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re: Layout versus data tables proposal for null summary attribute

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 16:09:23 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c4902d$4890be30$440bc650@tversdatg7y7vv>

Lois Wakeman is absolutely right that tables for layout are the way of
the masses and always will be.

Table based layout, some grid as you say, is the natural way to design,
and is what anybody would come up with as the foundation for web design
if html was reinvented as being for mass communication, easy to use by

I avoid tables for layout since I most often find CSS-based layout far
superior and I have the skills to use it, but tables are such a natural
way to layout pages that I newer make it into a big issue when reviewing
the web sites of others.

I have actually started using tables for layout again for some finer
details when CSS is so hopelessly behind that it in my opinion never
will catch up.

An example is my homepage (not the articles), www.smackthemouse.com. It
is only possible to make extremely flexible design using floats if I
also use a table for borders and alternating colors. Floating DIVs
inside other DIVs work badly in this case in all browsers, true to the
spec saying that floats should really float. If the DIVs used as
containers for the floating DIVs use background color or border my
homepage falls apart.

We need a way to make DIVs as stable and robust as tables, a "text" and
a "column" mode. I don't think we will ever get it in CSS since tables
actually handles these rare cases of advanced universal webdesign fine.
But I try to stay as close to the spec as possible. In my own
understanding, my homepage uses an "abstract" data table with just one
column. But I could easily turn it into four columns and add headers
etc., so it is somehow a true data table.
Tables for layout are forever not only among the masses but also as an
exception to the rule in advanced universal webdesign trying to be as
usable and as accessible as possible.

Best regards,

Jesper Tverskov
Received on Wednesday, 1 September 2004 14:09:17 UTC

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