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From Thomas Klausner <>
Subject table or not table
Date Fri, 04 Jan 2002 21:42:24 GMT

As the implementation of a basic table around the left nav / content area is
rather trivial, I'd like to discuss the issue once more:

PROs of using table:
* The page renders as intended on non-CSS browser

CONs of using table:
* The page won't render before </table> is transmitted to the client
* Some browsers (lynx, browsers for disabled people) don't render tables
* the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 disencourage the usage of
HTML for presentation.
Misusing markup for a presentation effect (e.g., using a table for layout or
a header to change the font size) makes it difficult for users with
specialized software to understand the organization of the page or to
navigate through it.

PROs of not using table:
* The page degrades properly on all browser (exept buggy ones)
* Less HTML overhead (although very minor in this case, but quite big when
compared to Stas' initial design)

CONs of not using tables:
* The page may look bad on browsers with no or buggy CSS support

So the main thing to decide is:
Do we want the page look exactly (or nearly) the same on all browsers
thereby using some (IMO) dirty HTML tricks, or do we want the page to be
clean and well degrading, but looking broken/strange on some (buggy) browsers.

I think you know my opinion (don't use the table) but if this is a little bit
too utopian for the mod_perl site, I won't object to using a table.
(Although I don't like giving in to "the mainstream" just because
"if everybody does it wrong, why should I care". If enough people do care
and communicate this issue, sooner or later web pages will be working for
everyone (no more "please enable JS/download flash/take this cookie"
bouncers anymore!!)

But I won't let my personal crusade get in the way of the mod_perl
community, so I don't insist on my ideas.

Maybe we should discuss this issue on the mod_perl mailing list?

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