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

Joshua Olson joshua at waetech.com
Sat Oct 11 16:29:47 CDT 2003

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "rudy" <rudy937 at rogers.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 11, 2003 5:09 PM

> > There is a fundamental effect that I've been craving that I have
> > yet to see done--two columns, next to each other, that really
> > and truly do stretch to match each others' height.  Perhaps you've
> > already stumbled across such an example. Please share.
> careful, you're verging on trolling


Perhaps, but I'd still like to find out if he has a solution to the problem.
:-)  I was really being inquisitive, not trying to start a fight.

> really, this whole business of "two columns matching each other's height"
> fundamentally flawed in concept
> you're trying to achieve a visual effect using css on structures that
> obviously don't extend any further than they, um, extend
> in other words, unless *you* match the height of the column contents
> yourself, how is it that you expect css to?

Easy.  They can do it with tables, why can't we do it with DIVS?

> attempting to style something that isn't there is the problem

Very well said, and so very true.

> i.e. you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig


> or, sticking with the pig analogies, if you wrestle with a pig, both you
> the pig get dirty, and the pig loves it

What what?

Don't get the analogy, sorry.  :-)

Back to the example, I'm basically trying to make this design work without
JS and without Tables:


(look at it in IE 6.0 for the intended visual effect, view in Moz to see the

The design is what the client wants and is what I'm trying to give them.  If
I use pure css then the background image and color on the left are cut at
the page-fold, regardless of how long the content is... what a drag!  The
cost alone of all the time investment is going to force me to use tables as
the main structure for the page.  I really wouldn't press this issue except
that it seems that many designs are limited by this issue with CSS and
either 1) spend a lot of time trying to combat the issue, 2) revert back to
tables, 3) change the design (move towards blogdom) to avoid the issue. I
theorize this is why soooo many tableless designs look like blogs and
typically do not have background texture (which if chosen well are not a bad
thing), borders, shading etc... many of the things print designers--who are
often involved with web projects--are used to and want to see on the
website.  I hate going back to the client and saying "Geez, I could do that
design but I can't make it XHTML... I know you required 'the latest
standards' that when I signed the contracts... sorry."

A few people on this list are saying that they feel no limitations with CSS
and tableless designs.  I envy them as I hope to one day feel the same.

Joshua Olson
Web Application Engineer
WAE Tech Inc.

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