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Re: Stylings only possible with Tables

From: Daniel Beardsmore <public@telcontar.net>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2007 23:52:07 +0100
Message-ID: <467EF597.2000600@telcontar.net>
To: www-style@w3.org

Spartanicus wrote:
> Creating a comprehensive and flexible layout mechanism that is able to
> work well in a media independent manner is a complex task. I'd agree
> that the resulting complexity of the mechanism potentially forms a
> problem given that most authors only want to create a layout grid that
> looks ok on their screen. If the mechanism is too complex it will be
> ignored by many, but for those unsophisticated authors there are HTML
> tables.
> 
> Imo that does not mean that a more sophisticated mechanism shouldn't be
> developed for those that are willing to study and use it.

I am not sure what point you're making? Using tables for layout is painful! 
For smaller hacks, it's tolerable but messy, but for whole sites, it's 
horrible. I am glad I don't do that any more. Then again, the alternative is 
pretty painful too.

The snag is that layouts are often a lot more simple and simply expressed 
than we might think. Column and row subdivision in the manner of frames 
mostly settles all the basics for page layout. There *are* far more complex 
ideas to be expressed, but I would personally rather they were tackled 
separately. Simple solutions for simple problems.

My fear, having read the other comments on this thread, is that my idea, 
while very elegant, will be another solution that breaks incremental 
rendering. I don't know all the specifics of that, so I guess I'll have to 
provide a further explanation for James and let everyone else shoot it down 
in flames.

I don't know a whole lot about CSS, to be honest. Although it's apparently 
designed to be easy to implement, I find it far too hard to figure out. My 
view, and I am sure many others share this, is that I have *visual* designs 
that I want to execute. I believe that while hard problems may acceptably be 
left to hard solutions, simple problems need simple solutions. It's a busy 
world, computers have absurd amounts of free cycles and the last thing we 
should be doing is doing all the hard work for the computer. We created 
machines to serve us, and now we have to do all work for them to get a 
simple job done!
Received on Sunday, 24 June 2007 22:55:21 GMT

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