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CSS versus table layout, redux

P: n/a
From
http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/java...ss_layout.html

"Typically CSS layout replaces tables, which are currently the most popular
method of placing page elements. There is a common misconception that CSS
layout techniques are incapable of producing complex page layouts. While it
is true that *tables generally provide more flexibility*, I will show you
that complex layouts are quite possible with CSS." [emphasis added]

No, I'm not trolling. I don't have a dog in this hunt. Furthermore, it's
not necessarily true that "more flexibility" is a good thing. I just want
to know if/in what sense the above is true.

Cheers,

S
Jul 20 '05 #1
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3 Replies


P: n/a
"sinister" <si******@nospam.invalid> writes:
From
http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/java...ss_layout.html

"Typically CSS layout replaces tables, which are currently the most popular
method of placing page elements. There is a common misconception that CSS
layout techniques are incapable of producing complex page layouts. While it
is true that *tables generally provide more flexibility*, I will show you
that complex layouts are quite possible with CSS." [emphasis added]

No, I'm not trolling. I don't have a dog in this hunt. Furthermore, it's
not necessarily true that "more flexibility" is a good thing. I just want
to know if/in what sense the above is true.


Hmm. No, not true, I'd say.

There are layouts that are quite easy to put together in tables that
are very difficult (at least until IE starts supporting display:
table) to duplicate in CSS.

Likewise there are CSS based layouts that are not possible (or
extremely difficult) with tables. And CSS gives you a lot more
flexibility over the linearisation order.

I certainly don't think there's much that can be done with layout
tables that can't be closely (if not exactly) matched by CSS -
vertical alignment being one tricky thing to do in CSS, multiple
columns being another.

As to whether more flexibility is good or bad, depends what you mean
by flexibility.

--
Chris
Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
sinister wrote:
From
http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/java...ss_layout.html

"Typically CSS layout replaces tables, which are currently the most popular
method of placing page elements. There is a common misconception that CSS
layout techniques are incapable of producing complex page layouts. While it
is true that *tables generally provide more flexibility*, I will show you
that complex layouts are quite possible with CSS." [emphasis added]

No, I'm not trolling. I don't have a dog in this hunt. Furthermore, it's
not necessarily true that "more flexibility" is a good thing. I just want
to know if/in what sense the above is true.


That question is too general. Everything depends on the details: Your
definition of flexibility, how the table/CSS layout is implemented, what
the site requirements are, how the layout has to work out in which
browsers, etc etc etc. There are things you can't easily do with tables,
and things you can't easily do with CSS. Depending on the site
requirements/time of day/blood sugar level I go for one or the other.
Matthias

Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
Chris Morris wrote:
"sinister" <si******@nospam.invalid> writes:
From
http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/java...ss_layout.html

"Typically CSS layout replaces tables, which are currently the most
popular method of placing page elements. There is a common
misconception that CSS layout techniques are incapable of producing
complex page layouts. While it is true that *tables generally
provide more flexibility*, I will show you that complex layouts are
quite possible with CSS." [emphasis added]
[snip] As to whether more flexibility is good or bad, depends what you mean
by flexibility.


I see at least 3 different meanings of "flexibility" in use:

- The ability to provide a larger *range* of layouts. I don't know how to
count this, and suspect it isn't worth trying. They form different, but
overlapping sets, and hybrid approaches can also be used.

- The ability to *change* the layout more easily. CSS typically wins there,
especially if it uses absolute positioning. But using float as a layout
technique can be as tricky to change as a table, except to swap left and
right.

- The *behaviour* of the page under different viewing conditions. I doubt if
that is what is meant here. But simple layout tables can adapt very well to
different content & viewing conditions without stacking behaviour. They don't
have the flexibility of floating behaviour, but I don't like that at the
page-layout level anyway.

I'm tending to think of use of absolute positioning, and use of floats, as 2
techniques that are as different from one another as either is from tables.
Otherwise, some statements are difficult to understand.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #4

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