W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-evangelist@w3.org > October 2003

Re: Old Web VS New Web

From: olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 18:20:55 +0900
Cc: <public-evangelist@w3.org>
To: "PWP - Information" <info@professionalwebpages.biz>
Message-Id: <63CA02D8-F7DE-11D7-9A1F-000A95E54002@w3.org>


On Monday, Oct 6, 2003, at 07:26 Asia/Tokyo, PWP - Information wrote:
> I am almost 22 years old and i have been working (tinkering) with the 
> web since I was younger (14,15,16???) basically since Hotdog(one of 
> the first HTML editor came out)
> I received an email the other day - from someone that will remain 
> anonymous - who said that my website does not meet the W3 standards 
> (validator.w3.org i think the link is)
> After doing some research in this subject  - I have come to find 
> out that basically all i know about the web no longer exists or is so 
> different for what is was. (sure IE and NS displays it fine...but I 
> want that something more...that "im doing a good job/meeting a 
> standard" kinda feeling in your gut )
> I have come to find that the new web is using CSS to layout 
> information and images - and that tables are now not being used - im 
> feeling very lost and very upset over this (not because of change - 
> dont get me wrong i love change so long as I have some really good 
> examples as to how to change to the new way)

My main question here is "why are you upset"?

Apparently, you've been editing the Web for a very long time, and that 
makes you, believe it or not, a pioneer. At the time you started, the 
Web was in its infancy and still evolving, and one would be right in 
saying this is still the case: new Web technologies are still created, 
others are refined, and existing ones are still being experimented, 
learned, and as more and more people use them, good practices emerge 
and are embraced by the Web community (and some are not).

Among these practices are those you mention, that the trend now is to 
use valid (that is, real) HTML (instead of the thing closely resembling 
HTML called "tag soup") and to separate content from style and layout, 
leaving the former to (X)HTML and using CSS for the latter. These new 
trends make sense for most people and those who see them as a "good 
thing"(TM) for the web will tend to advocate for their use. There is, 
however, nothing to be upset about, nobody will force you to follow 
these good practices, though some may try to convince you that they're 
better for you too.

So there is no "Old vs New" Web, there's only one Web that's evolving...

> Are tables really not being used any more?

Of course tables are still being used, though the (rather abusive) 
trend of using HTML tables for every and anything, is getting old and 
the use of CSS for layout, made possible by improved support in user 
agents, is now preferred. Tables can and should still be used for what 
they're meant, that is, tabular display of data or information.

>  the reason why i ask is because when working with database items you 
> do not know how long something is when returned and if you use CSS 
> with absolute positioning it appears (only from my research, i haven't 
> done it  in practice) it will over lap and that is no good =(

I can only suggest you to actually experiment. There are many, many 
resources out there to help you. Just ask your favorite search engines 
about e.g "tableless css" or "tables css" and you will find many good 

> Do not get me wrong with my next sent but I dislike the examples that 
> the W3C give out

Ideally W3C specifications would be perfect, both absolutely acurate 
for implementors, clear and detailed for users, and simple for the 
curious layman. I, however, challenge anyone to do all this with 
limited time and resources that are the usual constraints in the real 
world... W3C specifications are done primarily for implementors, and 
while there are efforts to create good and acurate documentation around 
te W3C specifications (e.g the work done by people subscribed to this 
list...), it can not all be done by W3C.

>  and yes i have looked around the web for tutorials - they they dont 
> really get into the guts of each topic, sadly.

I find a lot of the tutorials on CSS quite good actually, it's just 
that it does take time to learn all this...

> also this XML and XSLT - is really confusing is XSLT the same as CSS?

No. Check http://www.w3.org/Style/ and 
http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS-vs-XSL for a longer answer.

> I asked some of the other web developers I know (2 others) but they 
> were not much help they say why bother most people have IE and if it 
> works in that then it work - me being a stubborn taurus wont settle 
> for that as i know - how do i put this into word -there has to be a 
> personal responsibility to product good web pages, if you do not your 
> work/effort is not worth while - I WANT to produce them to good 
> standards and say "hey I did a good job"!

Bottom line... You care about interoperability and the quality of your 
product, which is great, but you feel your technique is not up to par 
with the current best practices. I don't think you are alone in that 
situation, I believe you're actually already quite far on the "road to 
good web practices enlightenment" :)
The bad news is, there is plenty to learn.
The good news is, there is plenty to learn.

Received on Monday, 6 October 2003 05:21:03 UTC

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