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css versus tables
 css vs tables: round I. 
    1. benefits to css
    2. is full css faster
    3. Return on
    4. Long Run
    5. w3c standards
are useless
    6. structure
and content
 css vs tables round II. 
    7. point:
        tables are for
       tabular data...

     counter point:
       yes, but tables
       make up

    8. Hey Stupid
    9. Bandwidth Savings
    10. accessibility and
     $4000 wheelchair
    11. Spend Time
    12. Captured
CSS Flagship
    13. Selling your
    14. May work well
    15. Standards
Merry Go Round
    16. Extremists
fully integrated CSS benefits are challenged on their practicality and real-life usefulness
fully integrated means replacing all <table> tags with<div> tags
a.k.a. CSS-P or css tables

The terms, CSS and CSS-P (or full css) are two (2) very
different things in this article. The term "CSS" is more of the regular CSS used for font styles and the like. The term, "CSS-P", is specifically referring to use of <div> tags to replace <table> tags. This article challenges CSS-P, not CSS.

Are they any benefits to using a fully CSS integrated solution (css tables or CSS-P)?
No. There is no "real-life" or practical benefits when you start to replace each-and-every-single <table> tag with <DIV> tags and attempt to use full CSS to display your webpages properly across popular browsers.

It's one thing to use the regular CSS style to replace the same fonts that will be used all over the place. But it's another when you take little bits and pieces of code out of the page and bury it some huge .css file and then try to figure out and try to remember where they all came from and what each piece of code did 2 months from now
Does CSS make a page load faster?     just exactly what can you read in a 1x1 pixel spacer?     Is the W3C wrong 
on the ALT tag requirement for all images?
Semantic Web is Fool's Gold. Another pie in the sky idea supported by inexperienced academia with very little real world experience.
K.i.S.S. is more important than CSS or CSS-P                      
K.i.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid
KISS has worked from the beginning of time and works not only in web design but in a lot of other things: from business, to journalism, to graphic design, to fashion, to science, to medicine, to engineering, etc.

And if it's one thing that FULL CSS isn't, it's simple, as there is a considerable learning curve to implementing CSS-P as opposed to just CSS. And by the way, there is the actual implementation of full CSS, which is also complex. And FULL CSS has tons and tons of hacks and so-called work around just to get it to work right even in the latest browsers IE 6 and Netscape 7. And that's not even mentioning the Mac browser versions.

CSS still (after all these years) can't even get the most basic font sizes to display consistently even in the latest browsers like IE 6 and Netscape 7.

Do you honestly believe it, CSS-P, can start doing tables when even plain CSS can't get the fonts consistent across all browsers?

K.I.S.S. means keep it simple stupid and that means tables because tables are simple. And they also work!.
The future of the web is "FULL CSS", and not TABLES, so you should start learning it now.                        
What happens if Microsoft introduces a few new features to IE 7 that Mozilla doesn't have OR won't support OR that W3C won't call a standard?

Microsoft did that before and they will specifically go out of their way to do that again and again to make sure their browser is NOT 100% standard-give-away-my-secret-sauce to the open source world.

Case in point: May 23, 2004: Microsoft behind $12 million payment to Opera Did Microsoft admit guilt? No. So guess what? If they, Microsoft won't even make their very own webpages compliant, don't expect the next version of IE to be fully compatible with other browsers. Let's look at the history of IE.

IE 4 became more compliant but added new IE only features and diverged away from Netscape
IE 5 same thing, a little more compliant, but added new IE Only Features
IE 6 same thing as above
IE 7 same thing as above
IE 8 standard compliant by default.. but how many will change the setting and never set it back?

Say if Microsoft, on purpose, makes a slight adjustment to a few critical CSS format styles so that it will display a CSS attribute differently than in Mozilla or Opera? Now your web page looks right in IE 7, but you will have to write extra code to detect Mozilla.

Microsoft has a hard enough time trying to get their software to work and out the door, do you honestly think they are going to sit around waiting for the W3C committee to make up their minds on the next standard or regularly consult with any Mozilla programmers to make sure their's browser works with IE?

Microsoft will NEVER make their browser 100% W3C compliant as they always keep adding new features. In fact, all Microsoft's products are not 100% standards compliant because they will always have something to add to the latest product.

