24 Replies Latest reply on Sep 21, 2007 6:23 AM by Newsgroup_User

    Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...

    Level 7
      Any reason why most of us don't just use DIVs as spacers instead of the
      infamous invisible GIF?

      Sure, there's the block property of the DIV that forces a carriage return
      that can be an obstacle, but that's over-ridable, isn't it? A DIV can be
      forced to act inline, can't it?

      Wouldn't a page with 5 DIV spacers instead of 5 GIF spacers mean 5 less
      requests to the server?


        • 1. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
          Level 7
          .oO(Mike J.S.)

          >Any reason why most of us don't just use DIVs as spacers instead of the
          >infamous invisible GIF?

          Why use a div? There are margin and padding properties to adjust
          spacing.

          >Sure, there's the block property of the DIV that forces a carriage return
          >that can be an obstacle, but that's over-ridable, isn't it? A DIV can be
          >forced to act inline, can't it?

          Of course it could, but it doesn't make much sense. The inline
          counterpart of a div is a span.

          >Wouldn't a page with 5 DIV spacers instead of 5 GIF spacers mean 5 less
          >requests to the server?

          No. The image is just downloaded once, even if it's used a hundred times
          on the page. But of course using spacer images is 90's style.

          Micha
          • 2. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
            Level 7
            "Michael Fesser" <netizen@gmx.de> wrote in message
            news:74q0f3tirjpe8tej0igrbe93ct6b1f0luq@4ax.com...
            > .oO(Mike J.S.)
            >
            >>Any reason why most of us don't just use DIVs as spacers instead of the
            >>infamous invisible GIF?
            >
            > Why use a div? There are margin and padding properties to adjust
            > spacing.

            Are you suggesting that there is never a good reason to use a spacer, ever,
            under any circumstance?

            > No. The image is just downloaded once, even if it's used a hundred times
            > on the page. But of course using spacer images is 90's style.

            And going 100% static is so Web 2.0 -- I thought we were on the tail end of
            that fad.

            One thing that doesn't change, however - year after year - is this tendancy
            of dismissing entire cross-segments of technology, language, and even
            *purpose* (of all things) when a hot new fad rears it head.
            Absolute-positioning, scrollable divs, AJAX... specifying a different class
            for every quarter-inch of space of your static, immobile layout... sure,
            it's a lot of fun right now.

            Spacers being too 90's? When I look at what the current trends are, I guess
            there are some aspects of the 90's I'm not at all embarrased about still
            holding on to. ;-)


            • 3. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
              Level 7
              .oO(Mike J.S.)

              >"Michael Fesser" <netizen@gmx.de> wrote in message
              >news:74q0f3tirjpe8tej0igrbe93ct6b1f0luq@4ax.com...
              >>
              >> Why use a div? There are margin and padding properties to adjust
              >> spacing.
              >
              >Are you suggesting that there is never a good reason to use a spacer, ever,
              >under any circumstance?

              I think so. What is a spacer? A piece of nothing with a width and a
              height. Both can easily be accomplished with setting some margins on
              another element. Until now I've never come across a spacing issue that
              couldn't be solved with CSS.

              >> No. The image is just downloaded once, even if it's used a hundred times
              >> on the page. But of course using spacer images is 90's style.
              >
              >And going 100% static is so Web 2.0

              Static is still the most accessible. Often "AJAX" and many other "Web
              2.0" features cause more problems than they solve.

              >Spacers being too 90's?

              Yes, 90's. 1890's. ;)

              >When I look at what the current trends are, I guess
              >there are some aspects of the 90's I'm not at all embarrased about still
              >holding on to. ;-)

              There just isn't any point in using spacer images anymore. We have CSS.

              Micha
              • 4. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                Level 7

                > Are you suggesting that there is never a good reason to use a spacer,
                > ever,
                > under any circumstance?

                Spacers can make sense if you are doing some complex table-based
                slicing-and-dicing, but if you are using CSS for your page layout, then
                there's really no need for spacers at all.

                -Darrel


                • 5. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                  Dooza (Steve) Level 2
                  Use the right tool for the right job ;)
                  • 6. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                    Level 7
                    "darrel" <notreal@nowhere.com> wrote in message
                    news:fcr74n$1rb$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                    >
                    >> Are you suggesting that there is never a good reason to use a spacer,
                    >> ever, under any circumstance?
                    >
                    > Spacers can make sense if you are doing some complex table-based
                    > slicing-and-dicing, but if you are using CSS for your page layout, then
                    > there's really no need for spacers at all.

                    Which is exactly what I was saying - I would no more rely exclusively on CSS
                    for my page layout than I would Flash. CSS simply isn't liquid-friendly -
                    yet.

                    When people discovered Flash, they started building Flash-only sites just to
                    prove that they could. Then clients asked them how they could bookmark the
                    contact page, and the author went "D'OH!"

                    When people discovered Templates, they left Frames behind and swore only by
                    templates. Then a band asks its webmaster to have one of its songs playing
                    in the background while peopel are surfing the site, and the author went
                    "D'OH!"

                    The very same thing happens with each major revision of CSS : "Oh, I use CSS
                    for my layouts, are you still using tables? I pity you and look down on your
                    entire family for being related to you."

                    Seriously, it's getting ridiculous. Spacers have their use, as you
                    mentioned, in liquid layouts that don't shackle themselves by insisting --
                    for the sole sake of being able to say you did -- on relying exclusively on
                    CSS containers and positioning.

