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Tables - What is so bad about them again?
SirTalksalot

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 9:49 am on Jul 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

I've had it driven into me for so long now that 'tables are for displaying data', and not to be used to format your page any more, and the way forward is forever CSS.

I've tried my best to stick with CSS, but I've always found it a massive pain in the ass compared to simply using tables. The text is still readble on a page, the links still work, what's the big deal?

In short, I'm thinking of making life a lot easier by simply reverting to tables for formatting, with a little CSS to tweak it. Is this really such a crime?

 

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 1:41 am on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I read the first and last page of this thread. i assume the intervening 8 pages were the same? :).

What a lot of folks miss is that it makes pretty much no difference to the end user which route you take. The average user has never even heard of tables or css. The average user only knows if it works or not. I caught my brother in law yesterday typing in 'www.somedomainc.com' into google search to go to a site. To these folks, tables vs. css make absolutely no difference.

So pick which one works best for you, for the job.

personally I prefer css because I believe it to be the more technically correct, cleaner approach that's easier to update. But given my knowledge of css, tables get the job done faster.

smallcompany

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 2:25 am on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is this really such a crime?

I don’t think so. I was “table”, then converted to CSS, and still CSS, and love it compared to tables. CSS is my freedom, my Ferrari Testarossa.

Still, if you feel you can get the most out by using tables - who cares, go with tables.

shimmy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 3:56 am on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'll never stop using tables, everytime I have to deal with site totally in CSS it hurts my brain :-p

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 7:35 am on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)


...When using CSS, you are only putting some rendering instructions, most often separated from the content to be rendered (either in a <style> tag, or in a external file). So, essentially, you are putting nothing on your HTML...

The end result is the same - your putting a table in your code to do layout. Your simply trying to change how your putting it in there. If they wanted it to be a grid - they should have put 'display:grid' and 'display:gridcell'. Too late now though ;).


HTML is for structure/semantics; and <table> is for tabular data.
CSS is for presentation/layout; and display:table is for tabular layouts.

Oh - so tables for layout is ok so long as its CSS - seems like a very silly argument to me. YES or NO - using tables for layout is semantically wrong?

Also, display:table and display:table-cell are used. Its in several solutions for how to center content vertically. They of course have to write something for the older browsers and IE browsers - but it works for the compliant browsers. I wouldn't use it - but it is in use.

Ryan

Steerpike

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 9:43 am on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)


How do the people only using tables for layout handle job interviews?

There is simply no way I would *ever* be hired by a reputable company in either UK or Australia (the two countries I work in) if the completed sites I showed on my resume used tables to present anything other than tabular data.

I'm not trying to be rude here, I'm genuinely curious how people handle the interview questions.

ronin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 12:46 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

What a lot of folks miss is that it makes pretty much no difference to the end user which route you take.

No. In Web Design, the end-user is not just the human. That kind of assumption endlessly leads to Web Design being confused with Desktop Publishing (in which the end user is the human).

If Web Design were Desktop Publishing, then of course, the principles of "use whatever works", "use whatever you prefer" all apply.

But the Web is a medium which has numerous non-human end-users.

- browsers
- screenreaders
- spiders
- small-screen browsers

etc.

Even if a sighted human looking at a large format web-browser cannot tell the difference between a page laid out using tables and a visually identical page laid out using CSS-P, all the other non-human user-agents can.

So perhaps the question which needs to be asked is:

"Are you a Desktop Publisher masquerading as a Web Designer? Or are you a Web Designer?"

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 12:51 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

@ronin

As has been said throughout this discussion - tables can be made (usually with no extra effort at all) to degrade just as nicely as divs. The only problem with tables for layout is when they are abused. Of course - messy code that has div after div after div is no better. As long as your code is clean and you know the little things to do to make it degrade - then there is no difference whether it be a browser, other UA, or spider.

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 12:55 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

@Steerpike

I work for myself as I'm finishing up college. I've also worked in groups for some companies for short times. They really don't care here in CA. What's important is that it works for them and their clients.

It should be noted though that I don't always uses tables - I use what fits the job. Usually I do hybrids - which offer the ease of tables with the flexibility of divs.

Spinball

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 1:15 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Creating CSS only websites is easy. I haven't used tables for positioning in years and when I have to go into an old site with nested table after nested table it gets ridiculous. Of course I've always been a hand programmer and those Dreamweaver only people will never get it.

