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RE: CSS versus tables

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2002 08:35:29 -0500 (EST)
To: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@sonic.net>
cc: <andrew.mcfarland@unite.net>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0201010827170.11629-100000@tux.w3.org>
I'm not Andrew, but here are my answers. The easiest thing for me to do rough
work is use a tool that has a nice interface - I point out the regions and
layout features I want, and the tool does the coding. In that case it doesn't
matter as a user which way the code is done, but as a tool developer it is in
fact easier to use CSS.

If I am hand coding it is easier to use CSS than tables for the code.

The problem is that there are some browsers which not only do not implement
CSS, but actually implement it in a way which means that CSS causes problems
- this does not happen with the pre-CSS browsers, nor with those whose
implementation is quite good, but with the early, buggy, test implementations
that were necessary to work out whether the spec worked, and what was
possible and useful, but which should have been advertised as such so people
didn't consider them production-standard and insist on using them as if they
were.

Tihs, combined with the fact that tables were implemented earlier than CSS
and some rudimentary support is available for them in the same broken
browsers that fail if I use good CSS, means that I have to work out whether
to make pages that are broken for new browsers, very old browsers, and ones
where the user has customised it in unpredictable ways, but work for oldish
browsers (2-5 years old, but covering a significant number of users), or
whether to make content that works for very old and very new browsers, and
that any browsers I have never heard of but which conform to the
specification will know how to handle, at the price of wierd presentation in
some common but poor browsers.

Sorry for the last sentence. If someone can rewrite that in english people
speak I would be happy.

cheers

Chaals

On Mon, 31 Dec 2001, Scott Luebking wrote:

  Hi,

  I'm a little unclear.  When you use CSS for web pages, are you using a
  tool written in perl or are you hand coding the CSS?  If you are using perl,
  I was wondering what your experience is with hand coding CSS?

  Thanks,
  Scott

  PS  What does your perl tool do?

  > At 11:46 28/12/2001 -0500, Slaydon, Eugenia wrote:
  > >Just from a developer who does this daily - I can layout a page with tables
  > >in about a 1/4 of the time to do it with css
  >
  > I'm also a developer, and I do this sort of thing almost daily as well. I
  > find the opposite is true. CSS takes me less time than tables. I think it
  > is a mixture of personal style, and the nature of the website you are
  > doing. At UNITE, our perl seems to lend itself very easily to css layouts.
  >
  > It must be said, there is at least one table based layout I couldn't get to
  > work in Netscape 4.7 using CSS.
  >
  > Andrew


-- 
Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
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Received on Tuesday, 1 January 2002 08:35:34 GMT

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