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RE: "display: table" as a substitute for TABLE for layout

From: Braden N. McDaniel <braden@shadow.net>
Date: Sat, 22 Aug 1998 18:57:45 -0400
To: "'John T. Whelan'" <whelan@physics.utah.edu>, <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000101bdce20$4728bf50$8d2604d1@bonezero>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-style-request@w3.org [mailto:www-style-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of John T. Whelan
> Sent: Saturday, August 22, 1998 6:22 PM
> To: www-style@w3.org
> Subject: "display: table" as a substitute for TABLE for layout

[shnip]

> 	Of course the question is whether any current browsers support
> the 'display' property.

Most browsers to date do support the display property; IE4 supports it
pretty well (though I think there might be a few quirks) per the CSS1 spec.
Note, however, that the table-related values for display were added with
CSS2. As such, I don't know that any browsers support them (IE5beta might; I
haven't checked).

>  If not, we ought to be able to convince them
> to do so for DIV (and perhaps SPAN) at least, since in that case it's
> not really overriding any pre-defined characteristics.  And this
> application would seem to be easy to build into the browsers, since
> the layout model is one they already know.
>
> 	Thoughts?

Well, I'm more interested in seeing completed implementations of CSS1-core;
beyond that, I think I would agree that the most critical portions of CSS2
are those that are integral to represent the kind of formatting HTML4
demands.

That said, I don't know that I see the utility in replacing HTML TABLE
elements with DIV and SPAN elements with mounds of inline styles. Why is
this any better than using TABLE elements for layout? I am unconvinced that
this would result in better rendering in browsers like Lynx. Nor am I
satisfied with your apparent definition of an "intelligent agent." We may
agree that using tables for layout is bad form, but that doesn't change the
fact that this technique is used quite liberally on the Web. IMO, a UA that
assumes a table will always contain tabular data isn't all that intelligent.

Braden
Received on Saturday, 22 August 1998 18:50:19 GMT

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