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  1. #1
    Regular Coder BWiz's Avatar
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    Question Opinions: Table vs. CSS for accessibility

    Okay, at first glance this may seem like a newbie questions however I really am concerned over which one I should use. I currently attend a high school and recently joined a club, where they've commissioned me to create a website for them (I'm just a teenager). Anyway, I know the web standards enforce the use of CSS layouts, however, I've more worried about accessibility.

    Since the website is for a literature club (yes, I am that nerdy), I believe that I should concentrate more on the accessibility issues of the website, however, stick to web standards. Though, I have a friend (who is more experienced in coding than I am) advised me to use tables for this site, if I'm that worried about the accessibility.

    I would appreciate any comments on what I should consider doing, because I truly am stumped.

    Thanks in advice.
    BWiz
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  • #2
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    Actually as far as I know, the CSS design will be more accessible because if done properly, the code will be more semantically correct.
    OracleGuy

  • #3
    Regular Coder croatiankid's Avatar
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    why do you seperate tables and css? why not use them together?

  • #4
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Tables used for layouts have major accessibility issues as all of the content of the page is scrambled to fit the table rather than being in a logical order.

    You can build different CSS for different media types so that those listening to the page on a web reader have the page interpreted completely differently from those viewing it on their mobile phone. Neither of them can access the page if you use tables.
    Stephen
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  • #5
    Regular Coder zro@rtv's Avatar
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    a well coded site using CSS is FAR more accessable. As stated, tables are fine for TABULAR data, but for layout it is ridiculous.

    Perhaps you misinterpreted your friend. Perhaps he meant that using OLD practices like table layouts will ensure compatability across OLD browsers? Honestly you shouldnt worry about browser that old, tho.

    Go with CSS, or everyone will laugh at you. 8 ).
    (and p.s. literature club isnt that nerdy... and reguardless, this is the CODING forums... who in their right mind would judge someone for being 'nerdy' on a forum full of people who spend this much time with computers?! )
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  • #6
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    While I'm certainly not going to advocate using tables instead of CSS, there are a few misconceptions here:

    • Screen readers and mobile devices CAN access a website constructed with tables.
    • A table-based layout is not necessarily less accessible than a CSS-based layout.


    A table-based layout that also uses well-constructed, semantic HTML can be considered pretty accessible if the content makes sense once the table is linearized. A CSS-based layout with unsemantic HTML, presentational markup, nested divs, and unlinear content isn't accessible just because it uses CSS. In the end it's how you construct the site.

  • #7
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    I'm confused when I hear how lop-sided this debate is. I've used tables and have always just forced the height and width of them. This seems to render them fine in any browser/screen size I use. Am I way off base here.

  • #8
    The fat guy next door VIPStephan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by radman626 View Post
    Am I way off base here.
    Yes you are.

    P.S.: You are the one that is thinking lopsided. There aren't just IE, Fx, Opera, and Safari as browsers out there. There are also text-only browsers and screen readers (that read the content of websites loud for blind people) which might have major issues presenting stuff that is laid out incorrectly in tables.
    Last edited by VIPStephan; 10-25-2006 at 08:46 PM.

  • #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by radman626 View Post
    This seems to render them fine in any browser/screen size I use. Am I way off base here.
    Accessibility isn't just visual.

  • #10
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    I find CSS easier to manage than tables, though I do know someone who works from tables with Dreamweaver & has been hired to redo her major department's webpage; I just use a text editor.

    CSS also makes it easier to adjust and edit site content, since style and content are independent and not grouped together as they are with tables.

    Then again, I'm still quite fresh to the coding world, so I'd pay more attention to others' reasons than mine, were I you.

    Literature club sounds fun! May I ask what you're reading? (I actually got into coding because my reading habits developed into a writing habit which developed into a freelance writing job which has developed into needing a website for my business. )

    -'Dee

  • #11
    Regular Coder croatiankid's Avatar
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    coding with tables is a lot easier when it comes to cross browser compatibility. I know on one of my sites i made with tables a few years back that it looks the same in every browser, and i didn't even test it for that (when i was making it)

  • #12
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmedek View Post
    While I'm certainly not going to advocate using tables instead of CSS, there are a few misconceptions here:

    • Screen readers and mobile devices CAN access a website constructed with tables.
    • A table-based layout is not necessarily less accessible than a CSS-based layout.


    A table-based layout that also uses well-constructed, semantic HTML can be considered pretty accessible if the content makes sense once the table is linearized. A CSS-based layout with unsemantic HTML, presentational markup, nested divs, and unlinear content isn't accessible just because it uses CSS. In the end it's how you construct the site.

    Yes but most people who use tables for layout have no idea of what semantic HTML is and it would only be by accident that their table might still make sense when linearized.
    Stephen
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  • #13
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by croatiankid View Post
    coding with tables is a lot easier when it comes to cross browser compatibility. I know on one of my sites i made with tables a few years back that it looks the same in every browser, and i didn't even test it for that (when i was making it)
    How do you create one layout for PCs and a completely different layout for the same page that is suitable for handheld devices using tables? With CSS you just create two stylesheets and specify the media to which they apply.

    How does your page that uses a table for layout look in the Opera web browser running on a mobile phone?
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
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    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  • #14
    Regular Coder croatiankid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    How do you create one layout for PCs and a completely different layout for the same page that is suitable for handheld devices using tables? With CSS you just create two stylesheets and specify the media to which they apply.

    How does your page that uses a table for layout look in the Opera web browser running on a mobile phone?
    checking

    will this every load? (it's graphics based)

    looks bad
    Last edited by croatiankid; 10-25-2006 at 10:49 PM.

  • #15
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    CSS is the cool and better way to go. You know if you want to be cool.

    I'm looking into makeing a new website and want to go tableless. I wanted to find a really cool WYSIWYG editor, free of course and that did decent css. I did not find one yet. Guess notepad is good enough.


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