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DVW86
Mar 6, 2004, 06:28 PM
I can understand why people dislike frames. I understand why PHP isn't used more (it needs to be installed on the server in order to work). But CSS appears to have more compatibility issues than tables do. So why is CSS preferred over tables?

janey
Mar 6, 2004, 06:35 PM
why do people hate frames?

i dunno, its just one of those questions...if people wanna use them, people use them...

Rower_CPU
Mar 6, 2004, 07:31 PM
Here are my rants about tables and frames...

Tables-
There is nothing wrong with using tables appropriately, i.e. displaying tabular data. It's using them to create page layouts that is frowned upon nowadays. Here are a few reasons why:
- adds considerably to page weight - CSS styles allow you to position markup much more efficiently
- linearizes content - table cells will be read one after another across a row by screen readers and alternative browsing devices
- it's semantically wrong - use the right code for the right kind of content

Frames-
There is nothing inherently wrong with frames, but their implementations are often done poorly and lead to several design problems:
- small areas with scrollbars - PITA for users
- accessibility nightmare - unlabeled frames are impossible to navigate for users with text/voice browsers except by trial and error
- bookmarking - framesets (usually) hide the content page making it impossible to bookmark a site's sub-pages

That's all for now. ;)

PS. Not sure why you don't think PHP is widely used either...

DVW86
Mar 6, 2004, 07:47 PM
Not sure why you don't think PHP is widely used either...

Thanks for the reply Rower. I understand the issues with frames, but I wasn't aware of the issues with tables. I didn't say that PHP wasn't widely used, I was just referring to it's limitations. Many people's servers don't have PHP installed so they can't make use of it. For instance the web site I did for a local church doesn't offer PHP, and a local small business asked me to help them on a site and PHP isn't available there either.

So using tables is more of a "grammatical no-no"? How much "weight" do tables add? Does having tables increase the page load time?

Rower_CPU
Mar 6, 2004, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the reply Rower. I understand the issues with frames, but I wasn't aware of the issues with tables. I didn't say that PHP wasn't widely used, I was just referring to it's limitations. Many people's servers don't have PHP installed so they can't make use of it. For instance the web site I did for a local church doesn't offer PHP, and a local small business asked me to help them on a site and PHP isn't available there either.
OK, I took your "used more" to mean widely used. You're right that it's not available everywhere, but most hosting services make it available these days.

So using tables is more of a "grammatical no-no"? How much "weight" do tables add? Does having tables increase the page load time?
A common figure tossed around by web standards folks is a 50% reduction in code size, which means a 50% reduction in page file size, which means a 50% reduction in bandwidth usage. Keep in mind these are ballparks figures. Some sites will be more, some less. Load times are dependent partly on page and linked file size and also on page complexity - in either case, you should see load time improvements, too.

DVW86
Mar 6, 2004, 08:21 PM
A common figure tossed around by web standards folks is a 50% reduction in code size, which means a 50% reduction in page file size, which means a 50% reduction in bandwidth usage. Keep in mind these are ballparks figures. Some sites will be more, some less. Load times are dependent partly on page and linked file size and also on page complexity - in either case, you should see load time improvements, too.

Hey thanks. That's exactly what I was wondering. So where's a good place to learn CSS? I just downloaded Simple CSS from Hostm.com. I looks fairly straight forward, but I have already noticed that some changes don't take effect in Safari.

Westside guy
Mar 6, 2004, 10:07 PM
I don't see a reduction in text code size as being that big a deal. :) Even on a dialup modem, the HTML defining even a complex page is not going to be significant - it's less than even one small jpeg image from the page in most cases. For example, if your page code is 5K bytes, and you reduce it to 2.5K bytes by not using tables (and even that's hard to believe, unless you have absolutely no content on the page in question), but you've got 100K bytes of images - your bandwidth reduction is a paltry 2%.

Having said that: CSS is advantageous (in addition to what's already been said) because it'll let you do things that HTML w/tables doesn't do well or at all in terms of layout, element padding, etc. Also using CSS will let you more quickly redesign existing pages - just change the CSS file and everything is updated across your entire site.

Rower_CPU
Mar 7, 2004, 03:37 AM
DVW86-
A couple good books to start with are "Eric Meyer on CSS" and "Designing with Web Standards"; you can also check out the authors' webpages, http://meyerweb.com and http://zeldman.com, respectively.

There are tons of good online resources out there. Webmonkey is gone now, but another good one is http://www.w3schools.com/.

Westside guy-
Saving 2.5K adds up fast for sites with heavy traffic. 1,000 hits/day "costs" an extra 2.5 megs of transfer with a heavier page; 1,000,000 hits "costs" 2.5 gigs. For smaller sites you probably wont see as much savings, but it's still a very real business justification for replacing layout tables for CSS.

