Monday, July 20, 2009

Seriously - Why Are You A Table Hater?

I still use them. A lot. In fact, most of the time.

I really want to know what the big problem with HTML tables REALLY is - so this is the first time I'm ASKING for you to comment here. I just want some feedback and opinions from you guys out there - but if you're going to call me an HTML-Loser or scold me for utilizing HTML tables still - just know - I'll NOT PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT!! So, be nice and helpful, please. :)

OK, so onto the discussion going on in my brain.

Yeah, yeah... I know - a pure CSS layout that's totally fluid, accessible, W3C Valid, splash page-free, hydromatic & systematic, turbo-fueled, vegan, eco-friendly and sugar-free website is all the rage... But SERIOUSLY - are tables REALLY that bad?

I think there's some great things about tables.

For starters - I feel like I have absolutely more design control over tables. I set the size, and right from the start - I know EXACTLY how large my accompanying graphics should be. I find with design work for Volusion E-Commerce, I prefer customizing a fixed-width table template rather than the fluid ones. The main reason for this, is that once the 'core design' is in place, the client or store owner almost always wants a main page graphic that is either in Flash, or clickable to different areas of the site (for example - we did this on the Medical Department Store, and Mom's Gift Shop - if you view the front pages, you'll see heavily graphic landing areas). If these were fluid layouts - then our static graphics would be dwarfed in large browsers. Am I wrong? Is there something I'm missing here?

How do you guys that create fluid 100% width websites manage to have center front page content or design elements that 'fit' well in 'most' browsers and screen resolutions?

Am I just a control freak? Is it that tables are just plain easier to create and work with?

OK, so now you're saying - "just build your site in fixed width DIVs if you want fixed width..."

BUT WHY? Or, I should say - WHY NOT just do it with tables? What's so wrong with tables?

Maybe it's my brain, or maybe it's just that I stick with how I learned - but tables click in my brain better than divs. They always have. Maybe it's just that I am stuck on tables.

Maybe there is a 12-step Get-Away-From-HTML-Tables program I need to start.

Are there any of you like me out there? Or am I totally alone? Offer feedback, just don't hurt my feelings, OK?

Don't get me wrong: I use divs all the time - and use them WITH tables. I have a few sites that are table-less, and honestly, I'm no more proud of them than I am the ones that are table-ridden.

I'm not a table hater. I'm still a lover.

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