W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-forms@w3.org > March 2005

RE: calculator uses tables for layout, a highly inaccessible way of presenting an interface

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 13:25:16 -0000
Message-ID: <EE46C9C2-5864-44C6-9D42-051EC1F5D0D7@S009>
To: "'Mike Kienenberger'" <mkienenb@alaska.net>
Cc: <www-forms@w3.org>


> I started out with raw XForms, but when I rendered it, it was 
> pretty bad.   
> (This is using FormsPlayer, but it didn't appear much 
> different in any other browser I tried).
> I'm a programmer, so I've spent about 5 minutes total on css, 
> and that from a book from 1998 ...

As others have said, this is not an XForms problem. It's partly a problem
concerning CSS generally, and in your case -- I hope you forgive my
bluntness -- it's also the fact that you don't know CSS! I've included some
links below that I've found useful as I've wandered around the CSS world,
although they are particularly aimed at the tables vs. float issue. I'm sure
others on this list have their own favourites which they may share.

> ... but when I asked our html guy 
> about it, he said that css support wasn't predictable enough 
> to do it other than with tables.

That's not true, as the links below show.

> Are there examples out there of the "proper" way to use CSS 
> to do layout?  
> And is it consistently available in browsers?

There are some excellent examples, and they also include many ingenious
'hacks' to work around browser incompatibilities.

This first one shows how to arrange something like a gallery of thumbnail
images, without tables, as well as a couple of nice things like a menu bar
where some options are flush left and some flush right:


(Note that the entire 'A List Apart' site is well worth a browse.)

There are also lots of tutorials available that show how to do a 'standard'
three column web site (like the W3C's), but here is an excellent page that
brings together this and other common layouts:


Many of the principles in these pages can be applied to layouts such as the



Mark Birbeck
x-port.net Ltd.

e: Mark.Birbeck@x-port.net
t: +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
w: http://www.formsPlayer.com/
b: http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/

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Received on Monday, 14 March 2005 13:26:01 UTC

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