|Is there any need for spacer gifs anymore?|
I still see them used by a lot of people
One of the joys of CSS, amongst the frustrations, is the absolute and relative positioning, plus the extra padding and margin capabilities.
But people still use spacer gifs for subtle positioning, even just as padding to a table cell.
Do you think there is any call for them at all these days?
Spacer gifs were always used for positioning elements correctly on a page, which was always usually concerning table-based layouts.
With CSS+DIV layouts, spacer gifs, like table-based layouts, are obselete :)
And whilst many people still use them, many people still code with a mindset from four years ago. There isn't any need if you're using full CSS layouts, with DIVs.
As Setek said, if you're using 100% CSS, then there's no need for spacers.
I would like to make a slight correction, however:
|And whilst many people still use them, many people still code with a mindset from four years ago. |
This is not completely true. I assure you that a good portion of web sites doing this are probably using the mind set of supporting legacy browsers, which are still being used by a lot of those companies' users. Switching to 100% CSS is a nice option, and is recommended, but only if you're willing to dump users. Until browser companies get with the program, specifically Microsoft, I forsee table-based layouts living a long time The overall results of full CSS aren't worth the loss of customers. Remember, it's the people viewing the web site that count, not the creator.
In answer to the original question, no I donít think spacers are needed. I have made the (and am still making) the transition to CSS layouts, and have never had to use spacers - Using CSS is like a breath of fresh air when it comes to separating content from design.
On the tables issues, yes most users are still on MSIE something (in fact 91% are, of which about 82% of these are using MSIE6) It is possible to do away with table based design and still support this huge majority.. most of the issues are MSIE5 issues (a dying browser) and these can be worked around easily.
It is a challenge making this transition, but it is coming, if you like it or not.. I am grateful and take comfort in the fact there are those who have already gone before us and have pulled their hair out so we donít have to (quite so much) and have defined some brilliant ways to layout sites. In addition to this, I am beginning to find it is possible to achieve things is CSS which was NEVER possible with table based design - period.
|Until browser companies get with the program, specifically Microsoft, I forsee table-based layouts living a long time |
It doesn't matter what the browser firms do - if customers don't upgrade their browsers.
I still get hits from Netscape 3 users on my site.
Many people cant upgrade their browsers - might not know how to, might use low power pc's, might not have permissions to change software etc.
We shouldn't fall into the trap of always blaming people for using older browsers when there are legit reasons why they cant change -nor should we dump all the blame at the door of the software vendors for not "forcing" people to upgrade to the latest sexiest browsers.
From a web developer's perspective, making the transition to CSS has its share of frustrations on the front end, learning which elements to use and how to manipulate the layout of a page without tables or spacer gifs. But, once its complete and the site looks the way you want, it saves SO MUCH time. I was resistant until I realized how much time it would save me.
Not quite 100% on theme, but almost....
I've never used spacer gifs, never needed to, perhaps because I write my code by hand, without using FP or DW or other DIY, sorry, wysiwyg tools.
I never use spacer gifs either, but I brought it up because I have to adapt a pre-made site, a template-based shopping subdomain that I am trying to make as easily manipulable as the rest of our site.
Unfortunately it is filled with really bad clunky HTML, and many features aren't adjustable by CSS because it's been included into their proprietary scripting. I can't attribute a class to some images, for example, because they are embedded in indecipherable code.
Anyhoo, this site is full to the brim with spacer gifs instead of using CSS and table padding/margins, which means I have to go in and strip them all out from each page. It surprised me so much seeing spacer gifs used so widely and IMHO unnecessarily in what is a relatively recently designed database that I just had to wonder if there was really a good reason for it I was overlooking.
It seems my first thoughts were probably right, though.
Even in the spacer gifs era, I tended to use and I was never sure why more people didn't.
|I assure you that a good portion of web sites doing this are probably using the mind set of supporting legacy browsers, |
If that is true then they're not thinking things through. By continuing to make their website to work in non-standards-compliant browsers they're guaranteeing that they'll have to continue doing so for a rather long time.
It's perfectly possible to write CSS designs which display usably in legacy browsers.