[thelist] Tables vs Layers

Stevens, Sharon StevenS at prose.dpi.qld.gov.au
Thu Sep 14 18:58:36 CDT 2000

> At work, we just got new designers. They are very good at
> what they do, but not when it refers to html. The problem
> is that they  are so used to move things around, that all
> they use are layers. And lots of them. They cant think
> tables.
	yes but according to the HTML standard - tables are to be used for
the representation of tabular data not for layout
(http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/) and the accessibility issues

> I tried to convince them of tables and to leave layers
> for "special ocasions". They didnt seem convinced that
> layers are bad since they dont work the same in
> all the browsers. 
	this is just that the browsers don't support the standard

> For what i have seen, ther are no big sites that use
> layers, most of them go tables.
	my old site uses layers (http://www.dnr.qld.gov.au) and it has about
30K pages

> 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.
> 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.
	layers degrade (in NN turn off JS etc and have a look at the dnr
site - you will see that the pages are still perfectly useable), tables
cause problems with screen readers (think accessibility!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

> 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 ??
	I hate designing with tables - I'm having a seriously hard time on
the contract I'm on at the moment because the company that created our
publishing package knew nothing about design and have designed the site
utilising tables (and poorly designed ones at that), I'm not looking forward
to having to come back here next financial year (when they've got money to
pay me again) and converting the tables to useable layers to fit with
HTML4.01 strict.

	Schaz - who now gets down off her layers soapbox and starts watching
the torch relay again on the telly

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