[thelist] Tables vs Layers

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 14 10:20:27 CDT 2000

> From: "Eduardo Dominguez" <edmz at emonterrey.com>
> I have to be honest, since I ran out of arguments very
> fast. So what i need to know is, is it, at this day,
> good to go layers ? Maybe i am the one who likes
> tables so much that wants to keep it that way.

sounds like they are afraid of either losing something (the ease 
with which they do things) or they are afraid of having to learn 
something new... i often see people who say "screw the older 
browsers" often don't know any other way to do it...

> If anyone can clear me up the advantages/disadvantages
> of using tables vs layers and what you recommend, it would
> be great, so that i can have a reason to debate with the
> designers.

ultimately, it comes down to audience... if they can re-create the 
set-up of, say, 80%/90% of your audience to test the sites, and 
they look fine in all cases, then so far so good...

then consider what happens to the other 10%/20%... is it 
completely unusable?  does it degrade well?  is it accessible?

of course, they should start all this by validating their pages with 
the HTML and CSS validators, then doing the WAI checklist and 
maybe running it through Bobby, and then viewing it in Lynx...

if the sites get through all that with flying colors, and still look good 
for that 80-90% (pick your own number, but if it's e-commerce, it 
should be quite high) of your audience, then it might not be a big 

but i doubt *any* of those sites will display perfectly on all set-ups, 
or even validate...

ultimately, make them justify their reasons... if they can, then 
maybe CSS-P is the way to go... if they can't, then make 'em learn 
tables... if they don't care, then it sounds like you need to educate 
them on UI, usability, knowing your audience, and humility... 
nothing worse than a developer who thinks he/she is right and the 
user is an idiot (even when the user *is* an idiot)...

besides, with CSS-P so buggy in implementation right now, i would 
never rely on it in mission-critical situations...

> For now, the designers refuse to do anything in tables, 
> they think thats an engineering job :( All they use
> is the "convert layers to tables" in Dreamweaver. Can
> anyone recommend how you guys convert a design to html
> with tables ??

ugh... that's such a wrong way to do it... on so many levels...

"Hi, we've built your house as two stories, but we understand that 
you need a wheelchair to get around.  So what we've done is cut 
the top half off the house with a ripsaw and layed a tarp over it.  
The second floor is accessible by going out the back door, over a 
concrete pad, and into the bedroom door.  The toilet may not flush 
properly, but when you upgrade your legs, everything should work 

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