thanks for the reply.
yes, the data is dynamic, and so the column may or may not have content.
so using tables, i'd do something like:
<!-- content generated here -->
<!-- content possibly generated here -->
so that if the first column had content, but the second did not, the first column would expand to fill the width of the table's container. if the second column did have content, then the first would resize to accommodate it.
i'm trying to achieve that same principal with divs and floats, but can't find an approach that works, since i either have to specify the width of the two floating columns, or if i omit an explicit width, they expand only to the size of the content, not the containing element.
imagine if each column had a background color or border... if i don't assign width the float (which i can't do, since i won't know before-hand if there will or won't be content), then the border/background of the left-hand column would not fill the entire available space (like the table cells would).
i could test the returned data first, then assign widths as appropriate, but i'm trying to avoid that - for example, in case content is added dynamically later through script (while this is unlikely, i'd like to find an approach that'd work in any case).
is what i'm describing not possible without tables?