                    CSS loyalists don't need spacers, ever, for ANYTHING? That's wonderful for
                    them. Now ask them how to left-justify an image without any text wrapping
                    underneath. Bottom-margin on the img? How long do you make it? CSS can't
                    fill 100% height inside a container -- or even accomplish the simple task of
                    vertically-centering *anything* on the page -- without exploiting a bevy of
                    bugs in various browsers' interpretation of CSS? A fix for IE6 here, another
                    for Opera there...

                    ...or, they coulda just used a table.

                    Will the table require spacers in certain situations? Yes. They're not
                    perfect. And neither is CSS, Flash, Java, Javascript or Frames. All of them
                    have their uses, and each of them is ideal for tackling at least one
                    specific obstacle. It makes absolutely no sense to void entire
                    cross-segments of tools out of principle alone.

                    But this is far too reasonable -- and not quite sexy enough -- an approach
                    for many who won't get to say "Hey, this website was programmed entirely
                    without using the letter 'E' -- I dare you to fine one!"

                    Will the end user care? If the site rocks, the site rocks. The only thing
                    you accomplished by avoiding a letter, a word, a language or a methodology
                    is needlessly waste time.

                    My $0.02 as a 10-year noob. And I hope to still be one in another 10 years.


                    • 7. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                      Level 7
                      "Doooza" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                      news:fcrbss$8na$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                      > Use the right tool for the right job ;)

                      QFT.


                      • 8. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                        Level 7
                        > Which is exactly what I was saying - I would no more rely exclusively on
                        > CSS for my page layout than I would Flash. CSS simply isn't
                        > liquid-friendly - yet.

                        Yeah, it is. It's the browsers that aren't. Until IE6 goes away
                        completely, and IE7 maybe gets superseded, you will still have to worry
                        about browser renderings.

                        > When people discovered Flash, they started building Flash-only sites just
                        > to prove that they could. Then clients asked them how they could bookmark
                        > the contact page, and the author went "D'OH!"

                        That's a pretty generic indictment. Not everyone did this. There were many
                        good reasons not to do this at that time, and there still are.

                        > When people discovered Templates, they left Frames behind and swore only
                        > by templates. Then a band asks its webmaster to have one of its songs
                        > playing in the background while peopel are surfing the site, and the
                        > author went "D'OH!"

                        Those who understood web development knew exactly the score on such
                        things....

                        > The very same thing happens with each major revision of CSS : "Oh, I use
                        > CSS for my layouts, are you still using tables? I pity you and look down
                        > on your entire family for being related to you."

                        Yes. We do. 8)

                        > Seriously, it's getting ridiculous. Spacers have their use, as you
                        > mentioned, in liquid layouts that don't shackle themselves by insisting --
                        > for the sole sake of being able to say you did -- on relying exclusively
                        > on CSS containers and positioning.

                        Baloney. The only use I can think of for a spacer would be to prop a region
                        open to a minimum width for IE6 and earlier. And even then, you can use CSS
                        for it.

                        > Now ask them how to left-justify an image without any text wrapping
                        > underneath

                        Float it left, and place the text content in an adjacent div that is also
                        floated left.

                        > ...or, they coulda just used a table.

                        Not a chance, nor any advantage, and there are several disadvantages.

                        > My $0.02 as a 10-year noob. And I hope to still be one in another 10
                        > years.

                        Keep at it....

                        --
                        Murray --- ICQ 71997575
                        Adobe Community Expert
                        (If you *MUST* email me, don't LAUGH when you do so!)
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                        "Mike J.S." <no@spam.com> wrote in message
                        news:fcrkdn$jtk$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                        > "darrel" <notreal@nowhere.com> wrote in message
                        > news:fcr74n$1rb$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                        >>
                        >>> Are you suggesting that there is never a good reason to use a spacer,
                        >>> ever, under any circumstance?
                        >>
                        >> Spacers can make sense if you are doing some complex table-based
                        >> slicing-and-dicing, but if you are using CSS for your page layout, then
                        >> there's really no need for spacers at all.
                        >
                        > Which is exactly what I was saying - I would no more rely exclusively on
                        > CSS for my page layout than I would Flash. CSS simply isn't
                        > liquid-friendly - yet.
                        >
                        > When people discovered Flash, they started building Flash-only sites just
                        > to prove that they could. Then clients asked them how they could bookmark
                        > the contact page, and the author went "D'OH!"
                        >
                        > When people discovered Templates, they left Frames behind and swore only
                        > by templates. Then a band asks its webmaster to have one of its songs
                        > playing in the background while peopel are surfing the site, and the
                        > author went "D'OH!"
                        >
                        > The very same thing happens with each major revision of CSS : "Oh, I use
                        > CSS for my layouts, are you still using tables? I pity you and look down
                        > on your entire family for being related to you."
                        >
                        > Seriously, it's getting ridiculous. Spacers have their use, as you
                        > mentioned, in liquid layouts that don't shackle themselves by insisting --
                        > for the sole sake of being able to say you did -- on relying exclusively
                        > on CSS containers and positioning.
                        >
                        > CSS loyalists don't need spacers, ever, for ANYTHING? That's wonderful for
                        > them. Now ask them how to left-justify an image without any text wrapping
                        > underneath. Bottom-margin on the img? How long do you make it? CSS can't
                        > fill 100% height inside a container -- or even accomplish the simple task
                        > of vertically-centering *anything* on the page -- without exploiting a
                        > bevy of bugs in various browsers' interpretation of CSS? A fix for IE6
                        > here, another for Opera there...
                        >
                        > ...or, they coulda just used a table.
                        >
                        > Will the table require spacers in certain situations? Yes. They're not
                        > perfect. And neither is CSS, Flash, Java, Javascript or Frames. All of
                        > them have their uses, and each of them is ideal for tackling at least one
                        > specific obstacle. It makes absolutely no sense to void entire
                        > cross-segments of tools out of principle alone.
                        >
                        > But this is far too reasonable -- and not quite sexy enough -- an approach
                        > for many who won't get to say "Hey, this website was programmed entirely
                        > without using the letter 'E' -- I dare you to fine one!"
                        >
                        > Will the end user care? If the site rocks, the site rocks. The only thing
                        > you accomplished by avoiding a letter, a word, a language or a methodology
                        > is needlessly waste time.
                        >
                        > My $0.02 as a 10-year noob. And I hope to still be one in another 10
                        > years.
                        >


