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May 6, 2007, 19:52 #1
General question about tableless design
Two questions, actually, but they're both related, and very simple:
1. Is it possible to create a tableless site design under a 4.01 transitional (loose) doctype? (I know, strict is far better, but the site has well over 100 separate pages, all coded under loose mode long ago before I knew what CSS was, and I don't have either the time or the knowhow to properly transform it into strict mode.) I've done some fairly intensive Googling, and everything I've found that I could figure out with my limited skillset was demonstrated in strict mode.
2. If it is possible, is it worth the time and effort to spend reworking the code?
It's a basic 2-col, header and footer, design, nothing fancy, but if you care to look, here it is.
May 6, 2007, 20:22 #2
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Yes, you can use a transitional doctype as long as it includes the URL to the DTD. There are only a few differences between "Standards" and "Almost Standards" modes. You just need to make sure that no browser that supports doctype switching is in quirks mode. However, when creating new pages its best to use Strict.
If you're going to the trouble to recode existing pages to be more semantically correct than why not change the doctype too?
I would consider it worthwhile to recode pages to follow best practices. In most cases that results in smaller file sizes.
If I were you, I would split that home page up into several smaller pages. As it is, it's rather overwhelming.
May 6, 2007, 21:42 #3
Yup, the whole darn
thing is rather overwhelming. Jakob Nielsen would probably have an aneurysm if he logged on to this site. And I agree that if I'm going to heavily recode the page, I should do it all in strict mode and get with the times. I've got something like 108 pages on the site, but they're almost all done on two main templates -- one in a 2-col format with header and footer, and one in a single display, no cols, just headers and footers and a huge mess of content in each one.
Interesting that it can be done in loose mode. I'll have to do some more hunting for a site to give me some direction. I also have Dan Shafer's Sitepoint book on CSS design, maybe I should break that out.
It's more than I would ask anyone to do, but if you or another Sitepoint guru has any redesign tips for these big honking pages, I'd love to hear them. I've seen one site whose pages have similar huge amounts of content, but instead of shoving it all into big fat pages, the info is contained within some kind of JS popups, with the page itself only containing mouseover-sensitive "headlines." Lots to think about.