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gratefulcreative 37 posts
Sep 16, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Hello friends - are tables still a good idea?

Sep 20, 2011 8:38 AM

Tags: #dreamweaver #tables #newbie

Hello friends - knew to Dreamweaver, coming from Word and one website like 10 years ago. Is it good to use tables in Dreamweaver or no?

 

Thanks!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 6, 2011 11:14 AM   in reply to gratefulcreative

    Table are a good idea for presenting tabular data.

     

    The general view is that tables are a bad idea for basing a site design on.  If you Google it you will get heaps of information about this which will show that the general view is that HTML/CSS is best used by employing employing elements in the way they were intended.  It is fair to say that the consensus here will be that tables are not a good idea for site design.

     

    Martin

     
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    Dec 6, 2011 11:17 AM   in reply to martcol

    I haven't seen a tabled layout yet that didn't look as good or better as a CSS/DIV layout with less than half the code.

     
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    Dec 6, 2011 11:50 AM   in reply to Curtis_E_Flush

    Did you really mean

     

    "I haven't seen a CSS layout yet that didn't look as good or better as a table-based layout with less than half the code"?

     

    Otherwise, I'm with Murray.

     
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    Dec 6, 2011 11:48 AM   in reply to Curtis_E_Flush

    Boy - you haven't looked hard.  Half the code?  You must be joking....

     
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    Dec 6, 2011 11:55 AM   in reply to John Waller

    Personally? No I don't have any links. But take a look at http://www.alltechsecurity.com

     

    I used to work for them five years ago, and offered to re-do their site last year. That's what they paid $2400 for.

     

    Just for giggles, I "redid" it with DIVs and full CSS.  It looked IDENTICAL the way I did it, but the index page (458 lines of code and 13kb) was reduced to 245 lines and 3kb without all of those tables, tr's and td's with inline styling. In fact, the entire site was reduced to less than 30% of the original size when I was done with it.

     

    Sadly, my old boss didn't really care that I could have done it better for less than he paid someone 480 miles away to do that mess.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 6, 2011 12:51 PM   in reply to Curtis_E_Flush

    Define "less code."

     

    A really simple page, laid out in tables may not have significantly more code than a proper website using HTML4 and CSS. And this is due to the fact that you tend to discount the stylesheet when you are counting lines of code.

     

    In fact, I can see where one might actually have more lines of code in HTML4/CSS with no tables than a page laid out using tables if the entire page consists of header, footer navigation and a short line of text with a mailto: link, as in a contact page. Especially where the CSS defines pages and styles other than the ones being displayed.

     

    But it's not about how much code you have.

     

    One reason why we discount the code in the style sheet is because we know that a browser loads that style sheet and keeps it in memory when loading additional pages on the same website. So once it's loaded, the client's browser knows how to style all of the rest of the pages on the website.

     

    Table-based websites are a problem because:

     

    • They don't position everything the same for all browsers.
    • Faster page loading (especially once CSS is in the client's memory).
    • Redesigning is more efficient.
    • Redesigning is less expensive.
    • The visual consistency is maintained throughout the website.
    • It is better for search engine optimization.
    • It is better for accessibility.
    • You can quickly change anything that is style-based and those styles ripple throughout the website.
    • It is easier for teams to work on a website
    • Usability is increased with printer-based CSS as well as faster page downloading.
    • One is able to make more complex layouts and designs using CSS.
    • One is not using spacer GIFs all over the website.

     

    Now, if one does have tabular data, it is highly recommended that one do use tables. And one may style those tables in CSS.

     
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    Dec 6, 2011 12:54 PM   in reply to John Waller

    Did you really mean

     

    "I haven't seen a CSS layout yet that didn't look as good or better as a table-based layout with less than half the code"?

     

    I'm sure that's what he meant given his later post....

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 7, 2011 10:51 AM   in reply to mhollis55

    mhollis55 wrote:

     

    Define "less code."

     

    A really simple page, laid out in tables may not have significantly more code than a proper website using HTML4 and CSS. And this is due to the fact that you tend to discount the stylesheet when you are counting lines of code.

     

    In the example I posted above (certainly NOT a really simple site), there are fourteen pages in all, and even with a 3kb stylesheet which it didn't have before the redux, it still netted a 67% sitewide size reduction... because they ididn't even use a simple inline style in the <head> but rather chose to do all of it in the tr and td tags.

     

    I have't used a table layout since 2006, and stand by what I said oroginally. I have yet to see a tabled layout that doesn't look as good or better with DIVs and CSS...  WITHOUT all those tr's and td's and all the individual styling code that can be done with a single stylesheet for the entire site as opposed to 2-3kb (or more) of extra code per page.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 7, 2011 11:05 AM   in reply to Curtis_E_Flush

    Oh, I do realize you are using actual pages, Curtis.

     

    But I was just handed a "beauty" of a table-designed website and will be laying it out in div tags. His original website (which he designed-HA!) has a Contact Page that has 22 lines of code. There is no style sheet. On my own website, 22 lines of code doesn't take you past navigation.

     

    And I know that my style sheet is around 300 to 320 lines of code.

     

    So you can see that if you're doing something really simple here, the claim that proper div layout with HTML and CSS can run longer and may take longer to load. And that is what I was thinking of when I said, "Define 'less code.'"

     

    Your main point is correct. This is a better way to lay out web pages. It's not about how much code there is, it's about all of the other things, too.

     
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    Dec 7, 2011 11:15 AM   in reply to mhollis55

    True, the amount of code alone doesn't define a good site.I just HATE opening up a page and finding that I have to go through forty or fifty DOZEN TRs or TDs to find the one I'm looking to change the style on, especially if there are tables within tables and styles within the styles... then have to do the same for every last page of the site.

     

    Far easier to see the ID of a DIV and find it in the stylesheet to make the site-wide change.

     
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    Dec 7, 2011 11:19 AM   in reply to Curtis_E_Flush

    That would be points 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9 I made above.

     
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