Re: TBTF for 1999-03-01: Light of other days

James Tauber (
Wed, 3 Mar 1999 16:10:04 +0800

>Table-based layout is bad.

Now if only browsers supported CSS properly!

There was a time when Hn elements were abused to control font size (proba=
still happens). FONT elements were only slightly better (but at least you
said what you meant).

Then we got the table hacks:

* tables to do margins (multiple ULs were used for this too but it
didn't work on IE), particularly when you had a background with some colo=
or pattern on the lefthand side.

* tables to do columns and/or side navigation bars (I admit, I'm

* tables to do background colours (I remember using this with a be=
of Netscape 3 for a presentation I gave while working at Sun Labs in earl=
1996. Everyone asked me afterwards how I did the background colours. I'm
still guilty of this, though I generally use CSS for it now).

I resolved a little while ago to do (almost) everything with CSS (and now

Inspired by Jakob (who I notice is CCed on this thread now=97hi Jakob!) I=
do entirely *text* navbars and encourage my students to do so too (I run =
undergraduate and graduate course in website management).

Table hacks for columns and side navbars are about all that remains. I ca=
wait until I can ditch them for CSS2.


James Tauber / /
Associate Researcher, Electronic Commerce Network
Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia

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