[thelist] All CSS Layout and Browser Compatability

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 24 23:28:00 CDT 2002

well, might as well ask a few questions in one post... gets people
like me who were going to answer just one stuck answering them all...

> From: Boris Mann <boris at bmannconsulting.com>
> Is it possible to do an entire site using only DIV tags and CSS
> layout? I love the kind of simplicity implied by the designs at
> BlueRobot <http://www.bluerobot.com/web/layouts/> but am worried about
> stranding x% of viewers with "other" browsers...

yes, it is possible... there are <div>-only layouts that work in
NN4.x, but they aren't going to be as robust as some of the stuff
you've come to expect...  someone on css-d keeps tossing a URL out
there, but i ignore it because as long as i need to support NN4.x,
tables are my layout solution (for a few reasons, not because i'm

> What browsers break? Will NN 4.x be the only one to go really crazy? I
> look at Web Standards "browser upgrade" campaign
> <http://webstandards.org/act/campaign/buc/> and it seems I am going to
> be SOL for anything less than a 5.x browser...

for more advanced stuff, yes, pretty much SOL for pre-5.x browsers...
so you need to make a decision based on your audience...

> And for another totally newbee question, can you get two DIVs
> side-by-side without resorting to absolute positioning? Or even just
> an image to the left or right of a DIV  (again without absolute
> positioning)?

have you tried the 'float' CSS property?  "float: left;" and "float:
right;" can be the solution you need... or not... depends on what
you're trying to do... check up at the specs and see if the ideal is
what you want, then you can play with support...

> While I'm asking stupid questions, I may as well ask about the @import
> stuff mentioned on this list with regards to "hiding CSS from broken
> browsers). Can someone give me an example, and/or explain what the
> broken browsers will be left looking at?

at my company site (algonquinstudios.com), the @import calls in a CSS
file that includes line-height (notorious for hosing NN4.x), padding,
margins, and some border properties (again, all have varying problems
in NN4.x)... the site doesn't look *too* much different in NN4.x... i
have a number of other examples...

many other folks use that technique to hide all styles from NN4.x,
resulting in a bare HTML site with no style at all...  some like the
Caio /*/*/ hack (or however it goes), but i don't (in case you didn't
glean that from the other thread)...

it depends on your ultimate goal...

> Pondering when I can ditch cluttering up my content with gratuitous
> <table> tags used for layout purposes...

you'd be surprised how often i look at tabled-sites that do *not*
need all the tables they've inserted...  frequently, cleaning up the
tabled layout alone is a good step to prepping for the all-<div>
move... it helps you formulate a plan, IMO, and gets much of the work
out of the way...

Read the evolt.org case study
Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself
ISBN: 1904151035

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