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RE: Fw: Disturbing trend in tables

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 21:11:08 -0800
To: "'Tina Marie Holmboe'" <tina@elfi.elfi.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001901c07de8$67cac300$0100a8c0@aries>
On Saturday, January 13, 2001 1:50 PM, Tina Marie Holmboe wrote:
"HTML 4.01 Transitional and careful use of CSS 1 does, however, work fairly
well, and with some careful planning (which should be done anyway) it can be
both laid out and accessible."

Reply:

I agree, but I recommend starting with XHTML Strict. Then, if you must,
change the doctype declaration to Transitional and add the *one or two*
deprecated attributes/elements you need.

As for those clients who just can't give up the idea of pixel-perfect
control, I tell them how expensive it's going to be for them. Not only will
it cost considerably more in the short run - I have to hack the code to make
it work cross-browser and it's far more time- (ergo money-) consuming.
Worse, the next generation of browsers will surely break that code, forcing
a rushed (and thus even more expensive) rewrite of the code.

But the biggest drawback financially to using deprecated code and
html-for-layout (especially the kind that most authoring tools generate) is
the difficulty of writing scripts to reformat the code. If you carefully
close all elements and stick to structural markup, it's pretty easy to write
scripts to make global changes to your site.

For example, I write my HTML thinking of XML. I tend to use a lot of
different classes. If a paragraph has a different function on a page, I'll
give it a different class name. The idea is that later I'll be able to write
a simple script to parse those pages, look at the class names, and rewrite
them into appropriate XML (or whatever else).

When you add up all the costs of trying to make pages fancier than the
current technology really supports, it gets a lot easier to persuade clients
to accept a simpler look. And I find that after a while, they get to like
the simpler, cleaner look of the pages.


Charles F. Munat,
Seattle, Washington
Received on Sunday, 14 January 2001 00:04:19 GMT

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