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

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at frogger.kicks-ass.net
Sat Oct 11 15:12:41 CDT 2003

On Saturday 2003 October 11 05:59, Peter-Paul Koch wrote:
  [I wrote:]
    [Mike Migurski wrote:]
      [Joshua Olson wrote:]
> > > >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.
> Theoretically, yes. In practice, no.
> Since CSS doesn´t offer the tools for creating a good grid, using one
> table for layout purposes is quite legitimate. Note: ONE simple
> table, no more. As soon as you use more than one you´re back to old
> style coding, and that´s indeed something to be avoided.

It's still abuse of tables if you're using one for anything besides 
tabular data. The <table> element isn't a "make a grid command".

As far as CSS "lacking the tools for creating a good grid", I would say 
you either don't know CSS very well or you haven't tried. I've seen 
many multicolumn layouts done with only CSS and no tables.

> Apply one table, put content divs in it and style these divs. I often
> make sites that way, even though I love CSS.

That doesn't mean it's good practice.

> > > 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.
> That´s too theoretical. No browser perceives tables as such.

Really? I don't know of a single browser which does *not*, at least not 
anything actively maintained within the last 5 years.

Shawn K. Quinn

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