I understand the argument that clients don't care as long as it works, but isn't that pretty thinly veiled to mean "I'm just too lazy to learn". CSS is a better way and effects SEO, page display, future compatibility, and mobility, wouldn't you do it just because you want to be the best you can be? Too many lazy, crappy web designers out there. I get their client's business everyday, so I guess it's a good thing.

tangor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 5:56 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I prefer KISS over CSS. We (designers) can sometimes get too fancy. :)

I long for the days of typewriters and mimeograph machines. (Joking!)

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 6:12 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)


Creating CSS only websites is easy. I haven't used tables for positioning in years and when I have to go into an old site with nested table after nested table it gets ridiculous.

It depends upon what your doing. Can you code for me a single row with, say, 3 or 4 columns that receive dynamic content and that all remain the exact same height (without using overflow or javascript)? And the dynamic content isn't tabular data so you can't use a table ;).


Of course I've always been a hand programmer and those Dreamweaver only people will never get it.

So do I - I hate using editors. I used Frontpage way back when when I was still learning, but I'll never go back. I use notepad to code everything - html, css, c++, java, etc. And I absolutely hate how some editors will completely change your code - even if you don't make changes - when you save. I've had some clients who wanted to use various editors to edit the sites themselves after I designed them - and writing the code so it didn't break was a PAIN. Never used Dreamweaver though - I've seen it but never bothered to learn it.


I understand the argument that clients don't care as long as it works, but isn't that pretty thinly veiled to mean "I'm just too lazy to learn". CSS is a better way and effects SEO, page display, future compatibility, and mobility, wouldn't you do it just because you want to be the best you can be? Too many lazy, crappy web designers out there. I get their client's business everyday, so I guess it's a good thing.

No - its not that people are lazy, it's that their smart. CSS increases production time - simply because of all the time you spend fixing the browser issues. CSS does NOT affect SEO rankings, it may affect the description but I have yet to see evidence of this. This is the usual css line but it has nothing to support itself. Furthermore, tables can be made just as compatible. As for mobility - you can make it work for mobile users to in various ways. Not that I support browsing on cell phones though - talk about un-semantical. As for future support - tables aren't going anywhere for a long time, they have the browser support. New browsers will be made to support them - if they didn't the internet would crash and burn (at least momentarily).

DrDoc

WebmasterWorld Senior Member drdoc us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 6:24 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Let's get some things straight ...

Fact: A table based layout requires one less trip to the server than a CSS based layout (assuming external stylesheet).
Fact: A table based layout is (usually) leaner on initial page load.
Fact: A CSS based layout is leaner on all subsequent page loads.
Fact: Only CSS based designs can be completely redesigned without changing the markup. ([csszengarden.com ])
Fact: Most people misuse CSS.
Fact: Most people misuse tables.

Myth: Table based layouts are better supported than CSS. (Let's stick to the top 99.5% of the browsers in use, shall we?)
Myth: A table based layout is easier to create/maintain. (It all comes down to your personal preference/proficiency. Don't even bother arguing otherwise. CSS vs tables is like coal vs oil paintings -- both produce aesthetic results, but use vastly different techniques and thinking.)

In the end -- does it matter? Not really. Just make sure whatever you decide to use is used right. Down the road, we will all move to something else. You can either make that transition now, or you can make it later. But eventually we will all be in the same place.

Until then -- as long as things work and are "done right", it matters not how they are accomplished. Use, but don't abuse, whichever technique you settle for.

Personally, I agree with both of these statements:
Easy + cross-browser compatibility + tables = true
Easy + cross-browser compatibility + CSS = true

But, I prefer the latter.

And don't get me started on proving that tables are not cross-browser compatible. Tables are only partially cross-browser reliable. But their support is extremely lacking in many important aspects. And, if we go a browser generation or two back, the situation is even worse!

Now, there will be someone who will try to argue that CSS is not as well supported as tables ... but that argument becomes invalid if a rigorous study is done on table support in the same set of browsers.

DrDoc

WebmasterWorld Senior Member drdoc us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 6:32 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

It depends upon what your doing. Can you code for me a single row with, say, 3 or 4 columns that receive dynamic content and that all remain the exact same height (without using overflow or javascript)? And the dynamic content isn't tabular data so you can't use a table.

What's with the whole "without using X or Y"? Fine, create that same thing using tables, but without using the width or valign attributes, and we'll see how pleasing it looks.

Besides, "remain the exact same height" is a very ambigous statement. Do they have to physically be the same height, or simply appear to be? I know what you're going to say, but a user wouldn't care. And guess which one I'd rather cater to?

