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  1. #1
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    To CSS or not to CSS?

    Can someone please give me the bottom line on this? I'm in the process of tweaking my site (plain old html at present) and would like to know whether it's worth my time changing to CSS now.

    Firstly, is CSS supported on ALL modern browsers?

    Secondly there have been discussions on this board before about whether to use tables or CSS for layout. What is the concensus of opinion? Are tables likely to be dropped in the near future? If not why use CSS when tables are much quicker and easier?

  2. #2
    jigga jigga what? slider's Avatar
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    OK, two different topics/questions.

    CSS in general is a Very Good Thing. I would think that as you're reworking your site you would realize the value of CSS formatting immediately. Every <font> tag will go away with CSS. It will take a little bit of getting used to but once you get it in your head you'll fly with it, and updating your site (next time) will take you half the time. I'm pretty sure there are no real issues with browsers supporting all the basic CSS stuff. Check http://www.w3schools.com/css/default.asp. Every CSS property has its browser compatibility listed. There are very few properties that only work in one browser. And a proportion that only work on the latest generation. Browse those pages and you'll find the answer to your own satisfaction.

    CSS Positioning/table-less layout is a different topic altogether. I'm working on a project and decided up-front to go table-less, and it's been quite a chore. But I think in the long run it'll pay off. I can do table layouts just fine. Browser compatibility here is a bit more tricky, but as others have clued me into on these forums here, if you stick to standards and basics you shouldn't have much trouble getting things to work in the different browsers.

    HTH.
    $slider = 'n00b';

  3. #3
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Re: To CSS or not to CSS?

    Originally posted by PSpell
    Can someone please give me the bottom line on this? I'm in the process of tweaking my site (plain old html at present) and would like to know whether it's worth my time changing to CSS now.

    Firstly, is CSS supported on ALL modern browsers?

    Secondly there have been discussions on this board before about whether to use tables or CSS for layout. What is the concensus of opinion? Are tables likely to be dropped in the near future? If not why use CSS when tables are much quicker and easier?
    CSS layouts are much cleaner and easier to read as far as code is concerned. If done right it may not make much difference as far as page rendering is concerned (it may well still look like a table-based layout), but it will load much quicker with the HTML parser not having to look thru all those ugly <td> tags and nested tables. Yes table layouts are already dropped from the XHTML strict specification, but if you stick to XHTML transitional table-based layouts are okay.

    Another good thing about CSS is that you can use it for different media. You can have a separate stylesheet for screens (browsers, webTV, etc.), one for print, one for handhelds, and one for the visually impaired.

    As for the development speed, CSS layouts are somewhat trickier at first because of the learning curve associated with it (not to mention working around the IE5 box model mess-up!), but once you have worked with it on a number of different layouts it becomes blissfully easy to completely redesign your site in a matter of hours, not weeks. Stick with CSS, practice it, because in the future it will be the only way to lay out your pages.

    --Vinnie

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict suzkaw's Avatar
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    I would go ahead and learn the CSS because as said before it will save a lot of time. Especially if you want to change anything later on.
    Thanks Eric.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard DougBTX's Avatar
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    CSS = good
    CSS = powerful
    CSS = supported enough
    CSS = XHTML style
    CSS = easy

    Some people may disagree with the last one, but trust me: it really is easy. 9 out of ten, that I have seen, people start getting confused when they make easy thing more complicated than they ahould be. If something feels hard, you're probably doing something wrong. (Just something to remember, but like everything, there are exceptions)

    Douglas
    Hello World

  6. #6
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    OK, I'm convinced!

    Thanks for your input everyone.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast webinista's Avatar
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    Re: To CSS or not to CSS?

    Originally posted by PSpell
    Can someone please give me the bottom line on this? I'm in the process of tweaking my site (plain old html at present) and would like to know whether it's worth my time changing to CSS now.

    Firstly, is CSS supported on ALL modern browsers?

    Secondly there have been discussions on this board before about whether to use tables or CSS for layout. What is the concensus of opinion? Are tables likely to be dropped in the near future? If not why use CSS when tables are much quicker and easier?
    ok...they convinced you, but since i'm goofing-off at work, i'll add my $.02 as well...

    1. yes. it's worth your time to switch to CSS, including a table-less CSS layout.

    - it's more accessible for a wider range of devices.
    - your HTML pages will be lighter and load faster
    - you can do really cool stuff with it.

    2. define "modern" . CSS is fairly well supported by version 5.0+ browsers. however, you can design a site using CSS for layout that is still usable/functional on 4.0 or lower browsers. check out Wired.com's new look in NS 4.7 for an example.

    3. table layouts will only be dropped when NS 4 is eradicated, microsoft fixes it's box model issues, and developers learn how to use CSS -- in other words not anytime soon.

    IMO, CSS is easier from a maintenance standpoint, which makes it 100% worth whatever up-front learning curve and development time there is. you can make changes to a single file and change the look and layout of your entire site. tres cool.
    Last edited by webinista; Nov 11, 2002 at 14:04.



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