                        • 9. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                          Level 7
                          > Which is exactly what I was saying - I would no more rely exclusively on
                          > CSS for my page layout than I would Flash. CSS simply isn't
                          > liquid-friendly - yet.

                          I've used it for some liquid designs, though will admit tables are a bit
                          more manageable.

                          > The very same thing happens with each major revision of CSS : "Oh, I use
                          > CSS for my layouts, are you still using tables? I pity you and look down
                          > on your entire family for being related to you."

                          No one in here said that.

                          > CSS loyalists don't need spacers, ever, for ANYTHING? That's wonderful for
                          > them. Now ask them how to left-justify an image without any text wrapping
                          > underneath.

                          Use two divs. Float or abs. position them.

                          > Bottom-margin on the img?

                          img {
                          margin-bottom: whatever;
                          }

                          > ...or, they coulda just used a table.

                          Sure.

                          Though, I really don't know what you're arguing at this point. No one in
                          this thread is saying that you can't/shouldn't use tables. Only that if you
                          aren't using tables and using CSS, then there's no need for spacers for the
                          most part.

                          If you are using a table and need spacers for whatever reason (though even
                          then, CSS in moderation will likely suffice) whether you use an image or a
                          div probably isn't much of a difference.

                          -Darrel


                          • 10. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                            Level 7
                            .oO(Mike J.S.)

                            >Which is exactly what I was saying - I would no more rely exclusively on CSS
                            >for my page layout than I would Flash. CSS simply isn't liquid-friendly -
                            >yet.

                            It is. The only problem is IE.

                            >Seriously, it's getting ridiculous. Spacers have their use, as you
                            >mentioned, in liquid layouts that don't shackle themselves by insisting --
                            >for the sole sake of being able to say you did -- on relying exclusively on
                            >CSS containers and positioning.

                            Even in a table-based layout you can achieve the same _without_ spacer
                            images and a little CSS. Margins, paddings, width and height properties
                            also work in a table.

                            >CSS loyalists don't need spacers, ever, for ANYTHING?

                            Correct.

                            >That's wonderful for
                            >them. Now ask them how to left-justify an image without any text wrapping
                            >underneath.

                            At least four different ways come to mind (floating, background image
                            and left margin, positioning, display: table).

                            >Bottom-margin on the img?

                            Surely not. But what has this to do with spacer images?

                            >How long do you make it? CSS can't
                            >fill 100% height inside a container

                            height: 100% exists.

                            >-- or even accomplish the simple task of
                            >vertically-centering *anything* on the page -- without exploiting a bevy of
                            >bugs in various browsers' interpretation of CSS? A fix for IE6 here, another
                            >for Opera there...

                            Opera hardly needs any fixes in recent versions. It's always just IE.

                            >But this is far too reasonable -- and not quite sexy enough -- an approach
                            >for many who won't get to say "Hey, this website was programmed entirely
                            >without using the letter 'E' -- I dare you to fine one!"

                            <!DOCTYPE
                            ^
                            ;-)

                            Micha
                            • 11. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                              Level 7
                              "darrel" <notreal@nowhere.com> wrote in message
                              news:fcroog$ppj$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                              >> Which is exactly what I was saying - I would no more rely exclusively on
                              >> CSS for my page layout than I would Flash. CSS simply isn't
                              >> liquid-friendly - yet.
                              >
                              > I've used it for some liquid designs, though will admit tables are a bit
                              > more manageable.

                              Marry me.

                              >> The very same thing happens with each major revision of CSS : "Oh, I use
                              >> CSS for my layouts, are you still using tables? I pity you and look down
                              >> on your entire family for being related to you."
                              >
                              > No one in here said that.

                              Quoted from Murray in response to that same quote :
                              > Yes. We do. 8)

                              >> ...or, they coulda just used a table.
                              >
                              > Sure.

                              Murray disagrees with us.

                              > No one in this thread is saying that you can't/shouldn't use tables.

                              I thought Murray was? ;-)

                              Mike


                              • 12. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                Level 7
                                "Michael Fesser" <netizen@gmx.de> wrote in message
                                news:f5r2f3ht610kpfmp2fj7i4t82utdm9pokc@4ax.com...
                                > .oO(Mike J.S.)
                                >
                                >>Which is exactly what I was saying - I would no more rely exclusively on
                                >>CSS
                                >>for my page layout than I would Flash. CSS simply isn't liquid-friendly -
                                >>yet.
                                >
                                > It is. The only problem is IE.