No - its not that people are lazy, it's that their smart. CSS increases production time - simply because of all the time you spend fixing the browser issues. CSS does NOT affect SEO rankings, it may affect the description but I have yet to see evidence of this. This is the usual css line but it has nothing to support itself. Furthermore, tables can be made just as compatible. As for mobility - you can make it work for mobile users to in various ways. Not that I support browsing on cell phones though - talk about un-semantical. As for future support - tables aren't going anywhere for a long time, they have the browser support. New browsers will be made to support them - if they didn't the internet would crash and burn (at least momentarily).

CSS increases production time for you. It reduces production time for me.

As for SEO rankings ... Markup to content ratio may affect rankings. Other than that, it doesn't matter whether you use CSS or tables. Neither provides any real benefit over the other.

Finally, regarding browser support and tables ... I really wish they would truly begin supporting tables in the first place!

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 6:44 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)


Fact: Only CSS based designs can be completely redesigned without changing the markup. (http://www.csszengarden.com)

CSS based designs can be completely redesigned IF you aren't adding anything that wasn't already there! You have to use the exact same elements already in existence - not one single thing can be added (you can 'subtract' by making it invisible). You could use the content attribute to add stuff - but that breaks the whole deal of keeping style separate from content.


Myth: Table based layouts are better supported than CSS. (Let's stick to the top 99.5% of the browsers in use, shall we?)

Well, we could - except for the fact that the browser most commonly used (*cough IE *cough) doesn't support it. Hence - CSS isn't as supported as tables.


Myth: A table based layout is easier to create/maintain. (It all comes down to your personal preference/proficiency. Don't even bother arguing otherwise. CSS vs tables is like coal vs oil paintings -- both produce aesthetic results, but use vastly different techniques and thinking.)

Myth: A css based layout is easier to create/maintain. (Tables can be made to be just as maintainable).


And don't get me started on proving that tables are not cross-browser compatible. Tables are only partially cross-browser reliable. But their support is extremely lacking in many important aspects. And, if we go a browser generation or two back, the situation is even worse!

It is true that there are various features of tables that are not supported - but none that are required to get a table to display correctly. All you need is tr,td,th,rowspan,and colspan.

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 6:49 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)


What's with the whole "without using X or Y"? Fine, create that same thing using tables, but without using the width or valign attributes, and we'll see how pleasing it looks.

I said without overflow because there are times when you don't want a ton of scroll bars all over your page - and you most certainly don't want to just cut off the content. I said without javascript because javascript shouldn't be used to control the layout - only add features on top of an existing layout. Javascript isn't reliable enough to base your layout on (if I recall about 10% keep it turned off).

Your missing my point anyways - my point is that the CSS Div only approach clearly has its limitations.


CSS increases production time for you. It reduces production time for me.

In general CSS increases production time. Too many browser bugs and limitations. Again - depends upon what your doing.


Finally, regarding browser support and tables ... I really wish they would truly begin supporting tables in the first place!

It would be nice if some of those features in your post were supported - but they did support all you need. tr,td,th,colspan, and rowspan.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 6:52 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Fact: A table based layout requires one less trip to the server than a CSS based layout (assuming external stylesheet).

I don't agree with this at all.... Are you suggesting that someone who uses a table for a layout has no external CSS file as a result?

What about h1,h2,h3 def? body defs? Do people who use tables not use css files?

Even when I used tables for layouts I used a css file to accompany it.

I say no, using a table layout in no way means one less hit to the server.

[edited by: Demaestro at 6:53 pm (utc) on Aug. 26, 2008]

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 7:17 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Something I wanted to add to this whole discussion is future consideration.

#1 What are the schools teaching?
---What skill set do the people coming into this industry learn?

I don't know the answer to this or even if it is standard but ideally we should have things so that new people coming into the industry can take over sites with less of a learning curve.

#2What plans do the standards board have as far as supporting tables for layouts?
---Will Search engines, screen readers and browsers more strictly adhere to the standards as we move from transitional to strict HTML.

I don't know the answer to this but how many sites do you want to "fix" if one day strict is it?

A great example of this is the <b> and the <i> tag, they are not supported anymore at all, but people still use them. How many sites will they have to change when one day they stop supporting it?

To me this isn't about right or wrong. Bad or good. This is about an industry coming together and adhering to certain standards.

How are all browsers going to behave the same if we don't behave the same?

The software/web development industry move forward so fast, new things come out and just as you get used to it the next best thing is out and you are learning all over again. If you don't learn new things and move forward with the times you will find yourself a dinosaur in the industry.

If not for standards then do it just to stay current, fad or not, things are changing from table based layouts to non table based layouts.

