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Re: RES: div with absolute positioning.

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 23:05:02 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200502022305.j12N53F06314@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> analysing many web sites with wcag compliance, i've been noted that =
> div's
> with absolute positioning aren't used.  what's the reason for this?

The basic reasons are:

- they are badly broken in some versions of Netscape 4;

- they are not implemented in early tables capable GUI browsers (designers
  don't care about text only ones) and designers are not happy with
  graceful degradation if pixel perfection is possible or almost possible;

- designers have learned to use tables and they achieve the effect that
  they want (purely presentational of course), so they see no need to
  change (also a lot of designers copy other people's code or use 
  design cookbooks, and again these solutions achieve what the designers
  want to achieve in terms of visual effect, and change very slowly);

- scaling can be a problem with absolute positioning; different fonts may
  not produce the same width in ems and right (for LTR text) side bars
  can end up being pushed off the screen or printer paper when larger fonts
  are chosen by the user (this isn't a good reason as many or most table
  based designs fall to pieces if the user is allowed to control font sizes -
  it is more sophisticated designers who can reasonably cite this reason).

Please note that absolute positioning is not limited to DIV elements and
DIV and SPAN are elements of last resort.  The latter is especially true
of SPAN.
Received on Wednesday, 2 February 2005 23:08:49 UTC

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