See for yourself and test the below links in BOTH Internet Explorer and Mozilla
Nice in IE.....however, reduced functionality in Mozilla

As you can see, Microsoft doesn't even make it's own websites 100% cross-browser friendly, do you think Microsoft is going to make IE 7 display pages just like Mozilla does?

It's also the same for Apple's browser, Safari. Steve Jobs understands business. Do you see *critical" parts of their Apple computer like the OS being made by a 3rd party company like you do with the PC computer. No! And guess what? You are going to see the same for their Safari browser with regards to non-compliance to not working with IE. Lots of websites do not work in Safari, but work in IE.

Steve Jobs blinked! Apple is going to use Intel CPUs but is this a so-called standard like the W3C. No It's not. Apple "choose" to use Intel chips. Accordingly, Intel's architecture is not set by some outside committee. There is a big difference between W3C 's recommendations and real standards that everyone agrees with.

Ask yourself, "Where do *standards* really come from and how does something become a *real true standard* in the first place?"

When Microsoft adds a new feature to IE 7, 8 or 9, do you honestly think Bill Gates (or Steve Ballmer) is going to go to Mozilla and say, "Hey Guys, please add OUR new feature to your competing browser so you can lower our browser market share." Come on!!! Mr. Bill or whoever is in charge would be voted off the board of directors ASAP.and the stock would drop immediately. Fortunately, Mr. Bill owns so many shares that's not going to happen.

So CSS purists can kiss Apple's Safari browser goodbye to your list of compatible browsers as long as Steve Jobs is CEO of Apple. ( ref ) And you definitely can say "hasta la vista" to IE 7 as long as Mr. Bill and Mr. Ballmer are running the show.

Is AOL's browser compatible with other browsers? NO, NO, NO.

That's competition in a capitalist economy and you better get used to it.




Opera chief: Microsoft's IE 8 ‘undermines’ web standards - Mar 17, 2009
Opera Software chief executive Jon von Tetzchner told The Reg that while Microsoft is headed in the right direction, IE continues to undermine open standards on the web. The fundamental problem is Microsoft's decision to allow users to continue to view billions of old pages optimized for non-compliant IE 6 and 7 that would otherwise be scrambled in IE 8.

CSS Support Could Be Internet Explorer's Weakest Link
Microsoft Watch
(Wednesday, March 16, 2005 )
Here, as stated more than an year ago, IE 7 will NOT fully support CSS2 because Microsoft thinks that CSS2 is more of the article here

SlashDot List of Comments on IE7's CSS2 support

    •  Insightful Comment from SlashDot Poster   
    •  Very Insightful Comment from another SlashDot Poster

Not if people don't fork out some money for the latest Windows OS.

As of 1Q of 2005 from's article on June 14, 2005
Windows 2000 is at 48% business users.
Windows XP is at 38% business users
And is IE 7 going to be in Windows 2000?
So far that answer is NO from article on June 2, 2005
So what does this mean, lots and lots of users are going to using IE6.

Oh and another thing. You know that SP2 for Windows XP back in 2004 that's supposed to be installed. Well, as of March 10, 2005, 40% of the companies surveyed still had not installed SP2 on their company pc's.

Had the thought ever occurred to CSS zealots and standards fanatics that DRIVERS, PRINTERS, LAPTOPS and MONEY are holding people back from upgrading to the latest OS and hence browser because their current computer can't handle an upgrade anyway, regardless if a free browser is available? If their computer is so old, why take a chance and break it, especially if they already has so much trouble in the past. Unless, someone actually goes to their house and does it for them, that's the only way it's going to happen on that old computer. Just remember SP2 is also free, but 40% still haven't used the free upgrade.

- May 27, 2010
Because IE6 is the default installation of Windows XP....
SlashDot talk in IE6....NINE YEAR LATER

    •  MS Office XML Formats Not OK with GNU - eWeek June 17, 2005


Furthermore, CSS zealots have been predicting the future of CSS since the year 2000. And guess what, it's now 2005 and we are not a single step closer to full CSS browser compliance than we were in 2000 with even the latest browsers Mozilla 1.x and IE 6 as there is always something that looks right in this browser, but not that browser.

