Re: Seybold column: Why Tables for Layout Is Stupid

Subject: Re: Seybold column: Why Tables for Layout Is Stupid
From: "Mike Starr" <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 07:38:28 -0600

Well I think the base concepts are decent but the article itself was awful. Firstoff, the page titles don't match the line items in the navigation so it's difficult to relate one to the other and navigate through the article in sequence. And I looked for a "printable" version so I could just read the article but it wasn't apparent that "Everything all together" was what I was looking for rather than the title of one of the pages in the article, so of course I got to it after I finished wading through the whole article one page at a time.

Next, rather than focusing on tables, the author gets off on tangents moralizing about other types of markup (<font>, <b> and <br> for example).

Then the author concedes that using tables for some layout concepts might not actually be stupid at all (making the a left-side navigation column distinct from the body content).

The upshot of it is that we substitute one set of kluges (css) for another (table-based layouts). The table-based layout the author cited was extremely lame and I suspect not very representative of the bulk of the web. I'd probably have to spend a week getting that particular table structure built.

I use a table-based layout and css for the pages on my website... it may not be perfect but I'm reasonably satisfied that it meets my needs as well as the needs of my target audience.

Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Website developer
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
Phone: (262) 694-1028 - Tollfree: (877) 892-1028 - Fax:(262) 697-6334
Email: mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - Web:

----- Original Message -----

From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
Subject: Seybold column: Why Tables for Layout Is Stupid

Thought this might be of interest to our HTML crew: http://

It's an interesting take on why CSS is better than tables (mostly),
plus a relatively painless intro to some of the advantages of CSS. In
addition the the content, the site represents an interesting way of
making a Web-based presentation light and interesting (a mostly
appropriate and effective use of humor and illustrations), thus
possibly something people will read and absorb. Also a bunch of links
outside the presentation to various things of interest.

There are a few flaws, such as the assumption you know more CSS than
maybe you actually know, inconsistent page lengths, and overuse
(imho) of blue-bolded text, but on the whole... very interesting indeed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --

Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca

(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)


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