W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > June 2007

Re: Stylings only possible with Tables

From: Daniel Beardsmore <public@telcontar.net>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2007 17:20:30 +0100
Message-ID: <467E99CE.3010700@telcontar.net>
To: www-style@w3.org

Spartanicus wrote:
> Raul Dias <raul@dias.com.br> wrote:
>> Ok. I didnt see this as a hack, but I probably use float wrong too.
>> What is the tableless way for having columns with the same height
>> (without a hack)?
> CSS 2.x doesn't really address layout (a complex issue).

I don't think layout need be that complicated at all. CSS is the 
Complicator's Styling System and we need to try to move away from this. 
Remember how simple frame layout was? That's all we need. A lot of layout is 
conceptually trivial and should be able to be expressed just as easily on a 

Has anyone considered, though, whether inline blocks could be used for 
columns? It's not widely supported (just iCab and KTHML/WebKit I think) but 
might work somewhere :)

> CSS3 does aim to address layout.

It aims to, or at least, was. Layout, as I've said, is the most desperate, 
pressing part of CSS3, since we're producing so many astonishingly awful 
hacks to work around it with floats. I won't use these modern layout hacks 
as I simply cannot understand them, and then I'd have to fight off all the 
conflicts with my existing styling.

A large part of the blame lies in poor browser support for CSS2, but then, I 
think a large part of the blame for that lies in the Complicator mentality 
-- CSS doesn't provide suitably simple solutions for simple, yet ubiquitous 
problems, so you're relying on misunderstood and deeply complicated 
mechanisms for simple layout and you're bound to trip over all the mistakes.

However, I remind you that the CSS3 Advanced Layout Module is virtually left 
for dead. It seems like no-one actually cares about advanced layout, yet I 
am sure most real-world CSS users would be delighted if they could have a 
mechanism for just getting layout to work in a simple, sane way. Surely the 
powers-that-be are still adequately in touch with the real world enough to 
see how pressing this is?

Well, assuming Internet Explorer would go wander off and die and leave 
people to only code for vaguely standards-compliant browsers. Even Firefox 
is pretty shabby when it comes to CSS. CSS3 advanced techniques for media: 
screen, I feel, are pretty worthless while IE remains around and Mozilla 
won't get their act together on finishing off CSS2.

As long as we have to write code to run on browsers whose CSS implementation 
never got past a partial implementation of CSS2 (i.e. IE) then all the 
innovation in the world won't save you. CSS3 Advanced Layout is probably out 
since you'll have to revert to a twisted version of CSS2. You *may* be able 
to write a set of <div>s such that you can style them for IE's floats or 
CSS3 according to the browser (using CSS hacks and condition comments) 
depending on how CSS3 Advanced Layout ends up implemented. Last the draft 
was updated, no-one really seemed sure what to do with that.

Where do we go from here?
Received on Sunday, 24 June 2007 16:23:42 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 2 May 2016 14:27:29 UTC