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Filed in:XHTML
The Web

Die Tables Die

February 2nd, 2007  · stk

Don't web designers now know NOT TO USE TABLES FOR PAGE LAYOUT? I thought so, but an email, received from the President of a web media company, says otherwise

Tables for tabular data ONLY ... NOT for LAYOUT!!

tableless designs

Last night, I had an interesting e-mail exchange, in which someone was using an ASP.net datalist to display three PZ3 images in a row. They were having problems with IE. (No surprise there). :p

First, I know very little about ASP.net, but I asked the fellow for a copy of the page (X)HTML and CSS and said I'd look into the problem.

It was a basic page, nothing too odd (though I did notice a bunch of ASP.net-specific bloat). I quickly found the problem: the fellow was using a table to contain the single row of three PZ3 images, each in their own cell (browsers often fail to correctly interpret CSS directives inside table cells).

I haven't used tables for layout in years and assumed that (by now) the message to do so, would've gotten out. Obviously not.

I wrote back and said, "Using a table to hold the three images is semantically incorrect (because no tabular data are being displayed) and the root of your problem. To fix it, just take the three images out of the table." I even provided some XHTML-valid code that would accomplish what he wanted (semantically correct and more succinct).

The response I got back, floored me.

I am displaying data from a [sic] XML file that display files. Those images are in each cell, so yes I am displaying tabular data. (emphasis mine)

Huh?

Maybe what he's trying to say is that "he can't get rid of the table", but if so, it's because of a limitation in the ASP.net language he's using and not because it's semantically incorrect to do so. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how ASP.net stores/retrieves/interprets the image data, what does matter is:

Displaying three images in a row, is NOT a display of "tabular data".

To top it off, this fellow isn't just anyone, he's the President of a web media company. He should KNOW BETTER!

The exchange bothered me enough that I thought I'd write my own version of "What I think should be tacitly understood anyone writing HTML code".

To find out why tables are bad (should be used for displaying tabular data, NOT FOR LAYOUT) and what is "tabular data" anyway? .... read on.

 

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Updated: 25-Nov-2008
Web View Count: 29569 viewsLast Web Update: 25-Nov-2008
Filed in:The Web
Site News

Randsco Hijacked

January 11th, 2007  · stk

Would you like spammers using your domain for their activities? If it happened to randsco.com, it can happen to you. Find out more ...

Been spammed by a randsco.com email address?

We apologize. A few days ago, spammers began using bogus randsco.com email addresses in the "From:" field of their spammy messages. We discovered it's easy for spammers to fake (or spoof) email addresses and that we're relatively powerless to stop it.

spam

Randsco.com does not condone SPAM. Quite the contrary. We make every effort to eliminate it - see here, here, here or here - for proof. We hate SPAM!

Unfortunately, there's very little one can actually do to stop spammers from making it look like their SPAM is coming from your domain. They just use a bogus email address, from your domain, in the "From:" portion of their spammy emails. It turns out, we're not completely defenseless, but the best apparent remedy requires the cooperation of every mail server, across the Internet.

How did I find out that spammers were spoofing randsco.com email addresses? Are spammers giving your domain a spammy reputation? What can you do to help stop these spammy attacks?

To find out ... read on ...

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Updated: 8-Feb-2007
Web View Count: 11235 viewsLast Web Update: 8-Feb-2007
Filed in:CSS
Web Dev·The Web

PZ3 & Opera v9.02

November 15th, 2006  · stk

Photo-caption Zoom v3 can fail in the latest Opera version (v9.02). It appears to be a problem with the Opera upgrade process. Learn mody ...

A Flip'n, Zooming Upgrade Problem

I've recently tweaked the Photo-Caption Zoom v3 code, to provide support for IE7 and quirks-mode. (I'm still testing it, so the only place you can see it, for now, is in this Randsco new article.)

In fact, I wanted to test if further, by using it on our own website.

I uploaded the CSS and began modifying some XHTML, when I thought, "I'd better check, before I convert too much, that it works in all the browsers."

Low and behold, it didn't "Zoom" properly in Opera v9.02.

"That's odd," I thought, "I'm sure I tested it in Opera when I made the modifications."

Turns out, I did.

If you're experiencing problems with Photo-Caption Zoom v3 in Opera v9.02, read on ...

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Updated: 6-Aug-2008
Web View Count: 8453 viewsLast Web Update: 6-Aug-2008
Filed in:Site News
Web Dev·CSS

Pretty in Print

August 30th, 2006  · stk

How do your printed pages look? When we saw that ours were horrid, Scott whipped the print.css file into shape. Read about the pros and cons of using CSS to make pretty print pages.

Using CSS to Format the Printed Page

Back in my office-working days, I knew a guy named Clint, who didn't like reading his email on the computer screen. He'd print each email, every morning, read through the print-outs, file the important messages and deep-six the others. I wonder if he still does that?

Who really reads online stuff, offline? Not me!

But who am I to criticize and judge others in their efforts at deforestation, eh? Isn't the Internet is supposed to be accessible to all - even folks who prefer reading online content, offline?

For accessibility reasons, innate curiosity and the shocking discovery that our printed pages looked horrible, I decided to spend some time and pretty them up. If you think visitors might want to print your blog articles (for reference or offline reading), then think about using Cascading Style Sheets to format the page.

Read on to see what a difference it made to our pages...

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Views: 14402 views
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Updated: 6-Aug-2008
Web View Count: 14402 viewsLast Web Update: 6-Aug-2008
Filed in:CSS
Web Dev·b2evo

PZ3 Enhanced ImageMaps

July 15th, 2006  · stk

What do sunken ships have to do with Photo-Caption Zoom (PZ3) enhanced imagemaps? Find out, as history and technology collide on the Internet, in a demonstration that creatively extends PZ3 functionality and capability

PZ3: Putting the "Hot" in Hotspots!

Besides the problems associated with posting image maps in XHTML v1.1, there is very little information contained in such a construct, other than whatever the author might add to the "title" attribute. Along comes PZ3 to the rescue! It can add information images and text to a hovered hot-spot. In addition, it can "animate" the spot, so a visitor knows when it's been activated.

"Look Ma, no JavaScript, XHTML-valid, pure-CSS, cross-browser ... what could be finer?!"

For a demonstration of this new technique, which extends the capability and versatility of the Photo-caption Zoom method, read on ....

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Views: 48238 views
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Updated: 24-Sep-2006
Web View Count: 48238 viewsLast Web Update: 24-Sep-2006