                                Isn't that like saying riding a bike without a helmet is 100% safe... unless
                                you leave the house? ;-)

                                Whether we like it or not (and I'm liking it less and less myself), IE owns
                                the landscape. Even the most optimistic figures state FF's percentage of it
                                hasn't even hit double-digits yet. It was like 4 or 5% last time I checked
                                the stats on the various sites I've worked on.

                                (And don't quote me W3C numbers, as those figures are skewed by virtue of
                                its patrons all being IE-hating programmers. As far as the average surfer
                                goes, IE still has a ridiculous 90% of the landscape and as long as that
                                holds true, the sentence "except for IE" may just as well read "except for
                                almost everyone and everything".)

                                > Even in a table-based layout you can achieve the same _without_ spacer
                                > images and a little CSS. Margins, paddings, width and height properties
                                > also work in a table.

                                You ARE aware that tables cells collapse under enough stress if there are no
                                spacers present, right? Sometimes I wonder if the people who diss tables
                                even use them, or know as much about them as the people who do.

                                >> Now ask them how to left-justify an image without any text wrapping
                                >> underneath.
                                >
                                > At least four different ways come to mind (floating,

                                Must set finite amount of bottom-margin to work. No such thing as
                                margin-bottom:100%. So this is not a viable solution in a liquid layout.

                                > background image and left margin

                                Not if you want to have anykind of interaction with said image, like a
                                highlighting border on mouseover.

                                > positioning,

                                That's static, not liquid.

                                > display: table

                                Never heard of this. Will it work on IE6?

                                All of which brings us down to... why not just use a table?

                                >>Bottom-margin on the img?
                                >
                                > Surely not. But what has this to do with spacer images?
                                >
                                >>How long do you make it? CSS can't
                                >>fill 100% height inside a container
                                >
                                > height: 100% exists.

                                On all browsers, including IE6, like tables? And even if the answer is yes,
                                how does that work with margin-bottom:100%, which DOESN'T exist?

                                > Opera hardly needs any fixes in recent versions. It's always just IE.

                                Read: It's always just damn-well-near everyone and everything (IE is 90% of
                                your audience and until that changes, "just IE" excuses don't wash -- at
                                least not with MY websites).

                                Listen, I agree with you that if it wasn't for IE, we could all go all-CSS
                                with no IE hacks... and I'd be right there with you doing it happily without
                                ever looking back... but whether we like it or not IE *is* our lord and
                                master and until that tyrant is overthrown, all-CSS layouts will require
                                more hacks than they are worth.

                                Meanwhile, some of us use tables, which don't require said hacks (just the
                                odd spacer or two).

                                Mike


                                • 13. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                  Level 7
                                  Not at all. You said this -

                                  > I pity you and look down on your entire family for being related to you.

                                  and I said -

                                  >> Yes. We do. 8)

                                  Note the smiley.

                                  --
                                  Murray --- ICQ 71997575
                                  Adobe Community Expert
                                  (If you *MUST* email me, don't LAUGH when you do so!)
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                                  "Mike J.S." <no@spam.com> wrote in message
                                  news:fcul70$g1j$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                  > "darrel" <notreal@nowhere.com> wrote in message
                                  > news:fcroog$ppj$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                  >>> Which is exactly what I was saying - I would no more rely exclusively on
                                  >>> CSS for my page layout than I would Flash. CSS simply isn't
                                  >>> liquid-friendly - yet.
                                  >>
                                  >> I've used it for some liquid designs, though will admit tables are a bit
                                  >> more manageable.
                                  >
                                  > Marry me.
                                  >
                                  >>> The very same thing happens with each major revision of CSS : "Oh, I use
                                  >>> CSS for my layouts, are you still using tables? I pity you and look down
                                  >>> on your entire family for being related to you."
                                  >>
                                  >> No one in here said that.
                                  >
                                  > Quoted from Murray in response to that same quote :
                                  >> Yes. We do. 8)
                                  >
                                  >>> ...or, they coulda just used a table.
                                  >>
                                  >> Sure.
                                  >
                                  > Murray disagrees with us.
                                  >
                                  >> No one in this thread is saying that you can't/shouldn't use tables.
                                  >
                                  > I thought Murray was? ;-)
                                  >
                                  > Mike
                                  >


                                  • 14. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                    Level 7
                                    >Until now I've never come across a spacing issue that
                                    > couldn't be solved with CSS.

                                    At

                                    http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/#tech-divide-links

                                    you will see what just may a good use for a spacer image that can not be
                                    replicated by use of css margins on the adjacent links:

                                    "Checkpoint 10.5 Until user agents (including assistive technologies)
                                    render adjacent links distinctly, include non-link, printable characters
                                    (surrounded by spaces) between adjacent links. [Priority 3]"

                                    where you can use a spacer image in lieu of "printable characters
                                    surrounded by spaces."

                                    That said, version 2.0 of the guidelines, not yet finalized I gather,
                                    makes no mention of this issue at all. Since the Assistive Technologies
                                    have not changed in the interim, I am not at all sure why this
                                    checkpoint is missing now, but so it seems.

                                    E. Michael Brandt

                                    www.divaHTML.com
                                    divaPOP : standards-compliant popup windows
                                    divaGPS : you-are-here menu highlighting
                                    divaFAQ : FAQ pages with pizazz

                                    www.valleywebdesigns.com
                                    JustSo PictureWindow
                                    JustSo PhotoAlbum

                                    --
                                    • 15. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                      Level 7
                                      > Isn't that like saying riding a bike without a helmet is 100% safe...
                                      > unless you leave the house? ;-)

                                      No.

