bedlam - 7:28 pm on Aug 5, 2005 (gmt 0) How would you respond to people regarding the statement above that would say, "What about the people with older browsers that aren't compliant? Are we just going to forget about them?" (I hear this all the time.) There are two factors to consider here:
4) All standards compliant User Agents can read and understand your pages.
How would you respond to people regarding the statement above that would say, "What about the people with older browsers that aren't compliant? Are we just going to forget about them?" (I hear this all the time.)
There are two factors to consider here:
The answer to (1) is often 'no, not in any remotely significant numbers', and if this is the case, then simply proceed with the site redesign. But even when the answer is 'Yes', CSS can still be used to make content available to those users by simply delivering a reduced set of styles or none at all.
But in order to pull this off successfully, it's important to structure your documents...as documents. A well structured document accompanied by no styles whatsoever will be usable in almost any user agent - new browsers, old browsers, Lynx, screenreaders, pdas etc. Accompanied by media-appropriate stylesheets it can be usable, aesthetically pleasing, and more accessible in a similarly wide range of devices. This is not necessarily true with layout tables, and in cases where it is true the layout is usually simple enough that it could easily be duplicated without actually using the table.*
Without wanting to start a flame war, there seems to be one point that's usually missed by those who advocate the use of layout tables: markup is not layout, and getting to really understand this one simple point allows for much more flexibility in creating what the w3c calls 'interoperable' documents.
*There are a lot of CSS layouts out there these days, and there are enough of them that are sufficiently well-developed that there's really very little difficulty in designing for almost any reasonably modern browser...