This is familiar to us all...

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by tomoisyourgod, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Doesn't match my experience at all, but still funny.
  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I never give up and use tables. That's why I never finish at all!
  3. MrSmith macrumors 68040


    Nov 27, 2003
    Mine would be 50% squinting at the screen and 50% reloading the page. But then I'm not a pro.
  4. bjett92 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2007
    Indy, IN
    I spent forever getting my last site to work in IE. I ended up just using two style sheets, a normal one and one for IE only.

    And I try not to use tables at all.
  5. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    A friend of mine attended a Dreamweaver beginners class today. The instructor was a professional trainer who teaches Adobe product lessons for a living.

    When I asked how the lesson went, I was rather surprised to hear that the class was taught how to lay out a web page using tables to hold headings, footers, side-bars, and a main column. No tabular data was involved. I thought a Dreamweaver teacher would start them on the road to designing with stylesheets, so they wouldn't have to later "unlearn" designing with tables as the basic layout tool.

    Am I off-base, or is that instructor off-base?
  6. tominated macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2006
    Queensland, Australia
    doctor q: the instructor's nuts.

    that is a pretty funny graph, but the giving up and using tables thing isn't
  7. radiantm3 macrumors 65816


    Oct 16, 2005
    San Jose, CA
    Surprisingly enough, that's the norm in a lot of schools these days. Most would think otherwise, but CSS-based layouts are better learned in a plain text editor environment rather than a wysiwyg. There's a huge difference between teaching someone about web design/development and teaching someone how to use dreamweaver.
  8. irmongoose macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2001
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    So true, so true...

    radiantm3: I code layouts by hand (with help from BBEdit), but a friend recently asked me whether he was wrong to be coding complex script and database websites using a wysiwyg - and I didn't really have an answer for him. What's your view?

  9. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002

    Excluding most of the people here, it's been my experience as a tech director that 98% of the people who are going to design web sites, whether for EDU or home use or some small company, will get up and running infinitely faster by "simply" learning tables. The "purists" can commence to beat me me, but honest to god, why should "average Joe" have to learn CSS? ONE good reason will do. They just want to put up a decent site, have some WYSIWYG control over it, and do it quickly. CSS and all those "high-falutin" technologies are not made for them. Nor should they ever be forced to change. The instructor was right. He can get them up and running in one day, where all the other things you're talking about here would take months or years to learn.
    There is a place for everything.
    On the other side of the coin you have large companies or tech-centric institutions with the resources to go that direction. And you also have the geek-types (some here at MR) that do it because they think that's the "right" way to go. But I have to ask, when all is done, will the site look any different on the surface? No? So what's YOUR point in using it? (That's a rhetorical question, not directed to any one person, BTW)
  10. Yvan256 macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    You usually have to, no choice on that. You simply make your site and layout in CSS, which works right in Safari, Opera and Firefox from the start for 99% of the stuff, then override the things that IE understands differently (such as the box model) via a second CSS file, via IE conditional comments. It keeps the code clean and valid while still giving you easy-to-edit CSS for IE, and there's no hacks or javascript involved either.
  11. MrSmith macrumors 68040


    Nov 27, 2003
    I reckon the two posts above could nicely </thread>
  12. tomoisyourgod thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    same here!

    I agree with you all, I'd just like to clear up I don't use tables... I did when I learned about web design in 1998...
  13. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Ha ha, "giving up and using tables," that was me when I first started using CSS for layout. I was all gung-ho to start doing layout the new way, but after an hour of things just not working properly I was like "**** it" and I just did the layout in tables in about 10 minutes. I do everything in CSS now with no problem, but reading that part of the graph made me laugh and remember the old days.
  14. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus


    Nov 28, 2001
    down in Fraggle Rock
    Well the purists haven't attacked you yet (punks) so I guess I'll respond.

    Some technologies are easiest to learn by learning the older technologies that led up to it. I'm not sure web design is one of those situations though. There is just so much to learn that I think its best that if one teaches a class you teach people current techniques and show them previews of what is in the pipeline.