                                      > IE owns the landscape. Even the most optimistic figures state FF's
                                      > percentage of it hasn't even hit double-digits yet. It was like 4 or 5%
                                      > last time I checked the stats on the various sites I've worked on.

                                      It's quite simple to accommodate IE on most CSS layouts.

                                      > You ARE aware that tables cells collapse under enough stress if there are
                                      > no spacers present, right?

                                      Of course.

                                      > Sometimes I wonder if the people who diss tables even use them, or know as
                                      > much about them as the people who do.

                                      Don't give it a moment's thought. I do tables blindfolded. I have also
                                      been doing table-less layouts for years, and have never looked back.

                                      >>> Now ask them how to left-justify an image without any text wrapping
                                      >>> underneath.

                                      Consider this -

                                      http://murraytestsite.com/demo1.html

                                      Simple enough for you? Less markup than for a table?

                                      Or this -

                                      http://murraytestsite.com/demo2.html

                                      No hacks.

                                      Look, nobody is disputing that tables have value, and that they can be
                                      easier for you to use. What we are saying (I think) is that the benefits of
                                      using CSS for layout far outweigh any value that tables for layout bring to
                                      the ... err ... table.

                                      --
                                      Murray --- ICQ 71997575
                                      Adobe Community Expert
                                      (If you *MUST* email me, don't LAUGH when you do so!)
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                                      "Mike J.S." <no@spam.com> wrote in message
                                      news:fcum7b$h6i$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                      > "Michael Fesser" <netizen@gmx.de> wrote in message
                                      > news:f5r2f3ht610kpfmp2fj7i4t82utdm9pokc@4ax.com...
                                      >> .oO(Mike J.S.)
                                      >>
                                      >>>Which is exactly what I was saying - I would no more rely exclusively on
                                      >>>CSS
                                      >>>for my page layout than I would Flash. CSS simply isn't liquid-friendly -
                                      >>>yet.
                                      >>
                                      >> It is. The only problem is IE.
                                      >
                                      > Isn't that like saying riding a bike without a helmet is 100% safe...
                                      > unless you leave the house? ;-)
                                      >
                                      > Whether we like it or not (and I'm liking it less and less myself), IE
                                      > owns the landscape. Even the most optimistic figures state FF's percentage
                                      > of it hasn't even hit double-digits yet. It was like 4 or 5% last time I
                                      > checked the stats on the various sites I've worked on.
                                      >
                                      > (And don't quote me W3C numbers, as those figures are skewed by virtue of
                                      > its patrons all being IE-hating programmers. As far as the average surfer
                                      > goes, IE still has a ridiculous 90% of the landscape and as long as that
                                      > holds true, the sentence "except for IE" may just as well read "except for
                                      > almost everyone and everything".)
                                      >
                                      >> Even in a table-based layout you can achieve the same _without_ spacer
                                      >> images and a little CSS. Margins, paddings, width and height properties
                                      >> also work in a table.
                                      >
                                      > You ARE aware that tables cells collapse under enough stress if there are
                                      > no spacers present, right? Sometimes I wonder if the people who diss
                                      > tables even use them, or know as much about them as the people who do.
                                      >
                                      >>> Now ask them how to left-justify an image without any text wrapping
                                      >>> underneath.
                                      >>
                                      >> At least four different ways come to mind (floating,
                                      >
                                      > Must set finite amount of bottom-margin to work. No such thing as
                                      > margin-bottom:100%. So this is not a viable solution in a liquid layout.
                                      >
                                      >> background image and left margin
                                      >
                                      > Not if you want to have anykind of interaction with said image, like a
                                      > highlighting border on mouseover.
                                      >
                                      >> positioning,
                                      >
                                      > That's static, not liquid.
                                      >
                                      >> display: table
                                      >
                                      > Never heard of this. Will it work on IE6?
                                      >
                                      > All of which brings us down to... why not just use a table?
                                      >
                                      >>>Bottom-margin on the img?
                                      >>
                                      >> Surely not. But what has this to do with spacer images?
                                      >>
                                      >>>How long do you make it? CSS can't
                                      >>>fill 100% height inside a container
                                      >>
                                      >> height: 100% exists.
                                      >
                                      > On all browsers, including IE6, like tables? And even if the answer is
                                      > yes, how does that work with margin-bottom:100%, which DOESN'T exist?
                                      >
                                      >> Opera hardly needs any fixes in recent versions. It's always just IE.
                                      >
                                      > Read: It's always just damn-well-near everyone and everything (IE is 90%
                                      > of your audience and until that changes, "just IE" excuses don't wash --
                                      > at least not with MY websites).
                                      >
                                      > Listen, I agree with you that if it wasn't for IE, we could all go all-CSS
                                      > with no IE hacks... and I'd be right there with you doing it happily
                                      > without ever looking back... but whether we like it or not IE *is* our
                                      > lord and master and until that tyrant is overthrown, all-CSS layouts will
                                      > require more hacks than they are worth.
                                      >
                                      > Meanwhile, some of us use tables, which don't require said hacks (just the
                                      > odd spacer or two).
                                      >
                                      > Mike
                                      >


                                      • 16. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                        Level 7
                                        "Murray *ACE*" <forums@HAHAgreat-web-sights.com> wrote in message
                                        news:fcumh5$hff$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                        > Not at all. You said this -
                                        >
                                        >> I pity you and look down on your entire family for being related to you.
                                        >
                                        > and I said -
                                        >
                                        >>> Yes. We do. 8)
                                        >
                                        > Note the smiley.

