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  1. #1
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    How to work while developing

    hi i am going to start developing a web application which is quite complex for my level, I am thinking about the right way to go about working on the site in the starting stages. I would like to use css for layout and user interface, but I think it is better to leave that till the final stage. So how would i be displaying the interface while developing the application, using tables maybe? I am worried that if I use tables then I would have alot of work later on to convert evertyhing to css, would like to know how you work, thanks

  2. #2
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    I would strongly recommend against using tables for layout during development.

    Instead, focus on producing semantically appropriate markup in a logical content order. In other words, make the application work properly although the displayed pages may be extremely boring. (Personally I would apply some basic CSS, at last, even in this stage, to give a better idea of how things will look eventually.)

    This leaves you with a good, solid foundation upon which you can then apply your CSS.

    If you start out with layout tables, your content will most likely be in a weird order since it needs to be coerced into a rigid grid of cells. This will make it much harder to apply decent CSS to it, or it will require you to change a lot of the application's output which incurs the risk of introducing errors.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  3. #3
    Django Jedi neron-fx's Avatar
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    I agree with AutisticCuckoo,

    Concentrate on the semantics of the page. Dont use tables for anything except tabular data!

    I work in the same way to you. I leave ALL interface work and design for last. I develop all the backend first and get all the functionality in and working and so I see where you are coming from.

    I generally just output my functionality and data in very raw format and concentrate on the semantics of the page for example

    Code HTML4Strict:
    <h2><?php echo $newsTitle; ?></h2>
    <p><?php echo $newsBody; ?></p>
    <p><a href="addNews.php" title="Add news" hreflang="en-gb" >Add news</a></p>

    etc etc.

    Then when all functionality is in and I have good semantic page flow I start styling. I start by adding classes and ID's to things and wrapping my content in DIVs and then working on the CSS of the page. I always ensure my markup and CSS is validated and accessible every step of the way.

    Hope this helps.
    Neron-Fx
    Everytime a user opens Internet Explorer, a web developer dies...
    http://www.savethedevelopers.org/

  4. #4
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    I think its personal preference really, I like to build all the HTML and CSS and get the site to look and flow right first. I find this helps to formalize the design for the backend and can act as a good intermediate point with the customer / client before the real work starts to make it work.

    I agree 100% though, once you start down the table path... (insert star wars reference here).

  5. #5
    Django Jedi neron-fx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deej View Post
    I think its personal preference really, I like to build all the HTML and CSS and get the site to look and flow right first. I find this helps to formalize the design for the backend and can act as a good intermediate point with the customer / client before the real work starts to make it work.

    I agree 100% though, once you start down the table path... (insert star wars reference here).
    HAHAHA!

    "Once down the table path you start, forever will it dominate your destiny."
    Neron-Fx
    Everytime a user opens Internet Explorer, a web developer dies...
    http://www.savethedevelopers.org/


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