[thelist] why doth i hate css? let me count the ways.

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at frogger.kicks-ass.net
Sat Oct 11 05:10:41 CDT 2003

On Friday 2003 October 10 15:35, Mike Migurski wrote:
> <snip>
> >It would be simple enough if I could specify, somehow, that both the
> >right-hand panel and the left-hand panel are the same height as
> > their container, which should be the body.
> >
> >With tables this design is a no-brainer.... one table, 100% height,
> > spacer column between the navigation and content cells, etc.  Too
> > easy.  But with css... I don't know if it's possible.
> >
> >Thoughts?
> Just use a table.

Because that's not what tables are for. Tables are for tabular data (the 
"Table 1" you would see in a textbook) not layout boxes.

> I know that's an unpopular answer,

It's unpopular because that's the kind of garbage that passed for 
acceptable during the dot-com click-here 
look-at-this-whizbang-thing-called-the-Internet era of 1997. It *was* a 
popular answer then and we are just now starting to recover from its 
ill effects. Frankly, it made only slightly more sense than 
<blockquote> as an "indent command" and believe it or not some people 
actually do this despite an explicit warning in the HTML 4.0 standard 
saying not to!

> but really - why not use a tool that works?

In the sense of the Web as a whole, tables *don't* work. Using tables as 
layout boxes misleads user-agents by telling them there's tabular data 
that really isn't there.

> CSS is a tremendously elegant response to the flexible presentation
> context that is the interweb,

Ugh. Words like "interweb" really don't help your credibility. Learn the 

Shawn K. Quinn

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