                                        Yes, I got all that, and took it as humor, don't worry. :) Guess I shoulda
                                        put more smileys in my own quoting of you (I thought it was quite funny to
                                        constantly keep using you as the sole justification for what I was writing,
                                        guess it didn't come across as light-spirited as it was intended.)

                                        Damn internet. I blame tables.

                                        (And frames.)


                                        • 17. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                          Level 7
                                          Frames. Definitely frames. And Pop-up menus....

                                          --
                                          Murray --- ICQ 71997575
                                          Adobe Community Expert
                                          (If you *MUST* email me, don't LAUGH when you do so!)
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                                          "Mike J.S." <no@spam.com> wrote in message
                                          news:fcutl5$ou1$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                          > "Murray *ACE*" <forums@HAHAgreat-web-sights.com> wrote in message
                                          > news:fcumh5$hff$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                          >> Not at all. You said this -
                                          >>
                                          >>> I pity you and look down on your entire family for being related to you.
                                          >>
                                          >> and I said -
                                          >>
                                          >>>> Yes. We do. 8)
                                          >>
                                          >> Note the smiley.
                                          >
                                          > Yes, I got all that, and took it as humor, don't worry. :) Guess I shoulda
                                          > put more smileys in my own quoting of you (I thought it was quite funny to
                                          > constantly keep using you as the sole justification for what I was
                                          > writing, guess it didn't come across as light-spirited as it was
                                          > intended.)
                                          >
                                          > Damn internet. I blame tables.
                                          >
                                          > (And frames.)
                                          >


                                          • 18. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                            Level 7
                                            .oO(Mike J.S.)

                                            >"Michael Fesser" <netizen@gmx.de> wrote in message
                                            >news:f5r2f3ht610kpfmp2fj7i4t82utdm9pokc@4ax.com...
                                            >>
                                            >> At least four different ways come to mind (floating,
                                            >
                                            >Must set finite amount of bottom-margin to work.

                                            Nope, see Murray's demo page (which BTW is also just one way of doing
                                            it, there are some more).

                                            >> background image and left margin
                                            >
                                            >Not if you want to have anykind of interaction with said image, like a
                                            >highlighting border on mouseover.
                                            >
                                            >> positioning,
                                            >
                                            >That's static, not liquid.

                                            It's as "liquid" as a table. Of course you can position them side by
                                            side, while keeping the right column flexible up to a certain amount
                                            (using min/max-width for example).

                                            >> display: table
                                            >
                                            >Never heard of this. Will it work on IE6?

                                            No. It just shows how many different ways there are to achieve something
                                            particular with CSS.

                                            >All of which brings us down to... why not just use a table?

                                            Because in many cases it's not really necessary if you're familiar
                                            enough with CSS and know how it works behind the scenes. Most things
                                            even work in IE, and the ones which don't can usually be solved with
                                            little IE-specific workarounds.

                                            >> height: 100% exists.
                                            >
                                            >On all browsers, including IE6

                                            Probably, I don't use it.

                                            >like tables?

                                            Not exactly, because applying 100% to a table using the 'height'
                                            attribute was never allowed in HTML. The CSS way works slightly
                                            differently.

                                            >Listen, I agree with you that if it wasn't for IE, we could all go all-CSS
                                            >with no IE hacks... and I'd be right there with you doing it happily without
                                            >ever looking back... but whether we like it or not IE *is* our lord and
                                            >master and until that tyrant is overthrown, all-CSS layouts will require
                                            >more hacks than they are worth.

                                            Depends. One of the most used hacks for IE is something like "height:
                                            1%" to fix a whole bunch of float problems. And usually that's enough.
                                            IE 7 supports min/max-width/height properties quite well and several of
                                            the more advanced CSS selectors. Even PNG with alpha-transparency works,
                                            so only very few workarounds are really needed anymore, if any.

                                            As long as a site degrades gracefully if viewed with an older browser
                                            like IE 6, that's absolutely OK. It doesn't always have to look exactly
                                            the same, because that's not how the Web works.

                                            And why shouldn't users of modern browsers or IE 7 not get some benefits
                                            or additional nice effects like PNG transparency? I will most likely
                                            even start to use some CSS 3 features for browsers that support it.
                                            Opera 9.5 (alpha 1) for example has made some really big improvements
                                            there. Now it even supports text shadows. Quite nice. ;)

                                            Side note: Opera's alpha version is much more stable and complete than
                                            many other browser's beta or even release versions ...

                                            Micha
                                            • 19. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                              Level 7
                                              .oO(E Michael Brandt)

                                              > >Until now I've never come across a spacing issue that
                                              > > couldn't be solved with CSS.
                                              >
                                              >At
                                              >
                                              > http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/#tech-divide-links
                                              >
                                              >you will see what just may a good use for a spacer image that can not be
                                              >replicated by use of css margins on the adjacent links:
                                              >
                                              >"Checkpoint 10.5 Until user agents (including assistive technologies)
                                              >render adjacent links distinctly, include non-link, printable characters
                                              >(surrounded by spaces) between adjacent links. [Priority 3]"
                                              >
                                              >where you can use a spacer image in lieu of "printable characters
                                              >surrounded by spaces."

                                              Why would you want to use a spacer image there? Just insert some
                                              printable chars like commas for example. If you don't want them to be
                                              visible in a graphical browser use CSS to hide them.