Plus, when the "future" gets here, there will more competing browsers, with each browser and each of their versions taking their own little piece of the browser market.

Accordingly, with each browser (and each version of that browser) having it's own little display quirks and idiosyncrasies regardless of how CSS standards compliant the browser programmers want it to be no matter how hard they try.
So after 5 or more years of preaching that CSS is the future, the so-called future of CSS never gets here and it never will because users will move at their own pace. Not at what some CSS-P or standards fanatics want it to be.

Look at the Metric system? Has that been adopted by the U.S.? Nope.
What about everyone in the world driving on the right side of the road as opposed to the left? Why don't you standard nitwits standardize on a common speaking language? How about English? Yes, and the French will like that standard won't they? Especially since it's a "STANDARD".

IE8 will will spin your head as well as everyone else's.
With standards compliant by default, how many users, when they hit that first website that doesn't conform to standards, BUT somehow has the strict DOCTYPE set, which is wrong and fools IE8, then, immediate switch their IE8 settings to the IE7 mode just to get it to work? While the developer thinks that it is working and he/she doesn't even use IE8 or IE7 but Firefox. That won't be nice will it?

IE 7 will only make CSS HACKS even less reliable
Stop Hacking, or be Stopped - April 23, 2006

Dear CSS zealots and Standards fanatics:

Money doesn't grow on trees so not everyone can afford to get the latest Windows OS. (or for that matter the latest Mac OS) And people could care less if it's CSS-P site or not as most people don't even know what CSS is anyway.

So your website had better work on the browser that THEY have right now; NOT the browser you want them to use cause they can't always afford the next OS / browser; nor do they always have the time to install the latest browser to display your latest creation or CSS hack.

That's how the real world works; which is a lot different than what some author's CSS and/or standards book you read would like it to be.

It's called code readability and having bits and pieces of code scattered all over the place doesn't help matters.
You essentially make it harder to figure out where things go in Macromedia's Dreamweaver design view. And, on top of all that, maintain it in the first place. (or maintain it with any web page editor for that matter.)

Furthermore, if your website gets bigger, how are you going to remember precisely that this CSS style belongs to these set of pages but not those set of pages? Pretty soon you got this huge CSS style sheet that has these short semi-vague names describing every single thing in your entire website of which you have try to figure out which style means what and to which pages it will be applied to.

And what about 2 months from now? Are you really going to remember which style that these pages are applied to? That 2-second change is now 2 hours re-familiarizing yourself which style belongs to which pages. Plus, you have to make sure that this style didn't change some other page you didn't want to.
So, all those so-called time savings are back to zero when you have to re-remember what you forgot 2-months ago. It's sort of like back in school when you took your final exams at the end of the semester and then are asked to take those same final exams 2 months later and be expected to re-answer every question you just forgot.

So that's why you should use CSS for only really repetitive items that are really straightforward and easy to understand. Accordingly, you can and should use the good old "Search and Replace" feature for global site wide changes.

POINT: CSS-P is used to separate design/layout from content.
BETTER POINT: Templates separate the different from the same.
Ok, well before this web rebuttal of CSS-P existed, CSS-P's top selling point was speed and saving of bandwidth which is generally true for the font and styling but not true for tables. Accordingly, this site had to set the record straight and likewise you don't hear CSS-P zealots (as opposed to the the CSS zealot) use use the bandwidth argument anymore.

So now, the only argument left for CSS-P zealots is the "separation of design/layout/presentation from content" mantra. So let's set the record straight on that.

Why separate design from content to begin with? Someone who isn't enamored with CSS/Web book authors should probably ask "Who, what how and why does this separation benefit us all in the end"? In other words, "do your own research" instead of solely relying on "software programmer/developer-has-beens-and wanna-be's" who spend more time writing books as opposed to writing real CSS/HTML/Java/PHP/ASP code in the real world.

It's supposed to allow designers to make a single change or adjustment to the page layout and the entire website can change and everything is perfect.

Each browser and each version of a browser has it's own little ways of displaying web pages. So using CSS-P div tags to replace the tried and true table tags ends up making web pages render differently in different browsers, IE is not the same as Firefox and Firefox is not the same as Safari and IE on Windows is not the same as IE on the Mac and Opera. And IE5 is not the same as IE6 and not the same as IE7. Same problems for Firefox 1.1 to what ever version Firefox is on now. Let's not forget Safari.
But let us not forget to mention those CSS-P hacks that partially solve that CSS-P rendering problem.

