> How can designing with CSS be called "designing with web standards?"
> What are the options?
"Designing without web standards" _is_ an option, but I guess that's not
a very good answer. I'll stay on topic, so here we go...
I think the important word is "designing", so follow me here:
1: Tables as design-tools are pretty much like designing each page all
by itself, and everything _except_ the visible, graphical, design is
more or less thrown out the window. Everything is focused on design.
That is the main weakness with using tables.
2: Tables - nested tables - more nested tables, may work to create a
"pretty picture", but it doesn't provide much else. We may have to
create a new "pretty picture" on each page, as flexibility is not one of
the good old table's strongest sides.
3: Table-based designs of any complexity do easily become pretty heavy.
We'll have to style tables also, so either internal or external styling
has to be applied. The "bugs" you mention will often enter the scene--
tables or no tables.
4: Accessibility is often a huge problem with table-based designs,
because the order of content is "set in stone" in order to accomplish a
visual, graphical, appearance. "Accessibility" isn't a new word, but as
it becomes parts of laws around the world it might become slightly more
difficult to ignore. Tables are in themselves not inaccessible, but once
they become designing-tools then they very often are.
1: Browsers are the weak point here because it takes time to make them
near flawless, so we'll see a lot more bugs in CSS-design than in old
table-design. Time will solve most of that problem - hopefully, as long
as we push in the right direction. Most of us learn to get around
browser-bugs, but that learning-process is often more like climbing
Mount Everest-- without oxygen-equipment, as if the climb wasn't tough
enough to begin with.
2: Once on the top we can start designing, and that's when the fun
begins. Personally, I haven't had so much fun since I figured out what I
could do with old IE/win back in -95 (many web designers and users
haven't quite got it-- yet).
3: The page (source-code) and the design (CSS) isn't quite as separated
as I would like it yet, but it's sure easier to fix and maintain 50
pages with a couple of lines in one stylesheet, than it is to work
through 5MB of source-code to fix 50 table-based /-designed pages.
4: "Designing with web standards" has a lot of accessibility built in,
even at this early stage of separation. If we plan a little it might
even become _quite_ accessible. That level of accessibility is
impossible in "table-designs".
I didn't know there was a "be nice to opera bug", so that's probably a
"human bug" that has entered through the back door along with the
multitude of other, unnecessary, hacks. (Some older versions of Opera
had a strange default font-size though.)
Table-designs are in themselves a huge pile of bugs, and the only
workaround is to leave tables out, except as containers for tabulated
content where they most often are the right choice.
I think the biggest hurdle, or "human bug", is that we try to get "pixel
perfect" designs on screens as if we designed on a sheet of paper.
Screens comes in all shapes and shades and sizes, and if we kill that
"human bug" we might be able to design for all these screens and far
beyond -- but not with tables.
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