    And CSS should be just as easy (if not easier) to learn, if you are teaching a proper class where the people actually learn html first. CSS is all just human language. Not much coder stuff to know. So as long as you have done a good job teaching them html, the css is the easy part. If you just teach them a wysiwyg editor then thats a different story, but frankly i find those harder to learn than just diving into a text editor.

    As to why learn the proper methods? Because it is actually better. People don't just use CSS because it is new and cool. It allows you to separate your markup from your design. This makes editing one or the other much much easier. It makes load times much shorter because the files are much smaller. It makes the code (markup and stylesheet) much more legible and easy to understand. With table code its difficult to look at someone else's design and understand it immediately. Its much easier to create templates and reuse code. Its much easier to deal with browser issues (just use a separate stylesheet). Its much easier to make fully accessible sites because the markup just looks like a normal text document - much easier on screen readers. It makes it easier to maintain and update a site since the design and the content are separate. Its easier to make changes across an entire site since you only use one stylesheet for your entire website, rather than having design elements on each separate page. It could go on and on, but it really boils down to the fact that it is actually better and easier.

    And having spent weeks now looking through hundreds of responses for our request for a MR designer I can say I am pretty sick of the people who use front page or dreamweaver to make a couple simple sites and think that makes them in any way qualified to redesign a site like this one. Teaching a technology class using decade old technology is doing a great disservice to your students, they are simply not prepared to do the job. Don't send people out into the workplace thinking they know web design when you haven't taught them any of the skills they will need to redesign any modern website or use any modern server side technologies like blogs, forums, galleries, etc.
  15. MegaMan1311 macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    I agree with this graph 100%. Even the giving up and using tables part. I learned using tables, so I am having a hard time unlearning tables and learning how to build tableless sites.
  16. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    First, that's the funniest thing I've seen all week.

    And, if you take out the phrase "before giving up and using tables" and move the period to right after CSS, it in all seriousness lines up with my actual experience. I do find it tragic that I SERIOUSLY don't consider it a joke at all.

    Think about it: If you were to add up the number of person-hours put into getting otherwise well-structured, valid, properly-designed sites to look even acceptable in IE6, IMAGINE how much time that would be for the industry. That COMPLETELY WASTED time can 100% be pinned on MS doing a shoddy job in the first place then not bothering to fix their browser at ALL until it had lost significant ground to better options. In real, monetary terms, that probably ads up to billions of dollars of wasted productivity, with NO reason. Enough reason for me to hate MS even if Windows weren't a monopoly and worked fantastically well.

    Whatever IE devs or managers who made the call to not care should be forced to have someone yell "You suck!" at them once for each person-hour they've wasted globally. They'd probably spend the rest of their life hearing it.

    On the off topic stuff, glad that AmbitiousLemon took the time to rant properly, but...

    So when someone with a screen reader (due to poor vision, reading issues, or whatever else) gets to the site they can actually use it. There's a reason government 508 standards require sites to make semantic sense to non-visual browsers.

    Also so that a machine scraper doesn't see a mess of tables, it sees a data structure that makes sense, so my products don't end up in the wrong Google Shopping category with the wrong prices and wrong pictures, costing me real dollars.

    Also so I can adjust the design without changing the data structure at all or find-and-replacing hundreds of code objects or having to re-do the whole thing from scratch. Annoying on a dozen-page site. Hell on a 500 page one.

    Also so it loads several times faster.

    Also so if someone with an old browser runs across it, it's boring but totally readable rather than a jumbled mess.

    Basically, so people who aren't ME running the site on a new computer with a relatively modern browser can make use of it.

    Not saying there's no reason ever to use a "quick-and-dirty, get it working" mentality, but if you're going to learn, you might as well learn right. That's how I teach the subject (and I do--gave a lesson just last night).

    Besides, semantically correct HTML coding takes about one day to learn. Basic CSS takes a little longer, but not that bad either, and it's going to do basically as much as a table-based layout can for a beginner. Sure, advanced CSS takes a whole hell of a lot longer, but at least if you have the right foundation it will make sense instead of requiring re-learning it all.
  17. janitorC7 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2006
    North Hollywood, CA
    I remember some other things.

    1. explaining to client, why it takes so long to complete, when they can mock it up in Microsoft word in 10 min

    2. Explaining why I cannot use Handwriting as a font

    and some good others.

Share This Page