Saturday, July 16, 2011

Div-ided Over Tables

A debate has been raging for years and years on the web, the great tables vs divs debate. The idea is tables are meant for "tabular data", you know like spread sheets, and shouldn't be used for layouts. That's all well and good, but what it's meant for and what it does are two different things. It makes grids. Grids can be helpful for layouts. Hence using tables for layouts seems fine to me. When they are used right. This layout on my blog here for example, really would probably work better and be less hacky with a table. Just one. But then again with a layout like this it doesn't make that much of a difference.

And I know some people might bring up how screen reader software treats tables and blah blah. Personally I don't see what the difference is. Without the visual layout information it's all just blocks of text anyway. I feel sorry for blind for all the stuff they miss out on, but I really cannot imagine the difference, as long as it's done in a reasonable way.

But I think this whole debate is just a symptom of a more pressing problem, that webpages have become to reliant on complicated markup and stupid hacks. Or maybe that was always the problem since someone decided that making HTML as vague as possible about everything. Honestly it took me ages to get used to using divs and CSS. Mostly because I am always intentionally like 5 years behind. I hardly ever use CSS3 because it's just not supported enough. JavaScript I got used to, but lately I have been browsing with it off because more and more security problems are reported with it, and god does it annoy me how over used it is. For lulz I put a message in this blog when it's turned off the other day.

Here is an experiment for you. Using firefox? Go to the "View" menu. Go to "Page Style". Select "No Style". Notice a problem?


  1. So so borked. More borked then borked with a side order of borked in fact. :P