                                              Micha
                                              • 20. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                                Level 7

                                                "Michael Fesser" <netizen@gmx.de> wrote in message
                                                news:att5f39he0fobiiesmv7ijq5324qervpnv@4ax.com...
                                                >>>
                                                >>> display: table
                                                >>
                                                >>Never heard of this. Will it work on IE6?
                                                >
                                                > No. It just shows how many different ways there are to achieve something
                                                > particular with CSS.

                                                How can it possibly be considered achieved when it doesn't work in the
                                                most-used browser on the internet today? IE6 is still the only browser all
                                                those unvalidated copies of Windows can run, isn't it?

                                                How many of your other solutions are similarly handicapped? And how can they
                                                be considered solutions when they only work on Firefox (5% of the
                                                population) and IE7 (not sure what it's up to now, but I'm fairly confident
                                                IE6 is still ahead)?

                                                >>All of which brings us down to... why not just use a table?
                                                >
                                                > Because in many cases it's not really necessary if you're familiar
                                                > enough with CSS and know how it works behind the scenes. Most things
                                                > even work in IE, and the ones which don't can usually be solved with
                                                > little IE-specific workarounds.

                                                But tables require no work-arounds. I'm just not understanding this
                                                widespread allergy to tables. It's like trying to understand racism. I've
                                                yet to hear one compelling argument against tables. The closest thing I've
                                                been presented are examples of how CSS can mimick the behavior, under
                                                certain browsers, provided certain hacks, when the stars are perfectly
                                                aligned.

                                                Even if CSS could mimick it PERFECTLY across the board sans hacks, why not
                                                just use tables? ("Because I don't have to" isn't a valid argument. I could
                                                say the same about why I don't use floating divs : I don't have to - I've
                                                got tables.)

                                                > Not exactly, because applying 100% to a table using the 'height'
                                                > attribute was never allowed in HTML.

                                                And yet ask anyone here how to vertically center a layout, and one of the
                                                first things they recommend is putting the whole shebang in a table.

                                                > Depends. One of the most used hacks for IE is something like "height:
                                                > 1%" to fix a whole bunch of float problems.

                                                But how can you go from the reasoning that you want to avoid tables and use
                                                CSS because CSS is valid, logical and will be supported indefinitely... and
                                                then turn around and use something called "height: 1%" to make it all work?

                                                If anything, having to set the body to 1% height would make me MORE nervous,
                                                not less. Who's to say that the next version of browsers won't make all
                                                those 1% calls *actually* 1%? Can you imaging a website body actually
                                                displaying at 1% of the viewport height?

                                                A longshot, but a possibility nonetheless, right? I mean if we take "CSS
                                                does what it says it does" to its natural conclusion.

                                                > As long as a site degrades gracefully if viewed with an older browser
                                                > like IE 6, that's absolutely OK. It doesn't always have to look exactly
                                                > the same, because that's not how the Web works.

                                                But how does it not degrade gracefully with tables?

                                                > And why shouldn't users of modern browsers or IE 7 not get some benefits
                                                > or additional nice effects like PNG transparency? I will most likely
                                                > even start to use some CSS 3 features for browsers that support it.
                                                > Opera 9.5 (alpha 1) for example has made some really big improvements
                                                > there. Now it even supports text shadows. Quite nice. ;)
                                                >
                                                > Side note: Opera's alpha version is much more stable and complete than
                                                > many other browser's beta or even release versions ...

                                                Hey, preaching to the choir there : I use PNGs all over the place. ;-)

                                                Mike


                                                • 21. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                                  Dooza (Steve) Level 2
                                                  I thought the main purpose of use CSS to position elements on the page was to allow the data to be seperated from the structure. Is that the right term? Not sure, but if you look at the source of a well formatted CSS site its still very easy to read. There may be no style, but the information is still there in a good fashion.

                                                  Another plus is that a well designed CSS site can have different style sheets for different mediums, like print, screen, hand held devices.

                                                  Here is a good example I did for a client, that works like a charm on a hand held device: http://www.ruchi.co.uk. I never intended it to, it just did, cos I used CSS to lay it out.

                                                  More and more phones are using browsers and people are using them, if they visit your site based on tables it will be horrible to use, and you need to think about these people.

                                                  As a newbie years ago I hated tables, they were always messy and a pain in the backside. Someone said CSS was going to be the future so I bought a book and found it even harder, so didn't bother to begin with, but soon enough I was turned. If you stick to nice elegant but simple designs you don't always need to tweak them that much for IE.

                                                  I still say use the right tool for the right job, and if you don't have the knowledge then you will just have to do what you know. Many people know CSS, you obviously know tables, just do what you think is right the thing for the job in hand.
                                                  • 22. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                                    Dooza (Steve) Level 2
                                                    that should be www.ru-chi.co.uk
                                                    • 23. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                                      Level 7
                                                      > How many of your other solutions are similarly handicapped? And how can
                                                      > they be considered solutions when they only work on Firefox (5% of the
                                                      > population) and IE7 (not sure what it's up to now, but I'm fairly
                                                      > confident IE6 is still ahead)?

                                                      None - I just showed you two of them.

                                                      > But tables require no work-arounds.

                                                      <sigh>
                                                      Neither do the other solutions.

                                                      > yet to hear one compelling argument against tables.

                                                      LIAR! 8)

                                                      * Table infrastructure must be fetched with every page. CSS infrastructure
                                                      is cached.
                                                      * Table layouts are notoriously inaccessible - they are read from left to
                                                      right, and top down. That's rarely how your content is loaded.
                                                      * Table layouts are difficult to maintain years later, since it's easy to
                                                      forget the 'feng-shui' of your approach. CSS is perfectly straightforward,
                                                      due to the proper use of descendent selectors.

