[thelist] updating an old table-based design

Lee kowalkowski lee.kowalkowski at googlemail.com
Tue Sep 5 05:55:54 CDT 2006

On 05/09/06, Joel D Canfield <joel at spinhead.com> wrote:
> Is having a table-based layout (temporarily) going to cost me business?

Might do, even if you could justify a table-based layout, if people
were that bothered they wouldn't give you chance to justify it, they
would assume your table-based layout was because you can't do
non-table based layouts, not because you agonised over the semantics
(which by your own admission, you didn't, so they'd be right?).

> Do you see this as a critical step toward being taken seriously as an
> intranet specialist? I *know* I need to update my skills. Am I just
> indulging in avoidance tactics to even ask these questions?

Probably, but I sympathise.  People take a hard line sometimes, saying
use tables only for data tables, meaning rows or columns of related
data, and I agree, but then I see people strive for non-tabular forms,
couldn't this be taking it too far?  What's the difference between a
simple form, and a single-record data-entry table?

Whoops, I digress, we wouldn't even be having these arguments if HTML
had real column elements, you know, where content could actually
overflow into the next column like a word processor does.  The coveted
n-column layout would be a trivial exercise of a column element with
n-1 column-breaks.

So, looking at your site, I see there's no need for tables, no
super-robust stretchy layout that absolute positioning couldn't
manage.  It could probably be achieved without a single CSS hack in

Plus, if you'd like some help, you know where we are!


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