Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Okay, this might be heated, but I want to ask anyway:
CSS for layout, and tables for tabular data, right?

as far as usability goes, is there anything wrong with using tables to display data. In the this case the output is meant to look like what you would expect to look at with xcel.

I have been using CSS for everything (layout forms, etc.), but since I am pulling database results with ColdFusion, I can't figure out a way to make the CSS dynamically bound the the db queries.


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what are you working in?
Generally, the "usability" argument is made against the use of tables to display non-tabular data. The claim is that they unnecessarily complicate html markup, which makes it more difficult for people using screen readers, text-based browsers, and so on. When your data are inherently tabular, this argument doesn't apply: there isn't any simpler way to display the data. (My opinion is that it's rarely applicable in other cases: if you can save time by using tables to simplify your life, that time is probably more effectively invested in doing almost anything other than possibly fixing a tiny problem for a tiny portion of your users.)

There are other arguments against the use of tables -- notably seo -- but again, if you're displaying tabular data, I don't think any of them apply. Anyone else?
I think tables are way better than divs/css for doing liquid layouts. But yup, tables for tabular data!
@ harley, No this is a ColdFusion project, Flex would have made it easier`-` Why is CSS so much harder than flash or flex anyway?

@ Shawn Drost This is my thinking too! Instead of reinventing the wheel to please maybe 1% of your users, but it is going to take weeks instead of days to build then is this time well spend? I say not really. Especially wen I hear that the argument does not apply to tabular data!

I would think differently id somebody can show(maybe with an example) of why using CSS to display tabular data is better. As far as general layout yes of course CSS is better than tables, with lots of examples, but I have never seen anybody using CSS instead of tables for data.

@Truman Leung Cool I am glad to ear others saying tables are good for tabular data.
I agree. Tables for tabular data. The demise of tables was too hasty.
Another reason against: tables don't (or at least didn't) render until the entire html was loaded into memory (so really long tables would jam the browser) while divs & spans will render as they become renderable. From a UX experience, you don't want huge long tables of data.
Ken Mayer said:
tables don't (or at least didn't) render until the entire html was loaded into memory

Finally got around to looking this up, and it's true as late as ie7, even if you specify a strict doctype!
> CSS for layout, and tables for tabular data, right?

Right! Now get cracking!



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