Re: XHTML 2.0 -- A Chance to Improve Document Structure?

Just a few thoughts on this:

IE6 does seem to hew fairly closely to CSS 1.0, astonishingly -- I think
there were simply too many people yelling at them that they weren't doing
enough and it finally got through their corporate skulls that they could
actually lose *gasp* market share. Having said that, their support for CSS
2.0 is still a long way from reality, and it still makes fairly extensive
use of the Table concept.

I would agree with Daniel on this, however, that tables are likely not to go
away any time soon, and furthermore I'd argue that they probably shouldn't.
A table structure is an easy construct to make using XSLT, whereas
positioning via CSS can be a real nightmare to handle well in that milleau.
Tables were an addition to the original HTML spec because they were so
necessary in formatting, and while they do tend to limit the semantic impact
of a web page, they are far  more ingrained than other, more semantic
entities such as <PRE> or <CITE>.

Finally, a lot of people out there are still not even remotely up to speed
with CSS. It is still far more common to see <font color="red" size="3">
than it is <span style="color:red;font-size:14pt;">. Given this, I'd second
Daniel's caution about thinking that a CSS only solution to table layout
will be acceptable. Maybe in ten years. Maybe.

-- Kurt Cagle
-- Author, XML Developers Handbook, Sybex.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Daniel Hiester" <>
To: "www-html" <>
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2001 11:51 AM
Subject: Re: XHTML 2.0 -- A Chance to Improve Document Structure?

> "Actually removing all presentational markup from tables is also on
> the agenda for XHTML 2.0, so "table for layout" would become nonsense
> in XHTML 2.0."
> I know I'm entering the discussion a little late here, and also saying
> something very critical... appologies in advance.
> What I've just learned for myself, by daring to do a site which uses no
> tables at all, but css-positioning, is that tables for layout will be
> for a very long time, thanks to the giant Netscape problem.
> What I mean is this:
> Netscape 4.x renders CSS positioning very poorly. Unfortunately, even
> Netscape 4.x is obsolete, there is still a signifficant number of people
> using it, mostly because they feel that doing so is rebelling against
> Microsoft (please don't take that statement and turn it into a "I hate /
> don't hate Microsoft" thread).
> Netscape 6 / Mozilla is not backward compatible with Netscape 4.x's object
> model and its proprietary extensions (example: document.layers). Because
> othis, a small, but signifficant number of sites are completely unusable
> this browser, despite some of the best support for W3C specs to date.
> Because very few webmasters seem to know, or care, about the problem (I
> seriously read corporate documents for at least one corporation in which
> they assumed Netscape 6 was just buggy beyond comprehension, and that no
> should ever use it, or support it), Netscape 6, and it's total support for
> W3C specs, will not be a viable solution for at least one more year, if
> even longer.
> Furthermore, the poor response by these webmasters to W3C's specs finally
> being supported by Netscape 6, does not encourage Microsoft to break
> backward compatibility with any of their proprietary extensions, in in
> of total support of W3C's specs, in the way that NS6 / Mozilla has. In
> it's a pretty good reason to not do that, or else neither of the big two
> browsers would render just about all websites that are out there properly,
> and the entire World Wide Web would be in a state of grave crisis.
> Don't get me wrong--I'm all for better document structure! I'm just
> discouraged that I've waited so long, and no end to the waiting seems to
> in sight.
> Daniel

Received on Thursday, 29 March 2001 15:15:53 UTC