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Re: Layout Tables vs. Style Sheets

From: Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>
Date: Tue, 07 Oct 2008 14:08:57 -0700
To: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C5111DF9.F642%mattmay@adobe.com>

On 10/7/08 1:40 PM, "David Woolley" <forums@david-woolley.me.uk> wrote:
> Tools like Dreamweaver are for commercial
> artists, and advertising copywriters, not for communicators.  HTML was
> never intended for that sort of use.

I think you seriously misunderstand the market for Dreamweaver. It's
targeted for web developers and designers, not "artists and advertising
copywriters." I wouldn't put DW in front of either group and expect good

The issue here is not that Dreamweaver doesn't support CSS-based layout. It
supports it very well, thank you. The issue is that table layout is easier
to teach to newbies, who were the target of this tutorial. In fact, if you
look at page one of the tutorial in question, you will find this note:

"Dreamweaver now comes with many wonderful pre-designed CSS layouts that you
can use as the starting point for your web pages. I didn't want to start you
off with these layouts, because I think it's important for people to
experience what it's like to build a page layout completely from scratch.
After you've completed this tutorial series, however, you will probably want
to investigate CSS layouts. You can start by reading CSS page layout basics,
which is an overview of how CSS layouts work. Then move on to Stephanie
Sullivan's article, Understanding the new Dreamweaver CS3 CSS layouts."


It's troubling, though, that so many _seasoned professionals_ still use
layout tables. And that so many books and curricula teach how to do it,
rather than using CSS, without such a disclaimer. For example, Teach
Yourself Visually XHTML & CSS, whose first edition was published by Wiley in
July _2008_, teaches table-based layout. Lots of this material needs to be
revisited, and lots of people need to be retrained. Unfortunately, we can't
just round them up and force all web designers and developers to get the CSS
religion. We've wrestled with this for 10 years, and we may have to do it
for 10 more.

Received on Tuesday, 7 October 2008 21:09:43 UTC

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