April 17, 2011
Tables, DIVs and the Future

I'm coding again, and that will also mean I'm writing again. I want to write

about what I'm doing, and I think what I'm doing is exciting, so maybe this

blog will return to that, too. Or not. We'll see.

When I first started web design, everything with rigid formatting was done in

tables. We didn't have CSS yet, so if you wanted positions, you made a table.

If you were graphically inclined, you drew your tables in Photoshop (or

Fireworks, or Illustrator) and sliced it up, repeating portions that were

worth repeating. It was fun, but it was tedious. Most importantly, it worked.

With the rise of CSS (except in IE6, still a problem), the Internet Hivemind

commanded we stop doing that. Instead, we switched to DIVs. Everywhere. Tables

were only useful now for tabular data, as the name would rightly suggest.

Frameworks sprung up (I'm fond of Blueprint, myself) to make it easier, and

that's how we went. Hacks existing to do special things, but you made a

semantic DIV to encapsulate content. It's good, readable code, and tedious to


What's next then? I have no idea. HTML5 was rumored to bring semantic sections

(header, footer, navigation, content), but it's not adopted. I'm working on a

new layout for a site not this one, sorry and I'm finding that I'm four

divs in before getting to content. It's absurd, but it works. I supposed if I

was really troubled I could lobby the W3C, but it's not worthwhile. I'd rather

fuss. At least I write moderately reusable code that I leverage (read: cut and

paste) to new projects.

Oh, and I blog at midnight. That never helps me not-complain.

previously | January 31, 2011
Yet Another Epic Gap in Writing

April 24, 2011 | afterward
Django Development on the iPad