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Observe: Who uses CSS?

Is there information content in this observation?

use html tables for layout:

http://www.microsoft.com and http://www.netscape.com

uses styles:

http://www.opera.com

MasonC
Jul 20 '05 #1
59 4598
Mason A. Clark wrote:
Is there information content in this observation?

use html tables for layout:
http://www.microsoft.com and http://www.netscape.com

uses styles:
http://www.opera.com


What is your question?

I have browsed for a long period of time with the following local style:
table { border: 1px dotted blue; }
It puts a dotted blue rectangle round every table.

I estimate that at least 95% (I actually believe 99%, but I could never prove
it!) of the web pages (indeed web sites) I see use table-layout. In all the
100s (by now, perhaps 1000s) of news sites I have come across, only 2 (+)
don't use table layout. (Wired, C|News, some ESPN). Nearly all news sites do,
nearly all academic sites do, nearly all government sites do, nearly all major
business sites do. The vast majority of private sites do. *Worldwide*. For the
last *several years*. Probably between 100,00 and 1 million new table-layout
pages each day. The vast majority of the world's major new global information
repository! On and on, year after year!

This isn't a problem. Simple layout tables are very effective. They can be
accessible, efficient, effective, standards-compliant, future-proof, very
flexible, and adaptable to content and viewport width. Because they are
standards-compliant, and represent the dominant layout-technique on the
planet, new browsers will obviously try to support them well, and so reduce
the need to switch to other methods. (I assume no one here wants new new
browsers *not* to be standards-compliant!)

Right from late 1993, tables were explicitly intended to layout complex
material in horizontal and vertical manner. Tables cells were, from that time,
intended to include text, headers, paragraphs, and lists; and nested tables
followed soon after. There has never, as far as I know, been a credible
intention to restrict the contents of tables to simpler material, such as you
would find in a spreadsheet. The latest XHTML 2.0 proposals continue to allow
cells to be complex mixtures of headers, block-level elements, and inline
material. Therefore these will be valid on the web for decades.

I have written, in some *tableless-layout pages*, 5 articles on this theme:
"Layout tables considered valuable":
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/layout_tables/

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #2
Barry, At your web page
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/layout_tables/
you mention that CSS positioning will not be effective for several years
when MS finally gets their act together.

So, why is everybody still using IE (which is very old on other support -
javascript limitied to 1.2, etc.) when they could be using Mozilla which has
the most complete current support of all of W3C's standards?

Don't limit web pages because a $$$ company can't keep up, tell everyone who
visits your sites to switch (at no cost - ever) and get far superior results
and far fewer security issues!

John
---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.560 / Virus Database: 352 - Release Date: 1/8/2004
Jul 20 '05 #3
John Bowling wrote:
Barry, At your web page
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/layout_tables/
you mention that CSS positioning will not be effective for several
years when MS finally gets their act together.

So, why is everybody still using IE (which is very old on other
support - javascript limitied to 1.2, etc.) when they could be using
Mozilla which has the most complete current support of all of W3C's
standards?

Don't limit web pages because a $$$ company can't keep up, tell
everyone who visits your sites to switch (at no cost - ever) and get
far superior results and far fewer security issues!


Unfortunately, it is not even that much of Microsoft's fault as it is of the
average users out there. Most people use Windows, and on most Windows
platforms IE comes preinstalled.

Most users expect Web to work like a TV: if one "program" (website) can't be
seen right, and others are OK, than that one is "broken". And since most are
OK, they just ignore the "broken" site and move on.

That is why most of us can't afford to dismiss such casual visitors.

Berislav
Jul 20 '05 #4
Barry Pearson wrote:
Mason A. Clark wrote:
Is there information content in this observation?

use html tables for layout:
http://www.microsoft.com and http://www.netscape.com

uses styles:
http://www.opera.com
What is your question?

I have browsed for a long period of time with the following local
style: table { border: 1px dotted blue; }
It puts a dotted blue rectangle round every table.

I estimate that at least 95% (I actually believe 99%, but I could
never prove it!) of the web pages (indeed web sites) I see use
table-layout.


I would say the figure is around 99.99%

This isn't a problem.


Have you tried printing those pages? Endless navigation garbage and the
content pushed out of the right edge? Happens.
Have you tried browsing with your hand phone display? Makes the Web
completely useless because of table-layouty schemes (table-layout is
not the only problem, but a big part of it, e.g. navigation usually
comes left and thus must come first if you linearize it -- not so in
CSS).

--
Google Blogoscoped
http://blog.outer-court.com
Jul 20 '05 #5
Berislav Lopac wrote:
Unfortunately, it is not even that much of Microsoft's fault as it is of the
average users out there. Most people use Windows, and on most Windows
platforms IE comes preinstalled.


http://www.webstandards.org/buzz/arc...1.html#a000278

--
Stanimir
Jul 20 '05 #6
> Unfortunately, it is not even that much of Microsoft's fault as it is of the
average users out there. Most people use Windows, and on most Windows
platforms IE comes preinstalled.


