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Re: Why are nested tables that bad

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 15:58:41 +1100
Cc: "'Matt May'" <mcmay@w3.org>, "'Jesper Tverskov'" <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: jim@jimthatcher.com
Message-Id: <DA18489A-277C-11D7-B233-000A95678F24@sidar.org>

On Tuesday, Jan 14, 2003, at 12:17 Australia/Melbourne, Jim Thatcher 

> But Chaals, there is no reason for a person to even try to have a 
> mental
> model of the layout tables.  They should be ignored by user and browser
> alike. Layout tables do not have to be constructed so that they make
> sense, only that the content makes sense when linearized.

True enough in the simple case - a page with a couple of useful things 
on it, fairly easy to find. But this is not true when a page contains a 
number of useful things, in a complex layout - the user wants something 
better than just tabbing through the 60 things they don't want for one 
of the 36 they might use.

The tabular layout is meant to make this easier, and can do so if it is 
as simple as possible but no simpler...

> Yes, we're talking layout tables, not data tables. I have never seen a
> nested data table (that made sense).

They don't need to even in the case of large an complex ones, since 
HTML 4.0 which provided more powerful scoping structures. For the kind 
of simple tables that most people deal with most of the time the 
question is moot, but there are people working with complex information 
where it becomes relevant.



Charles McCathieNevile           charles@sidar.org
Fundación SIDAR                       http://www.sidar.org
Received on Tuesday, 14 January 2003 00:00:20 UTC

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