CSS, Tables & How to use Them

CSS and Tables: The hype and the trends

The History of tables

Before tables came along, the web was a pretty dull place. Using tables for layout opened up new vistas of possibilities of visually “designing” a page. It could well be argued that table based layout was responsible for the popularity of the web and the field of web design.

Worse still, over the last few years, table based layout has come under severe criticism and was widely demonized. Web purists claim that tables were never meant for layout so one shouldn’t use them for such. A rapidly progressive hype seems to be in the air all around.

Reality behind the hype

Despite the fact that pioneers have been talking about web standards for a long time, the majority of web sites are still developed using tables and non standards compliant code .
History has shown many examples of technologies that started out life with one purpose, only to end up finding more practical applications as something else. And it sounds very apt in case of tables. The web itself was never intended to be a channel for edutainment, marketing and information but for sharing research data.

Using tables is a pragmatic approach, if not preferred

The W3c Web Accessibility Guidelines recognize that designers will continue to use table for layout – and so include information about how they can be implemented in the most accessible way. Designers are not going to immediately stop using tables for layout; mainly owning to the reason that this is the default behavior of most WYSWYG (what you see is what you get) Web design packages and; CSS for layout is so difficult to implement successfully.

Moreover, Professionals still argue the use of tables for the layout of pages on the Web, despite the fact that this goes against current standards. They argue it to be a pragmatic approach – if not their preferred options.

Let’s explode the myths: CSS vs Tables

Most web designers don’t simply feel the need to switch over

The majority of web sites are still developed using tables and non standards compliant code. Because of this, user agents will be forced to handle table based layou