When you add caching of the external stylesheet across the whole site, the benefit grows even further.

lind0834
Mar 7, 2004, 06:04 AM
Been using tables so long, I don't quite know if I could live without them for page layouts. Sounds like something I'd like to try.

Anybody have stats on what percent of browsers currently in use, use what percent of CSS correctly?
I know that it's not difficult to find out that 72% of the web uses IE6, but what does the other 28% of the world look like? Any specific program or website that can show me what my page will render like without having to install 10 browsers?

Rower_CPU
Mar 7, 2004, 12:49 PM
You can find many charts with a Google search for "css browser support". Some are more complete than others, but between them all, you should be able to piece together a decent snapshot of the current state of CSS support.

Speaking of snapshots, here's a service that allows you to see your design on many different browsers:
http://www.browsercam.com/

Personally, I don't mind installing a bunch of browsers to test designs on.

lind0834
Mar 7, 2004, 06:25 PM
I always enjoyed installing multiple netscapes with ease, but I found nearly impossible to have multiple versions of IE for Windows. But I found a resource that actually let's you use different versions of IE as stand alones.

http://www.skyzyx.com/archives/000094.php

Rower_CPU
Mar 7, 2004, 06:42 PM
I always enjoyed installing multiple netscapes with ease, but I found nearly impossible to have multiple versions of IE for Windows. But I found a resource that actually let's you use different versions of IE as stand alones.

http://www.skyzyx.com/archives/000094.php

Yup, I remember when that came out last fall. It's made a huge difference in my browser testing.

mnkeybsness
Mar 7, 2004, 07:16 PM
i just hate writing tables in code. they are such a pain in the ars. that and they are usually implemented in a dirty hack way.

frames on the other hand just anger me. it's so hard to link to certain pages within framesets. that, and if you really wanted to, you can get around it with using fixed positioning in CSS... even though IE needs a hack (just like every other standard that IE doesn't follow)

brianellisrules
Mar 7, 2004, 07:17 PM
DVW86-
A couple good books to start with are "Eric Meyer on CSS" and "Designing with Web Standards"; you can also check out the authors' webpages, http://meyerweb.com and http://zeldman.com, respectively.

There are tons of good online resources out there. Webmonkey is gone now, but another good one is http://www.w3schools.com/.

Westside guy-
Saving 2.5K adds up fast for sites with heavy traffic. 1,000 hits/day "costs" an extra 2.5 megs of transfer with a heavier page; 1,000,000 hits "costs" 2.5 gigs. For smaller sites you probably wont see as much savings, but it's still a very real business justification for replacing layout tables for CSS.

When you add caching of the external stylesheet across the whole site, the benefit grows even further.
http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/authoring/stylesheets/tutorials/tutorial1.html

Rower_CPU
Mar 7, 2004, 07:58 PM
http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/authoring/stylesheets/tutorials/tutorial1.html

Thanks for pointing that one out. I misspoke when I said they're gone - their content just won't change anymore and who knows how long it'll be up.

bennetsaysargh
Mar 7, 2004, 08:49 PM
i want to ask a question, does anyone else here use textedit to make thier html code? i learned it in school, and we used textedit. is there a better free way that could maybe be more powerful? i want to get more advanced in it.

arson
Mar 9, 2004, 11:57 AM
i want to ask a question, does anyone else here use textedit to make thier html code? i learned it in school, and we used textedit. is there a better free way that could maybe be more powerful? i want to get more advanced in it.

I would avoid using textedit for coding. Personally I use BBEdit, but it's not free. The best free text editors for Mac OS X I can think of are HyperEdit (http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~deutschj/HyperEdit) and SubEthaEdit (http://www.codingmonkeys.de/subethaedit/) .

DVW86
Mar 9, 2004, 02:05 PM
i want to ask a question, does anyone else here use textedit to make thier html code? i learned it in school, and we used textedit. is there a better free way that could maybe be more powerful? i want to get more advanced in it.

You may want to read this thread.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=60216

bennetsaysargh
Mar 9, 2004, 02:44 PM
i love hyperedit with the automatic updating!
thanks a lot :)

j33pd0g
Mar 9, 2004, 06:23 PM
I don't care. I love tables. Layers... I hate layers.

encro
Apr 12, 2004, 03:17 PM
Because content isn't presented properly on mobile devices and pda's.

It's very annoying when you become a part of the group that can't access certain parts of important websites.

krossfyter
Apr 12, 2004, 03:50 PM
whats wrong with layers?