Use (1) simple CSS, (2) HTML and (3) templates. Contrary to the css-p zealots, avoid at all costs using CSS-P div's on a site wide basis.

(1) Simple CSS reduces the page size very well and is cross-browser and you don't have to worry about CSS hacks or for that matter, new browser versions breaking your CSS hacks.
(2) HTML tables is the tried and true of alignment and always works.
(3) Templates separate the design from content the right way and is light years far more reliable than
CSS-P ever has and ever will be.

The reason why templates work so flawlessly is because templates can not only separate design from content but can separate anything it wants to separate. So instead of limiting yourself to separating design from content with CSS-P, templates separate the things that are the same on a set of pages from things that are different on each page. This type of separation is far more broad, flexible, useful and reliable because it can use CSS where CSS is good at. And then turn around and also use HTML tables where HTML tables is good at. Templates allow you to pick the best of both worlds while giving you the power of making a single layout change and having the entire website update instantly and effortlessly.

One could go on and on about the power of templates as this site sells template products and hence has a financial bias. However, if one were to take a look at the complex, yet, easy-to-use menus that are sold here, one will see why customers have chosen templates.

POINT: Using CSS-P, markup, and keywords will help create The Semantic Web.
BETTER POINT: Using the actual raw "content" will create a far better Semantic Web.
THE REAL WORLD: The semantic web via keywords is a temporary kindergarten solution that is only to be replaced with a Star Trek like "computer" that actually reads and understands the entire paragraph thereby eliminating the needs for keywords.

But first, it would be good to give you some background info on how this semantic web is supposed to work. Below is some background Info for creating the Semantic Web via markup:

(a) By using div tags to position and layout the content of your website, you automatically describe your site via "tags" or 1 or 2 word descriptions. This will hopefully make it easier for search engines to categorize your site in the future.

(b) The Semantic Web: An Interview with Tim Berners-Lee - June 2005
The Semantic Web is not about the meaning of English documents. It’s not about marking up existing HTML documents to let a computer understand what they say. It’s not about the artificial intelligence areas of machine learning or natural language understanding -- they use the word semantics with a different meaning.
So why waste your time on this semantic web of keywords that will only be a temporary kindergarten solution as it appears you are ready to admit. On one hand, these semantic web advocates are trying to make it easier for computers to understand a website with keywords which is good intention. But on the other hand, they forget that if a computer is going to start to understand a 1 or 2 keywords, the computer is going to start understand 3 or 4 keywords. Then after that, 10 keywords and then 20 keywords. And then after 20 comes 40 keywords. Heck, why not just read in entire paragraph and drop the keywords to begin with!!! Microsoft Word already does spell check and grammar check. Do you think Google and Yahoo are going to stop programming and be satisfied with a 1 and 2 keyword relevancy search? Why not go for 3 keywords and then 4 and then right up to the entire paragraph? In other words, the semantic web will use raw content itself instead of relying on keywords and extra markup.
Dear Tim,

Sorry for knocking the Semantic Web Markup thing. Make no doubt that the semantic markup was a good idea at first and second look; but the raw content itself has been always been the foundation of the internet, not the markup or the keywords. In any regards, thank you for your work in creating/inventing the Internet.


Google Exec challenges Tim Berners-Lee on Semantic Web
July 18, 2006

Greatest Task of Web 2.x: Meta-Validation
December 3, 2006 - SlashDot

Why the Semantic Web Will Fail - March 20, 2007
- Yahoo is forcing people to give up their Flickr identities and to join the mother ship, and
- MySpace is blocking all the widgets that aren't supported by some sort of business deal with MySpace
- the rumor that Google is turning off the search API

And that's when I realized: The Semantic Web will never work because it depends on businesses working together, on them cooperating.

