Talk:Tableless web design

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Criticism: Where is it?[edit]

Where is the criticism that CSS is horrible, because you cannot resize the font in the browser without it going out of whack? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:07, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I've added a link to here as a start —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:26, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, I think that site is just a good example of horrible website design...not sure that's the one you want to use for your argument. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:31, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Propsosal: Change to historical perspective[edit]

I believe that this page could be improved by changing its focus from an argument for CSS to a historical perspective on why people used tables for design, and the difficulties transitioning from tables. The page should be targetted to people who came across the term "tableless design" and wonder what it means. The structure I propose is:

The first section should describe why people used tables for page layout. This should be written in the past tense.

The second section introduce replacement technologies (with release dates and links to other pages).

The third section should describe historical difficulties of transitioning to CSS (for example, Netscape 4 did not adequately support CSS, and there was not a clear upgrade path for Netscape 4.)

The problem section should be about current thoughts on the term. e.g., this is an antiquated term that only has meaning for people who are using tables for page layout and need to change to CSS. These changes would make the page more interesting and relevant to the casual reader. Yintercept 19:09, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

I put together some historical remarks: The Tableless Table - Armin B. Wagner (talk) 12:49, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

tidying up page[edit]

I've tidied up this article and expanded it a bit. One thing that I thought about including but wasn't entirely sure about was the advantage of tableless web design as far as Search Engine Optimization is concerned. I gather that having a table-less design that is valid (X)HTML does have a beneficial effect on search engine rankings though I'm not 100% sure about this. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me about this aspect of SEO could add some appropriate blurb if it is relevant? Jammycakes 22:19, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

I would also suggest renaming this page to Tableless Web Design Jammycakes 10:09, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Really this is just one element of semantic HTML, which in turn is a part of standards-based web authoring. See talk:Tag_soup#Citations and NeologismMichael Z. 2006-10-16 05:59 Z

There is a lot of speculation about Tableless design and SEO. I've heard some ridiculous claims. From a search engine's perspective: It is not important how a web designer codes a page rather the content on the page. It could be considered unethical to penalize a web page because it used a certain tag.

In extreme cases excessive tables will impact on search engine rankings but this not due to tables but poor HTML. Any tag will have the same effect if used too much. Rimian —Preceding comment was added at 11:06, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually, tables severely impact SEO. Good SEO algorithms use semantics to assign meaning. H1 is given more weight than H2, which is given more weight than P, for example. Wrapping everything in a table tag means that the search engine interprets that all as tabular data, which (semantically) is used to support main content, not provide main content.

css cacheing advantages?[edit]

The CSS file can also be cached by the browser and so does not need to be re-loaded with every page visit, thereby providing further savings in bandwidth.

Aren't images and HTML also cached? How is this an advantage of tableless web design? I'm not sure I understand what the author is getting at here.

CSS is cached across multiple pages. HTML is separate for each page. Pretty straightforward, I'd say

I've reworded it a bit to make it clearer. Jammycakes 07:00, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

This is a misconception. In some cases, tableless design may infact increase page load times. Rimian —Preceding comment was added at 11:00, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

why I deleted all the external links[edit]

I removed three external links (that was all the external links) because they seemed to be ads -- especially the last two.

Does Wikipedia have a rule that no .com sites are permitted in External Links? I've seen people delete links for that reason alone.

TH 07:09, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

You didn't pay much attention to their content, did you? The last was completely non-commercial, a cc-licensed slide show. You also deleted categories and interwiki links. Wake up. Michael Z. 2006-11-07 13:34 Z

Are they advantages or not?[edit]

Why are there purported disadvantages listed in the "Advantages" section? Move them to the "Problems" section! Specifically, see the second and third paragraphs under "Bandwidth Savings" as well as the fourth paragraph and second half of the third paragraph under "Maintainability".

