W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > February 2014

Re: HTML 5 conformance: table border obsolete?

From: Michael[tm] Smith <mike@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 08:37:38 +0900
To: Guus Schreiber <guus.schreiber@vu.nl>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <20140205233737.GG56968@sideshowbarker>
Guus Schreiber <guus.schreiber@vu.nl>, 2014-02-05 23:00 +0100:

> Some time early this year the validator has started to give an error message
> when encountering:
>   <table border="1">.

You should specify the table border display properties using CSS instead.

The table@border attribute is legacy presentational markup:

  "...presentational markup has been removed from HTML in this version...
  The only remaining presentational markup features in HTML are the style
  attribute and the style element."

If you want roughly the same display as what browsers display for the legacy
<table border="1"> presentational markup, you can use the following CSS:

table {
  border-style: outset;
  border-width: 1px;
  border-spacing: 2px;
table td {
  border-style: inset;
  border-width: 1px;

And by moving to using CSS to specify the display properties, you're no
longer locking yourself and your readers into being stuck with the (really
dated-looking now..) browser default table@border display -- you also gain
the flexibility of being able to make your table borders look however you
actually want, just as easily as what you'd need to emulate the legacy
table@border look.

So using CSS for your table borders gets you a large flexibility gain while
only requiring very little additional work from you. But more importantly,
it's a win for users because you can give them table borders that actually
look good -- that look like table borders they see in other current Web
documents. (I don't think there are any actual users out there saying, Boy
I wish more tables on the Web today looked like the ones we got in the old
days from authors just using table@border=1.)


Michael[tm] Smith http://people.w3.org/mike
Received on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 23:37:47 UTC

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