Attack of the Killer Nested Tables

I took a major step backwards in my attempts to write better structured HTML at work today. I’ve resorted to using a few nested tables in a layout that I’m currently working on. The reasons are “ehh”: time allocated to the project (almost none), possible future replacement of the navigation with flash will be easier (I think), working from a mock up done by a print designer (print != web).

I can’t help but feeling like I’m moving back towards 1999/1998 with this layout. So much code to display so little content… This layout leaves a bad taste in my mouth. (It’s either that, or the salt bagel I just ate…)


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Robert Belknap has been writing online sporadically since 2001. See the colophon for more details.

6 thoughts on “Attack of the Killer Nested Tables”

  1. What do you use for your layouts instead of tables (usually) ??

    CSS? or is there something else about which I am totally ignorant?

    I still mainly use tables… call me stuck in the dark ages, I guess….

  2. There is no need to use tables these days. It can all be done with CSS and looks good too although there are a few issues. Worth exploring.

  3. CSS Positioning is what I try to use, however at work I am forced to use tables more than I’d like. I haven’t used a nested table (table within a table) for quite some time. I’m working towards making simple-yet-elegant designs that can be rendered idealy with CSS, or alternately with a single table.

    anyway – all’s not lost, I’m am still using CSS to style text/ backgrounds… and the table in question is being centered on the screen with CSS positioning…

    This site’s design is definately an eclectic mix of old and new.

  4. I would’ve started looking more into CSS for positioning, but last I heard it was standard enough for all/most browsers to handle.

    Perhaps I’m behind and wrong?

  5. I think it is one of those programmer things – tables will do everything you want but the code is a bit messy. I have found programmers have to have very neat tidy code, indented beautifully and a joy to look at. CSS gives you that and tables doesnt. I use tables a lot as CSS does not always give you what you want. For example if you have 3 columns and a footer in CSS if the middle column is shorter than either side the footer will overlap the side columns. With tables that does not happen.

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