                                                      Let me say again - nobody is telling you that you have to drop tables. If
                                                      they work for you, then use them. What *is* being said, though, is that CSS
                                                      offers a better way EXCEPT when it comes to the display of tabular data.
                                                      And you are so focused on needing to HACK - I just don't hack, except in the
                                                      rare case when I want to bring IE5 into the picture, or need to add a
                                                      conditional comment for IE6. The hack thing is simply a lame excuse....

                                                      You run in ever decreasing diameter concentric circles....

                                                      --
                                                      Murray --- ICQ 71997575
                                                      Adobe Community Expert
                                                      (If you *MUST* email me, don't LAUGH when you do so!)
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                                                      "Mike J.S." <no@spam.com> wrote in message
                                                      news:fcvmde$knt$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                                      >
                                                      > "Michael Fesser" <netizen@gmx.de> wrote in message
                                                      > news:att5f39he0fobiiesmv7ijq5324qervpnv@4ax.com...
                                                      >>>>
                                                      >>>> display: table
                                                      >>>
                                                      >>>Never heard of this. Will it work on IE6?
                                                      >>
                                                      >> No. It just shows how many different ways there are to achieve something
                                                      >> particular with CSS.
                                                      >
                                                      > How can it possibly be considered achieved when it doesn't work in the
                                                      > most-used browser on the internet today? IE6 is still the only browser all
                                                      > those unvalidated copies of Windows can run, isn't it?
                                                      >
                                                      > How many of your other solutions are similarly handicapped? And how can
                                                      > they be considered solutions when they only work on Firefox (5% of the
                                                      > population) and IE7 (not sure what it's up to now, but I'm fairly
                                                      > confident IE6 is still ahead)?
                                                      >
                                                      >>>All of which brings us down to... why not just use a table?
                                                      >>
                                                      >> Because in many cases it's not really necessary if you're familiar
                                                      >> enough with CSS and know how it works behind the scenes. Most things
                                                      >> even work in IE, and the ones which don't can usually be solved with
                                                      >> little IE-specific workarounds.
                                                      >
                                                      > But tables require no work-arounds. I'm just not understanding this
                                                      > widespread allergy to tables. It's like trying to understand racism. I've
                                                      > yet to hear one compelling argument against tables. The closest thing I've
                                                      > been presented are examples of how CSS can mimick the behavior, under
                                                      > certain browsers, provided certain hacks, when the stars are perfectly
                                                      > aligned.
                                                      >
                                                      > Even if CSS could mimick it PERFECTLY across the board sans hacks, why not
                                                      > just use tables? ("Because I don't have to" isn't a valid argument. I
                                                      > could say the same about why I don't use floating divs : I don't have to -
                                                      > I've got tables.)
                                                      >
                                                      >> Not exactly, because applying 100% to a table using the 'height'
                                                      >> attribute was never allowed in HTML.
                                                      >
                                                      > And yet ask anyone here how to vertically center a layout, and one of the
                                                      > first things they recommend is putting the whole shebang in a table.
                                                      >
                                                      >> Depends. One of the most used hacks for IE is something like "height:
                                                      >> 1%" to fix a whole bunch of float problems.
                                                      >
                                                      > But how can you go from the reasoning that you want to avoid tables and
                                                      > use CSS because CSS is valid, logical and will be supported
                                                      > indefinitely... and then turn around and use something called "height: 1%"
                                                      > to make it all work?
                                                      >
                                                      > If anything, having to set the body to 1% height would make me MORE
                                                      > nervous, not less. Who's to say that the next version of browsers won't
                                                      > make all those 1% calls *actually* 1%? Can you imaging a website body
                                                      > actually displaying at 1% of the viewport height?
                                                      >
                                                      > A longshot, but a possibility nonetheless, right? I mean if we take "CSS
                                                      > does what it says it does" to its natural conclusion.
                                                      >
                                                      >> As long as a site degrades gracefully if viewed with an older browser
                                                      >> like IE 6, that's absolutely OK. It doesn't always have to look exactly
                                                      >> the same, because that's not how the Web works.
                                                      >
                                                      > But how does it not degrade gracefully with tables?
                                                      >
                                                      >> And why shouldn't users of modern browsers or IE 7 not get some benefits
                                                      >> or additional nice effects like PNG transparency? I will most likely
                                                      >> even start to use some CSS 3 features for browsers that support it.
                                                      >> Opera 9.5 (alpha 1) for example has made some really big improvements
                                                      >> there. Now it even supports text shadows. Quite nice. ;)
                                                      >>
                                                      >> Side note: Opera's alpha version is much more stable and complete than
                                                      >> many other browser's beta or even release versions ...
                                                      >
                                                      > Hey, preaching to the choir there : I use PNGs all over the place. ;-)
                                                      >
                                                      > Mike
                                                      >


                                                      • 24. Re: Using DIVs (instead of GIFs) as spacers...
                                                        Level 7
                                                        > "Checkpoint 10.5 Until user agents (including assistive technologies)
                                                        > render adjacent links distinctly, include non-link, printable characters
                                                        > (surrounded by spaces) between adjacent links. [Priority 3]"

                                                        I'm not sure how valid this recommendation is anymore. One way around this
                                                        is if making a menu, put it in a list, then make it inline/float it to
                                                        create the horizontal links. That should accomplish the same result for
                                                        screen readers and the like.

                                                        -Darrel