Historical Note on the use and failure of Keywords:
Years ago, meta Keywords used to help search engines categorize your web page are completely ignored by all the search engines because it was abused by everyone. LIkewise, semantic web keywords (div tag and CSS-P) will most likely be exploited again like the meta keywords was to gain a high search engine ranking. Hence, designers and developers will use that "design/layout/presentation" layer that is to separate from content to manipulate the system and search ranking. Hence, search engines will again be forced to look at "content" that is the raw content to again get the real meaning of a web page.

Google's New Adsense that measures "Cost per action" NOT "Cost per click". Why is this? Cause advertisers are paying for users that click on on add that lead to a makeshift 1 page portal that is again filled with Google Ads. So, these 1 page portals are sort of like middle men that are gaming the system as users are going from one set search results to another set of search results. LIkewise, using the current Semantic markup, these same middle men are only going to destroy the whole semantic web thing and Google will then take action and not even read this extra markup and go straight to the raw content to see if this is a real page or just some 1 page portal.

Like the saying goes, "Content is king, not keywords, not css-p, not templates, not meta data, and not div tags."

UPDATE 2019-03-01
Accessibility? Or Follow the Money?
Those who arepushing Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) are probably getting boat loads of money by putting some guilt trip on politicians and government policy makers to make "accessibility" for the blind.
This is same for "feeding the poor" and Social Justice Groups pushing for things like "affordable housing".

"Tables for never meant for Layout"?
Is this really true? If you think about it, every newspaper and magazine is actually tabular in form, and this is especially true for the front page. And in web page design, a three-column layout is realy one big table.

Next, what is ironic is that a fundamental graphic design LAYOUT principle is "alignment". And that means both vertical and horizontal alignment. Hence, every newspaper and magazine you read is fundamentally a big table with a header headline and a footer and vertical/horizontal alignment.

The fact that the word, "column" is used means there are also "rows", or at least one row, that being horizonal. And since you have both, rows and columns, you again have a "table".

CAVEAT: Layout is Inherently Tabular in Nature.

"fluid design"
Take this with a grain of salt. In regard to mobile apps and when the user rotates the phone 90 degrees, the web page will do a total page refresh anyway. Next. LIVE dragging (or adjusting) the horizontal size on a browser rarely happens and looks great for demo's, but this never happens in the real world. A single page refresh is needed and also the user sets the width of the browser and leaves it as is and changes rarely.

Hear what other people think about the CSS vs TABLES debate

The Tide is Turning for Tables!!! - CSS-P Extremists Update Page

- Links to what other people think about CSS and Tables
(Updated as of Saturday, March 2, 2019 6:02 )

Editor ToDo Note:
Add section and graphic to put to rest the css-p purist final and last argument, "tables were designed for tabular data and never meant for web layout".
Use their very own words against them in their misguided and greedy pursuit of selling their unnecessary css expertise and services for less benefit to the public under false pretenses.
Since css-p purists have constantly retreated after shooting down each of their arguments, this last argument should be easy to shoot down as
they have never returned to their original argument on speed and performance because that was easily proven false to begin with. Not to mention they only have one main argument left.
(Last Updated March 2, 2019 )

  1. using full CSS makes surfing FASTER
  2. has an independent R.O.I. ever been done on using a full CSS solution (i.e. css tables) as opposed to html tables?
  3. it's easier to maintain or redesign a website with a CSS ONLY site in the long run
  4. OFF-TOPIC: What about W3C Standards and all the other stuff?
  5. separation of Structure and Content via CSS makes things more organized

  6. TABLES are for TABULAR DATA and not meant for Web Page Layout where as CSS is more suited for this.

  7. HEY Stupid! I have taken this very page your are reading, stripped it of the <table> tags and replaced them with <div> tags and it went from 51kB to 31kB.
  8. The bandwidth savings of 5%, 10%, or 20% on a ONE THOUSAND (1000) page website makes a big difference.

  9. Use of FULLY Integrated CSS for Accessibility Reasons.

  10. CSS is just another TOOL, you just have to SPEND time learning it and you can then appreciate it.

  11. Captured CSS Flagship revisited.


  13. "When the underlying structure is sound, and when CSS delivers your layout, your site may work as well in a Palm Pilot, screen reader, or web-enabled phone as it does in traditional browsers."

  14. STANDARDS ARE ALWAYS CHANGING, you just have to keep up.

  15. CSS Extremist Update.

flush lines that auto stretch vertically and horizontally
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