Right or wrong the perception is out there that tableless layouts are the future and table layouts are the past.

mattur

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 7:51 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just make sure whatever you decide to use is used right.

Exactly. I'm working on a site at the moment where the previous firm has managed to use both nested tables for (some) layout, and divs+css for a large table of data!? I think someone misread the memo...

...<b> and the <i> tag, they are not supported anymore at all, but people still use them. How many sites will they have to change when one day they stop supporting it?

Going OT but <b> and <i> are widely supported, and are not deprecated in any W3C spec, except the XHTML2 draft which is effectively dead anyway. HTML5 (rightly) includes them. Let's get our facts straight before we send folks scurrying for their Find and Replace... :)

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 8:11 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

matt... That was really a surprise to me... I remember reading 2 years ago that <i> and <b> were gonzo.

I even have had it beaten into me not to use them. I just looked and you are right.

The BOLD Tag is valid HTML '4.01 Transitional' and valid HTML '4.01 Strict. However, it does not meet WCAG 2.0 Accessibility guidelines and because of this W3 suggest that you use CSS to make text Bold.

The italic tag is valid HTML '4.01 Transitional' and valid HTML '4.01 Strict and meets WCAG 2.0 Accessibility guidelines

I stand corrected. I am still rather confused as to why I thought that to be true.

foxtunes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 9:15 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Here to give some table love :)

ronin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 9:36 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

As has been said throughout this discussion - tables can be made (usually with no extra effort at all) to degrade just as nicely as divs.

The elegant degradation isn't the problem. It's the fact that there's a (usually invisible) set of table cells around the content.

Did you ever hand in an academic paper (written in MS Word, let's assume) with table cells around the paragraphs and the images?

No? Hmmm...why not? Is it because the paragraphs and images weren't tabular-cellular content?

If tables are an appropriate way to lay out content on a page, why does everyone make the cell-borders invisible?

adysartjr

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 12:51 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am a recent convert to the .css world after much resistance. I finally decided that it would be nice to learn something new and not to mention the extra knowledge makes you company more marketable.

I took a basic css online course from Site Point and purchased CSS Mastery by Andy Budd. I have managed to get the hang of css in about one month and recently delivered my first css site to a client a few weeks ago.

I have come to enjoy designing sites using CSS. It has increased my production time by leaps and bounds. A lot less code and pages load faster.

I am not going to tell anyone they should or shouldn’t use tables. The tables vs. css debate will continue on. But for all you hardcore designers that use tables, give css a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 1:08 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)


The elegant degradation isn't the problem. It's the fact that there's a (usually invisible) set of table cells around the content.

Did you ever hand in an academic paper (written in MS Word, let's assume) with table cells around the paragraphs and the images?

No? Hmmm...why not? Is it because the paragraphs and images weren't tabular-cellular content?

If tables are an appropriate way to lay out content on a page, why does everyone make the cell-borders invisible?

First off, most people don't use those empty cells anymore. People use css WITH tables and thus avoid some of the older and less accessible methods used to display tables like the single pixel transparent gif. Second off, as an attribute you can deem a cell to be an empty cell for screen readers and such - so its not an issue anyways.

And I wouldn't outline a paper with a table simply cause it would be a pain. If it was as easy as html tables - who knows, I might very well do it.

The cell borders being invisible is hardly a worthy argument - and sometimes I do leave them there. Depends on the design. Why do people use divs if they aren't going to contain anything (refering to clearing divs)?

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 1:10 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)


I took a basic css online course from Site Point and purchased CSS Mastery by Andy Budd.

I don't know about Site Point - but I got that book too. It's an excellent reference book. But, as a rule, if I can't get a design to work without hacks I don't do it. Filters are ok - but still undesirable.

ronin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 3:37 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's the fact that there's a (usually invisible) set of table cells around the content.
First off, most people don't use those empty cells anymore.

Sorry, that's me expressing myself not very articulately. I meant table cell borders around the content, with the content in the table cells, divided off from all the other content in other table cells by the table cell borders.

The cell borders being invisible is hardly a worthy argument.

I'm sorry you don't think so.

My point was that: non-human user-agents can 'see' the tables. So if the tables are supposed to be there, why don't the web-designers who lay content out in tables make the tables themselves visible to humans too?

The answer (of course) is because they're employing HTML tables as a practical tool - not as a marked up element within the document.

Which is a bit clueless. As I mentioned above, it's like using unordered lists for positioning elements.