Apparently, new versions of IE will not be freely available for
download, but will only be available with new versions of Windows -
surely good news for mozilla and opera and others. If people have to
have the latest OS to get the latest IE, then they are more likely to
swap to another browser.
Jul 20 '05 #7
*Ian Watts*:

Apparently, new versions of IE will not be freely available for
download, but will only be available with new versions of Windows -
surely good news for mozilla and opera and others. If people have to
have the latest OS to get the latest IE, then they are more likely to
swap to another browser.


Wish-thinking. The majority of users still use the browser that came with
their OS and they use the OS that came with their computer. New computers
come with the most recent OS with the most recent browser. The majority of
computers sold are new and the total number is constantly growing, i.e. the
growing percentage of IE6 is (almost) not based on people downloading and
installing it, but by people buying new computers with Windows XP
preïnstalled, then there are some who accidently get it by installing their
ISP's required software, i.e. inserting the CD into the drive and clicking
OK several times as they were told.
For that reason IE7 will have almost the same adoption rate as IE6, at most
two years after the Longhorn launch it will be the most used browser if
nothing serious happens until then (e.g. in court).

That's however off topic in ciwas.
F'up2 poster

--
"When a thing has been said and well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it."
Anatole France
Jul 20 '05 #8
Mason A. Clark <ma*******@THIS ix.netcom.comQ> wrote in message news:<03******* *************** **********@4ax. com>...
Is there information content in this observation?

use html tables for layout:

http://www.microsoft.com and http://www.netscape.com

uses styles:

http://www.opera.com

MasonC


Maybe the first two have more connection to the real world?
I don't want to be inflammatory, nor do I want to even seem for an
instant to approve of M$'s hostility to the spirit of standards. What
I mean is that CSS has been botched.
In the early days of the web, when frames appeared, you could learn in
about an hour how to do web-site layout with frames. Of course, people
eventually realized that frames cause a number of problems. So a lot
of those web sites converted to frameless layouts using tables. Again,
tables have a clear conceptual model as a layout tool. You could pick
it up in an hour or less.

But converting those sites to use CSS is a time-consuming nightmare.
There are lots of web sites out there which explain how to use CSS for
2-column layouts ... how to make the columns look the same length ...
how to create footers ... etc. But the very proliferation of such
sites is an indication that something is wrong. Tasks that were
trivial with frames or tables (because of their clear conceptual
model) are difficult with CSS.

This indicates that the people who created CSS botched the job. CSS is
not being accepted, and it's not because the browser implementors
aren't implementing it (on the whole they are doing a good job), it's
because CSS is no good. Separating layout from content is a good idea
- but it has not been done right in CSS.
Jul 20 '05 #9
On 26 Jan 2004 14:25:02 -0800, Retlak <re****@go.co m> wrote:

But converting those sites to use CSS is a time-consuming nightmare.
There are lots of web sites out there which explain how to use CSS for
2-column layouts ... how to make the columns look the same length ...
how to create footers ... etc. But the very proliferation of such
sites is an indication that something is wrong. Tasks that were
trivial with frames or tables (because of their clear conceptual
model) are difficult with CSS.

This indicates that the people who created CSS botched the job. CSS is
not being accepted, and it's not because the browser implementors
aren't implementing it (on the whole they are doing a good job), it's
because CSS is no good. Separating layout from content is a good idea
- but it has not been done right in CSS.


I think a large part of the problem is the misconception that CSS is a
drop-in replacement for tabular layout.

The misuse of the table markup has led to some rather attractive and
popular designs. Naturally, the web author wants to accomplish this type
of layout with CSS, and there are those who mislead by saying "you can do
anything with CSS." So the author half-learns CSS, cannot accomplish the
identical table layout, and gives up.

Facts are facts. CSS is the correct way to do layout, not tables. Table
markup must be reserved for tabular data, lest we lose the meaning of that
markup entirely. And anything worth doing (including CSS) is worth taking
enough time and experimentation with to eventually make it possible to
work with it fluently.

Over time students of CSS can see that it's totally different from table
layout, and works nothing like it, but the resulting product is far
superior in many ways. And they see that the CSS model is not a
replacement for the table layout model, but the first really correct way
to do the job of layout where tables were misused to get a layout "effect".

Yes, I agree that the learning curve for CSS is steep, and that has an
effect. But the learning curve for Javascript seems steep as well, and we
see it used all over. Somehow I can't accept the learning curve as being a
primary reason for the problem. A CSS-Lite might be a worthwhile
objective, perhaps...
Jul 20 '05 #10

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