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View Full Version : Correct Use For Tables?



Daniel_A_Varney
07-13-2011, 07:35 PM
I think this has become a somewhat controversial question in recent times, since we've become all screenreader friendly and content/ style seperate with our CSS...

I'm about to set out my online CV (resume) and was thinking about the so called 'correct' usage of elements. Considering that if I were making a document for print, tables would be the natural layout tool, do you think this is a good call for using HTML tables?

Or do you think it would be better to use lists? Now, I've thought about this and because of the 'table like' appearance I'm going for, it seems to me, this could be considered a 'mis-use' of the list element.

And, as far as seperating content from style, I have the feeling that if someone had their styles turned off, it would be better for their experience, to ensure that the content and layout are interwoven in the HTML. Otherwise, they might end up seeing a series of vertical lists of bulleted items, which do not seem to relate to each other, as they would were they set out horizontally, in tabular form.

In your professional opinion... what do you think?

Many thanks

Adrian.

Seb Meikle
07-13-2011, 07:43 PM
If your CV is aimed at web design, I would get in the times and use CSS. HTML Tables are old now. You can easily replicate HTML tables using DIV's and CSS.

Daniel_A_Varney
07-13-2011, 08:20 PM
If your CV is aimed at web design, I would get in the times and use CSS. HTML Tables are old now. You can easily replicate HTML tables using DIV's and CSS.

Okay, thanks. How would you suggest I went about this? And how would it appear when styles are turned off?

My CV is really all about my physical art and sculpture. I am definitely not selling myself as a web-designer.

Are tables really 'old hat' or is that just part of the modern CSS rhetoric? Question is, will they work within XHTML Strict?

Sammy12
07-13-2011, 09:33 PM
Who says tables are bad?

If you use them for data or an inbox for a profile, there's nothing wrong with one.
you'll be spending more time trying to float and calculate heights than it takes congress to make a decision

All in all, just because some guy says its "old" or "wrong" doesn't mean you shouldn't use one.
With that said, tables for a PAGE (ie: header one tr, content another), do increase load time and are spam to a search bot. but for a specific portion on a page that needs columns and will look like a table, yeah, use a table.

Daniel_A_Varney
07-13-2011, 09:55 PM
Thank you very much, Sammy! :thumbsup:

I stopped using tables for overall layout when I learned CSS positioning but this is to be used inside a CSS layout. So I guess it's right to use them here.

VIPStephan
07-13-2011, 11:02 PM
Tables are perfectly valid if you use them for structuring data that relates to each other somehow – because after all, that’s what they are made for. For example sports results, stock market listings, phone/address directories, for all this tables are about the only right choice. If you have tabular data in your resumé then by all means use a table. The important question is: Does the data relate to each other somehow? This site at http://www.ferg.org/section508/accessible_tables.html has proven very insightful for learning about tables (starting from point 3 (http://www.ferg.org/section508/accessible_tables.html#contents_item_3)).

Daniel_A_Varney
07-14-2011, 02:52 AM
Thank you, VIPStephan. That is very helpful to me. Cheers!

abduraooft
07-14-2011, 08:06 AM
The important question is: Does the data relate to each other somehow? If you feel you can't give an answer YES, for this question, at some places of your resume, then you could use a definition list there. Have a look at http://www.onextrapixel.com/2009/05/13/how-to-use-dl-dt-and-dd-html-tags-to-list-data-vs-table-list-data/ and the notes at the end of http://webdesign.about.com/od/htmltags/p/bltags_dl.htm

Daniel_A_Varney
07-14-2011, 08:58 AM
Thanks Abduraooft. I think that's definitely worth a try! Bookmarked for later reading.

vikram1vicky
07-14-2011, 09:10 AM
Use tables for tabular data and not for layouts :)



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