Why would you use unordered lists or tables for positioning elements if you had any sense of professionalism? I can't think of a single good reason. I'll concede that there was never much choice but to put together a 'botched job' with 4.x browsers in 1998. But now... in 2008?

Surely time to ditch that rough-and-ready way of working?

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 4:32 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)


My point was that: non-human user-agents can 'see' the tables. So if the tables are supposed to be there, why don't the web-designers who lay content out in tables make the tables themselves visible to humans too?

They can make them visible if they so choose. They can also make the border invisible on data tables - it's purely a visual attribute, and thus a moot point.


Which is a bit clueless. As I mentioned above, it's like using unordered lists for positioning elements.

Only in the sense that its unsemantical. A table is the only grid structure in html (or css). Designs naturally can be broken up into a grid pattern and thus it makes sense to use a table to display it. Designs do not naturally break into lists. Not that any of this isn't obvious.


I'll concede that there was never much choice but to put together a 'botched job' with 4.x browsers in 1998. But now... in 2008?

Did something happen over those 10 years to change that? Last I checked HTML 4 was still the lastest version of HTML. XHTML is just HTML 4 with stricter syntax. CSS - while more supported - still lacks support for features which might replace tables. Not to say that some designs can't completely go without tables for layout - but I have already listed one such layout in this thread which cannot be done with CSS alone. It has its limitations - both in support and in provided features, limitations which can be solved with a simple table.


Surely time to ditch that rough-and-ready way of working?

When the features and support are there, I'll ditch tables. But that could be 20 years from now. I'd rather use what works than take some kind of unfruitful high-road.

ronin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 6:50 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Last I checked HTML 4 was still the latest version of HTML.

I do apologise, that's me being ambiguous, again. I meant the browsers (Netscape 4, IE 4 etc.)

(Yes, you are right, HTML 4.01 is still the latest reliable markup.)

A table is the only grid structure in html (or css).

Yes. But it's not <grid>. It's <table>. Like the Periodic table. Or a table which shows monthly precipitation. Or a table giving the distance each planet is from the sun, its density and how many moons it has.

Clearly we're not going to agree, because, I accept, you are seeing <table> as a design tool instead of as just an element.

Personally, I feel that CSS-P - the one real design tool we have - is incredibly versatile and has enough browser support in 2008 that forcing <table> to behave as a design tool simply isn't necessary any more.

SuzyUK

WebmasterWorld Senior Member suzyuk us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 7:29 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Why do people use divs if they aren't going to contain anything (refering to clearing divs)

because they are unaware that they don't have to any more and old tutorial sites/books that are now thought of as "gospel" still have the IE 'fixes' in place even though they are mostly not needed any more. CSS support has moved on in the last few years ;)

In short and I apologise if someone said this already I missed a lot of this thread being away on holiday.. it's knowledge and/or time which dictates which will be easier for you to use and I agree with the earlier sentiment.. that we will arrive at the same place eventually ;) .. until then use what you like best!

Marshall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 7:37 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

It appears to me that the basis for this entire argument is that "tables" are designed to display "tabular data" and are not meant for layout. What is any web site but tabular data.

Is not a header, navigation, content and footer data? I cite some definitions of tabular data:

Data that exists in a table or database format.

Source - Inforain [interrain.org]

Data (usually attribute) organized into logical tables. Tables contain items and records or rows and columns.

Source - University of Minnesota [extension.umn.edu]

I suppose that strictly speaking the layout of the posts here is not tabular data. I have always considered that true tabular data is data as you would see it in a spreadsheet - columns and rows and data, where each column is a different category of data type.

However (!), in a more loosely defined world you could say that (and I'm leaving out the thread title on purpose) the left column is the posters user details and the second column is the content of the post - so under that definition it could be argued as tabular data.


Source - BlobFisk, Moderator, WebmasterWorld Tabular Data - Definition? April 10. 2003 [webmasterworld.com]

Marshall

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 7:48 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well put Marshall!

A web site is tabular data. After all - a page is made to transmit all kinds of data, and sticking it in a table makes it tabular ;)

csuguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3704279 posted 7:53 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)


Clearly we're not going to agree, because, I accept, you are seeing <table> as a design tool instead of as just an element.

Div has become a design tool as well - the only difference is that it is semantically correct. Well, that and you can't accomplish as much with just divs as you can with tables in the mix.

But your right - I'm going to see table's as a design tool for a long time. The benefits for tables outway any theoretical disadvantages. The only time I would ban the use of tables is if acquiring/maintaing a job depended on it. Wouldn't really be problem though - I know how to use css quite well.

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