Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tables are bad—m'kay?

I know, I know, when designing some content for web, use divs & CSS instead of tables for structure. It's just that until now I'm better in structuring the content in the bad way.

I've really started to get back to reading, and took Microformats: Empowering Your Markup for Web 2.0 by John Allsopp from the first page once again. While reading the 3rd chapter—Structural and Semantic HTML—I've finally understood why is it a bad practice to use tables for layout... even if, strictly speaking, this is valid!

The HTML 4.01 specification states the following:

The HTML table model allows authors to arrange data—text, preformatted text, images, links, forms, form fields, other tables, etc.—into rows and columns of cells.
Tables should not be used purely as a means to layout document content as this may present problems when rendering to non-visual media. Additionally, when used with graphics, these tables may force users to scroll horizontally to view a table designed on a system with a larger display. To minimize these problems, authors should use style sheets to control layout rather than tables.

That is why I'm now convinced that I also have to get rid of this not good contemporary structural and semantic markup practice.

If anyone knows of something quick and well explained like "Idiot's guide to table-less design", please share! :-D


Wires said...

I recommend as a good starting point for basic tableless layout.

You could also see how blogger does it by viewing the source of your blog!

I'm also attempting to not use tables for layout anymore. It's fun to do.