REggert (talk) 16:42, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd suggest not having advantages and disadvantages sections. I thought for&against sections were discouraged because they lead to multiple discussions of the same topic. For example, bandwidth savings would end up being split in two pieces: "clever use of CSS can result in bandwidth savings" in the advantage section and "complex or misused CSS may result in higher bandwidth usage" in the disadvantage section. Maybe advantages and disadvantages could be combined into "Considerations" or something similar. -- (talk) 20:00, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

This article is BUNK[edit]

This article is basically a POV essay. It makes some bold claims and cites very little. The section on bandwidth savings totally ignores the fact that you can use HTTP to send compressed HTML. What a bunch of baloney. (talk) 04:41, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Brunelleschi and Masaccio?[edit]

The grid systems of these Renaissance artists was used to create a sense of depth and 3D perspective on a two dimensional surface. This has nothing to do with typographic grids, which are a development in modernist typography. Bangpound (talk) 01:50, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Quick point[edit]

"As of 2006, CSS layout capabilities improved considerably." What happened in 2006? Ojcookies (talk) 05:06, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

IE7 was released in 2006, as was Firefox 2. I don't know whether either of those were the reason it said 2006, though. Someone's changed it to 2009 now. xx521xx (talk) 23:15, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Too much "religious" argument[edit]

Unfortunately, "tableless web design" is often a "religious argument" thing. CSS "gurus" write books to enlighten us "sinners" about the "better" way of doing things, and condemn the "evil" of using tables for layout. The "experts" make various theoretical arguments about the advantages of CSS for layout, while the downsides and pitfalls are mostly ignored. Meanwhile, tables function just fine in the real world, are reliable, automatically adjust to different browser sizes, and are intuitively obvious to anyone familiar with HTML. If someone prefers to use CSS for layout, that is fine with me. (talk) 07:24, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm surprised to see the W3C's advice dismissed as religious zealotry. And I guess blind readers, those viewing the pages on mobile phones, and automated acquisition (by bots, for mashups, etc) can just go hang? --Nigelj (talk) 22:31, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the article is written in a largely POV perspective (that CSS is good, tables bad...). Nigelj's response is a prime example of the "zealotry" he tries to dismiss, by blatent condescension. My mother is blind, and has absolutely no trouble "reading" (using a screen reader) or understanding any web page, regardless of layout method. And, actually, the only problem she may have is style based - that is, a poor page style regardless of the underlying html/css. -- (talk) 14:24, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Tables still being used[edit]

I'm not a code boffin, so correct me if I am wrong, but there appears to be at least one table being used in the source code of the Wikipedia page called "Tableless Web Design" (and on this 'discussion' page too) Also, Google, and Walmart, BBC,, some of the biggest websites in the world, still use some tables on every page in 2010

On WP, do you mean the 'Table of contents'? The clue is in the name. This type of correct use of a table is covered in the article. --Nigelj (talk) 12:46, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Although, I have to say that the following (in WP's markup) looks 'sub-optimal':
 <div id="toctitle">

We could have:

<th id="toctitle">Contents</th>

--Nigelj (talk) 12:56, 5 June 2010 (UTC)


{{Image requested}} Example images showing tabled and tableless design would be helpful to aid the non-expert reader. Crookesmoor (talk) 10:44, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Poor handling of overflow by divs, main reason for using tables.[edit]

Omits to mention the two greatest detractors of div-based page design:

Excessively long or oversized text in a div-based container tends to 'bust out' of its container to overlap other text or graphics, making the page completely unreadable. Table-based layout generally does not suffer this problem because table cells resize gracefully to accommodate their content.
Left or right-positioned columns using divs must use the float: attribute, and this has the undesirable side effect of making the vertical positioning of the container indeterminate, such that on some screen sizes it may appear above or below other content instead of alongside. By contrast a table row is a table row, and cannot become a column, or vice versa.

In css3 the ability to make divs behave like table cells was added in response to these criticisms, but doing so requires extremely verbose and untidy code. Hence it is not a very satisfactory response to the problem.

In short, this is really an argument between theorists hard-selling a flawed ideal, and the real world in which we use the method that works reliably.

The article also gives the impression that css layout control cannot be applied to tables, which is completely untrue. The outdated practice of positioning content by the use of spacer images is completely irrelevant to this subject. --Anteaus (talk) 09:47, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

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