W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > September 2007

Re: tables in html? (separating content bla bla)

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 08:10:00 +0100
Message-ID: <46FB5748.10308@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: W3C HTML <www-html@w3.org>

Livio Mondini wrote:
> True, but dont resolve the basic question: is possible with html
> separate content from presentation? no, today no, and markup permit to

Your proposal doesn't fall under the category of separating contents and 
presentation either, by the normally understood definitions here.  What 
is generally meant is writing HTML without regard to layout and then 
using other means to control layout, ideally in separate files, and 
certainly done in ways that have the potential for that.

At the time that HTML 4 was designed, the intended way of doing this was 
using CSS positioning, however it can be difficult to generate the 
complex layouts that presentation designers seem to want which also 
tolerate font and window size changes well.  A table cell model does 
seem to do that better for most designers, although there is also a 
large problem of cut and paste coding, i.e. people copy techniques from 
older web pages without fully understanding them or realising that they 
are obsolete.

Given that table based layouts can be useful, the example using display: 
table-cell goes furthest towards true separation, although it still can 
require redundant structure.  A true table based style model would 
either need selectors that can select part elements or would still 
require some use of HTML for presentational purposes, given that 
designers seem unlikely to always obey the rule:  one structural element 
: no more than one presentational element.  Table based style models 
belong on the www-style mailing list, not here.

Also, take up of your proposal will be poor as it will break the pages 
on older browsers without giving any real advantage to the author. 
This, unfortunately will also affect style sheet approaches, but they do 
represent more of a move to true separation, and are therefore have a 
higher benefit score.

David Woolley
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Received on Thursday, 27 September 2007 07:10:40 UTC

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