When to use tables

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When is a good time to use tables and when is it a bad time to use tables? I
tables are bad for a spacific situation then what would I use, CSS?

Thank you,


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Re: When to use tables

Honky Tonker wrote:

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Simply, when the content is tabular, ie when aranging data into rows and
columns is meaningful.

Re: When to use tables

While the city slept, Honky Tonker (none@none.none) feverishly typed...

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Early evening.

3 o'clock in the morning.

You must remember, though, that rf has early evening before the rest of us,
so it may be slightly soiled by the time we get it! ;-)


Nigel Moss
Mail address not valid. nigel@DOG.nigenet.org.uk, take the DOG. out!
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is very, very busy!

Re: When to use tables

nice.guy.nige wrote
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feverishly typed...


Covered in overturned rum&cokes and leftover cheese/crackers <checks/> as it

However, if one were to tally up the cost per person, by course (including
of course[sic] the cheese crakers) then a table would be most appropriate.

For laying out the plates and the position of the chardonnay bottle and the
glasses, so as to neatly flow across the table^H^Hcanvas then well, not.

A CSS (Chardonay Situating Scheme) should be used.


Re: When to use tables

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There are 3 possible answers.

1) When you are presenting data to the user which is meant to be compared
by rows and columns. Exs. Vital statistics of various presidents,
calendars, periodic tables.

2) When you present any data which can meaningfully be arranged in
row/column relationship, regardless of whether you're actually comparing
the data for the user. Ex. Prompts and inputs for various data in a form.

3) Whenever you damn well feel like it. It's markup, you aren't going to
hurt its feelings. Ex. Too many sites.

Many people still adhere to 3. 2 is very popular here. But I'll take the
hard-line stance and suggest that 1 is the actual answer. It's the only
one which puts aside the presentational side of tables and focuses solely
on the semantics.

In my opinion, a table with one column is actually a list. A table with
two columns isn't really such a complex set of data that a table is
required. I view those two with suspicion - not that less than 3 columns
necessarily means misuse of the markup, mind you.

Generally, any use of rowspan and colspan deserves scrutiny. Is it really
applying the same data to two or more adjacent columns or rows, or is a
presentational trick? Again, there are legitimate uses for all the table
markup, but this is another practice that often correlates with misuse of
the markup.

Think of a baseball card. We could write all the stats out in prose, but
it would be repetitive and hard to grasp the big picture. We'd have no
problem understanding the data, it's comparing the data that would become
hard. The use of the table on the back of a baseball card is to organize
the data in a way that invites easier comparison.

It's my opinion that facilitating the comparison of redundant data is the
only application of table markup that is really useful.

Re: When to use tables

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I use tables for tabular data and soem general layout. It is nice to
broadly control columns and such without much coding.

If you ever want to see a poor use of tables, slice up a design in
Photoshop and output it as HTML. Photoshop is perfectly fine for rapid
visual prototyping, but that's all.

The Doormouse

The Doormouse cannot be reached by e-mail without her permission.

Re: When to use tables

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If you decide that using tables for layout is appropriate, look here:
http://davmagic.com/PAGES47.html for help...

Web Design, Magic, Painting, Junking, More
Paint A House
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Re: When to use tables

none@none.none says...
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Have you even read a single thread in this group?  Every other thread is
about tables, and when to use them.

My opinion,  Use them when they are the best way to get the job done.  
Use CSs when it is the best way to get the job done.  Use BOTH when it
is the best way to get the job done.
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