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    A hell of a lot less of a headache when styling, that’s for sure. lol I really think it comes down to using tables for they are meant for – tabular data.

    Look at it this way: Would you rather write and style more markup, or less? Imaging building an entire website of nothing but tables, just like the old days – no way Jose!


    _John_: LOL yes I know, I know…. my .NET friends tell me this all the time. The thing I learned first was classic ASP / VBScript and it worked so great for everything I needed so I didn’t see any need to change. It wasn’t until Microsoft forced things to go to .NET that I realized what they were doing. The problem is though I can’t figure out what exactly what .NET does that ASP couldn’t? (Other than the previous mentioned compiling of code). I’m going to have to learn it no doubt but the reason I think .NET was for was because classic ASP/VBScript was just too easy and MS wanted to protect the industry more (that might not be it but MS has a huge history of doing that). I have struggled a lot trying to learn .NET because it’s so radically different. I mean, when it first came out the name confused a lot of people and then they tried to call it “ASP.NET” making it seem like it was just an upgraded ASP when it fact it was a complete overhaul. Do you have any recomended online guides/tutorials you’d recommend for someone like me who is coming from classic ASP/VBScript trying to learn .NET? I really need one if you do.

    joshuanhibbert & andy_unleash: Not sure what trolling means but I assure you I’m not just trying to argue, trust me I wouldn’t have to come online to do that. ;-) But admittedly, people tell me all the time I have an argumentative personality so sorry if I come across that way…..guess I just call things like I see them with no regard on offending anyone. But to your point, I probably should have been more specific as to what I meant: you and several others are giving reasons and I think I’m seeing some of them but others I’m just not seeing the “WHY” behind them. For example, you said above that to change the layout the have to alter the markup. Why is that a problem? Whether you make changes to an HTML file or a CSS file isn’t it all the same? If it’s something that will be used repeatedly on multiple pages then I use include files. I honestly don’t understand the difference. Is it time savings? For me I am super fast at tabled html becuase you are right it’s the only way I’ve ever known. Can you give me a very specific case or example of what you’re talking about? I think I need something very black & white to understand what you’re saying.
    I know I am going to have to learn tableless HTML so that’s why I want to find a good tutorial for guys like me, but at the same time I want to try and understand the real reason behind why people say there is such a drastic difference. From what I think I’ve gathered about the use of DIVs, one big advantage is that DIVs just have more flexibility than tables in terms of not being restricted by a parent container necessarily? Someone above gave the example that if you want to move it to another side you just do {float : left}? That I can see as an advantage because I think you can layer your data?? That was one big thing with tables was very hard to do.

    Everyone: I think I am starting to see some of the advantages of CSS & DIVs over Tables, not quite as die hard as most of you yet but I’m seeing some of them. Some of the advantages are very clear & straight up because of the restrictions of tables and being contained the way they are. And other advantages like I said earlier are because certain functionality was specifically taken away from tables in HTML5. To be honest with everyone, I think this is what really gets me going about any major change in technology. So many people just blindly buy into the common knowledge them of “technology is always changing” to mean that any change must be a necessary one and that’s just not true. If you need an example just look at most of Microsoft’s product changes (menu being replaced with ribbon, control panels moved around and named something different, user interface changes but with absolutey no functionality change, etc, etc, etc).

    As always, appreciate the comments guys.


    For example, you said above that to change the layout the have to alter the markup. Why is that a problem? Whether you make changes to an HTML file or a CSS file isn’t it all the same?

    It’s not a problem per se, but you should consider best practices. Your style sheet contains your style, and your HTML contains your content. As soon as you start using tables for layout, you are blurring the lines between the two. This means that you can no longer simply open your CSS file to make stylistic changes, you have to edit the HTML also. Now this may not be a big deal for you as an individual; it is obviously what you are used to doing. But as soon as you start working in a team, this can increase the workflow.

    Put simply, nothing on the web is black and white, and it is fairly rare that there is only one correct way to handle something. There are better ways to handle things though, and tables aren’t the best way to handle layout. They introduce little quirks that can be avoided, and make it more difficult to edit styles.

    Tables were never meant to be used as they have been; that is our fault (web designers). CSS still doesn’t have sufficient layout tools, but it is heading in the right direction. My biggest recommendation to you would be to force yourself to use a different layout technique on your next project. Nothing will teach you the benefits like actually doing it, and it will certainly be more of a learning experience than reading through this thread, as much of what is being said makes sense to those who use CSS for layout, but not for those who use tables.

    Finally, if you do decide to use CSS for layout, I would recommend having a read of an article I wrote on using inline-block instead of floats. This is another interesting topic of conversation; there are those who prefer floats, and those (like me) who try and avoid using them for layout. Either way, hopefully the article will teach you something new:


    Ideally, I believe an html page without any CSS, should look like a well structured and easy to read written document. It shouldn’t look much different than a document typed up in a word processor, since the whole idea of most pages is just to convey information.

    The beauty of CSS layout comes in the ability to take this rather plain, but highly readable document, and infinitely design it to look however we want, without ever touching the original html markup.

    > A classic example of this idea is [CSS Zen Garden]( “CSS Zen Garden”)


    joshuanhibbert: Ya know, I can understand where that would be a benefit as a team and why having a clear seperation like that would be definitely beneficial. Yea, I know I’m going to have to learn to change…. just really hate learning new stuff all the time. Wish we could just have one language and stick with it. I actually think if we could magically reinvent the internet and create a single language for everything it would be awesome. No more having tons of languages (java, .net, asp, html, php, ajax, etc). My personal opinion is I think eventually we (humans) are going to have to standardize somewhat on codebases that get used if we ever truly want to have a 100% working form of technology. That may sound crazy but honestly think about how many errors happen every day to the average user, whether it be in a browser or running an application. Those errors aren’t caused because of some capacitor just decided not to pass it’s charge on when the semiconductor gates open….nope, it’s almost always because of some kind of incompatibility in code and the application not knowing what to do. If we ever truly want a chance at perfection, we need to stop having 87 different kinds of programming languages. Otherwise you’ll get more fiasco’s like HD-DVD and Blu-Ray caused. Every company wants “their” product to be the standard and just like Apple & Microsoft, and they never want to share. I would love it if the free market could dictate the standard but history has shown us that when people are “free” to set those standards they rarely if ever get set.

    Thanks to all of you who posted. Ciao.

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