[thelist] FF table padding?

Joel D Canfield joel at spinhead.com
Wed Jan 3 15:50:39 CST 2007

> http://w03-joshua.exalia.net/BrainPower/
> On the above URL in FF, the display table has gaps.. but on 
> IE.. it does not? Can anyone explain why?

there is an explanation, sent to me some time back by Christian
Heilmann, which has mysteriously disappeared from the web. Honest, I've
looked everywhere for the past half hour, and it's just not there, not
even in thelist archives.

anyway, it has to do with images and block elements and inline elements
and table cells, and I couldn't explain it without re-reading the
article I can't find.

> (I know I know, tables are bad.. though I've never really 
> understood why...)

bad? naw. used inappropriately, often.

follows, a lengthy one-sided chat which may or may not address the
question you perhaps didn't even ask:

it's like using a hammer to drive a screw in. you can make it work;
might even be easier, if the only tool you have is a hammer (most of us,
when beginning our web dev lives, only had one tool: tables.)

but if you can learn the intracacies of operating a screwdriver (CSS)
you'll get the screw in easier, and it'll do a better job.

Tables, semantically, are designed for data which should be, well,
tabular. The kind of stuff you'd put in a spreadsheet. The primary
reason for *not* using tables as a layout tool is because it is
infinitely friendlier in a situation where either the user agent
(browser) or the user is, in some way, non-standard.

Imagine a blind user, listening to all the table tags being read by
their screen reader. I imagine it's painful and confusing.

In the end, it's worth learning how to position what you want positioned
using CSS, despite the pain. The huge, stabbing, sleep-loss-inducing,
will-I-ever-get-this-stuff? pain.

however, once you've figured out that screwdriver, *don't* think you
have to use it on nails. tabular data (an employee phonelist, for
instance; a mini-project I'm working on for an intranet) is tabular
data, so, it's in a table. someone asked here recently about a forum and
the responses being tabular data; consensus among the respondents was,
yeah, seems like it.

anyway, read about the semantic web, get Eric Meyer's books on CSS, bite
the bullet, and get behind some CSS sooner rather than later.

that way I'll know I'm not the only one with a broken head.


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