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

Re: Stylings only possible with Tables

From: Daniel Beardsmore <public@telcontar.net>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 02:40:31 +0100
Message-ID: <46806E8F.4030506@telcontar.net>
To: www-style@w3.org

Spartanicus wrote:
> Regardless of whether or not a new CSS method allows implementation
> algorithms to be reused, any new CSS mechanism would at best take a year
> to specify ...

Which is worse than the rest of CSS 3 how?

> about five years to be implemented ...

Good grief. Either CSS is already in a far worse shape than I realised, or 
you're severely over-estimating the complexity of basic layout. If it takes 
*FIVE* years for people to write some simple layout code, then CSS needs 
taking out, shooting and starting over.

Andrew, did your HTMLayout program take five years to write the flex code?

Even the flex code is far more complex than I'm thinking for the basics.

Five years ... I don't know if browsers have crap coders, or CSS is so 
unwieldy that it will take that long to figure out how anyone is supposed to 
build on it.

 > and it will take at least
> another five years before the use of legacy browsers has diminished
> enough before such a mechanism can realistically be used by authors.

Again, this is different to existing CSS 3 proposals in what way? Go take a 
look at the existing Advanced Layout module. It's not been altered in a year 
and a half, it's full of "Are we even going in the right direction with 
this?" questions, and you're telling me we can't slot in something simple, 
straightforward, pragmatic and logical to get basic page layout away from 

If you reckon that will take a year to figure out, five to code and five 
more to be useful, then how long will Advanced Layout take? Twice that? 
We're going to be waiting 20 years to get useful layout?

I really hope you do NOT speak on behalf of sane Web developers, as tables 
are being mutilated and violated for the sake of layout. Accessibility ends 
up down the drain and it leads to painful server-side template coding.

WE MUST GET OUT of the tables rut. NOW. No use using "well, tables already 
work" as an excuse. Bullshit. When I want to tell people to stop using 
tables, what do I tell them to use instead? Floats?

This is my real sore point. I want to evangelise decent Web development but 
it really pains me to realise that even I can't get straightforward designs 
to work in CSS 2, let alone trying to move people away from tables.

People need a credible alternative. Saying that the existing (horrible) 
solution is good enough is circular. Tables do work. Assuming you're fully 
sighted and dextrous and have a sufficiently capable browser and large 
enough screen. At least Links now brings tables to consoles so you don't 
have to claw out your eyes from using Lynx.

But the Web isn't supposed to be another system that only caters to the 
obviously visible majority, and there is certainly no reason to use an 
existing poor solution as an excuse to stop striving, stop trying to do 
better, and settle for less.
Received on Tuesday, 26 June 2007 01:43:44 UTC

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