RE: HTML5, Phones, and Tables

Subject: RE: HTML5, Phones, and Tables
From: <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
To: "'Chris Despopoulos'" <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2016 07:53:02 -0400

We should think of tables as a way to structured information lookup for static media. In other words, they are a technique for presenting data on paper because of paper's lack of any kind of interactive features.

Consider, for instance, the time tables for a transportation company. No modern airline or bus company would dream of presenting its schedules as a static table anymore. Instead, the present a booking widget that lets you enter your starting point, destination, and travel times and automatically constructs an itinerary for you.

So the question should not be, how do we present tables in online media. We should never be thinking in those terms. We should be thinking how to allow readers to manipulate this data, or to ask the question of the system whose answer depends on this data. If we also have to present the data in a static media, then and only then should we be thinking about how to make it into a table.

The key here is to stop thinking in terms of tables and presentation and to start thinking in terms of data and queries on that data. Fall back to tables only as a last resort.

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Chris Despopoulos
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2016 4:10 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: HTML5, Phones, and Tables

In the old world tables are very useful. There's no better way in print to show a matrix of options, or present a comparison in one glance. For desktop online docs that translates really well... You can even use javascript to turn the table into something a bit more dynamic -- say, enable sorting of rows, for example. But tables require a lot of real estate.

What do you do for phones?
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HTML5, Phones, and Tables: From: Chris Despopoulos

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