on this, http://blog.vinniegarcia.com/oldstuff/000003.html

    Believe me, I am almost in the same boat as you. I understand css layouts, but I am far from good at them. Heck, 2 of my layouts I have to keep similar because I am afraid to go into the 3 column approach.

    oh and btw
    I hate feeling like I'm designing for a world that doesn't really exist
    Welcome to the Matrix. Neo, take the blue pill and you will go back to your fantasy world where Css layouts are a myth and td and tr's will be your friends for life, but take the red pill and a whole new world will shine upon you, one where design elements are endless and pages will download faster, all types of electronic devices will be accessible, and best yet, your stylesheet will be cached and downloaded 1 time. 1 time Neo, do you understand, so take the red pill.

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    SitePoint Member 3guysandme's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else. Don't give up!

    Didoka knows how far I've come with it all in just a few months -- and I gave up several times the 6 months before that!!!

    I kept going back because I wasn't going to let it defeat me. Well that and the fact that the design everyone wanted for our design company was a real BEAR *cough* to make ANY updates on and I was only done with 2 of the 3 sites. . . since I was the sole designer on the company sites, it was up to me to make it easy on me. I still haven't converted the 2 over to CSS/XHTML yet, but I am working on designing the 3rd site that way and then work on the others.

    Once it finally clicked, I haven't looked back really. I have still used the occassional table, but only to layout out a form (haven't braved that yet) and to layout pricing tables. The rest. . . is done the easy to make changes and updates way!!!

    Start with a project for fun, that's what I did. I have found that the more I do, the better and easier it gets.

    Stacey

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    ********* Wizard silver trophy Cam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilBear
    Today I found out that the PNG file format has been a W3C recommendation since 1996! It's been SEVEN years and Microsoft STILL doesn't support it fully. There's just no excuse for that.
    Just a note on this specific topic, I'm no CSS guru so I'm not exactly sure what it is but I think you can use inheritance in your stylesheet and since IE doesn't support that, you can make it display PNG files for Opera and Moz and GIF/JPG for your IE users.

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    SitePoint Enthusiast DiDoKa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3guysandme
    I agree with everyone else. Don't give up!

    Didoka knows how far I've come with it all in just a few months -- and I gave up several times the 6 months before that!!!
    I can confirm that, i came across a lot of people, who were just about to give up, they all made it tho (or are still trying). It's really not that big of a deal, you you struggle with it you might just have to start a bit smaller and climb up the latter slower..nobody said you have to learn it by the end of next week. Take your time, explore it (it's fun) and you will get there too, without being frustrated.

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    SitePoint Zealot martin's Avatar
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    Do you remember starting with web coding and trying to figure out how to layout a table correctly? I think we quickly forget how hard the first couple of attempts are and think, is it worth it - but really with persistance your code will be cleaner, easier to read and far easier to update. Keep at it and good luck!
    Martin

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    Without sounding too cheesy, as much as we get pissed off with CSS, there are always people here at Sitepoint that are willing to help us learn.

    I would have put my head through the wall, had it not been for this place !!

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard jag5311's Avatar
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    second that motion E_billy. If it wasn't for Sitepoint, I wouldn't have learned 95% of what I do now.

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    SitePoint Addict DevilBear's Avatar
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    Hi folks

    Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    However, I've decided to stick with nested tables for this latest site. Maybe next time!

    since IE doesn't support that, you can make it display PNG files for Opera and Moz and GIF/JPG for your IE users.

    Hmm... I hadn't thought about using that hack. Thanks, I'll look into it. I'm busy finding some ways around a more pressing problem at the moment.

    And y'all are right, I need to bring my specific problems to Sitepoint more often... then I won't have to troubleshoot them alone.

    I think we quickly forget how hard the first couple of attempts are and think, is it worth it - but really with persistance your code will be cleaner, easier to read and far easier to update.

    Actually... for me... it was the change in browser landscape. Once we could comfortably stop supporting Netscape 4, things got so much easier. The differences in table rendering between IE and NS at that time were next to impossible for me to deal with. I'm know my skill has increased, but I know that browser support is also better. And I probably wouldn't be doing this now if I was still having to develop like that.

    The question is, will a similar change happen again soon? And it's really up to Microsoft to answer that question. And I think we've seen that they have no intention of doing things properly. I hope I'm wrong, but time (ye godz, a lot of time for that slow behemoth) will tell.


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