Nathan Rixham wrote:
At 2:06 PM -0400 5/15/09, Tom Worster wrote:
for one thing, a table is a great way of representing relations
(http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Relation.html). data tables are the
example but very often a form's structure is a relation, e.g. between
and input fields, or between multiple input fields.
some of the best designed and behaving web sites i know use tables in
that a list apart would consider heathen.
However, there are occasions such as in a calendar where not using a
table would be more than difficult. I haven't received a decree yet as
to IF that would be considered column data or not.
I'm gonna differ on this one, when you simply float each calender item
to the left you're pretty much done, in many cases i find it easier than
But with tables, you can use th and td elements to describe the tabular
data, and non visual browsers will know what to do with those tags to
better describe the data in the table.
Also, by using a table, you don't end up with funny display should the
calendar be displayed in a small browser window. Yes, you'll end up with
the dreaded horizontal scroll bar in a small window, but in the case of
tabular data, that's what should happen. The only way to accomplish a
div/css solution is with absolute position.
Positioning tabular data with divs also goes completely to hell if the
user turns of css. Tables still render the tabular data correctly with
CSS turned off.
That's why tabular data should be done with the table tag.
Tables aren't themselves evil, using them for layout it.
Example of the proper use of tables:
The layout (and I confess, I'm no artistic design guru) is fairly basic
div/css based layout. Haven't even tested in IE or Safari (fricken MS
and Apple won't port their browsers to Linux) - there may be some CSS
The tabular data however (search results) is done the way tabular data
should be done - via table. I could have done it with divs but table was
the proper tag.
All the "tables are evil" tripe needs to be noted that the tripe is
within the scope of layout design, not the scope of tabular data.
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