HTML Tables and FrontPage

Many of you have suffered because of FrontPage and tables. FrontPage more so when using alternative (and superior) browsers such as Opera, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. FrontPage was never designed to create valid code, or to be cross platform, cross browser compatible, and because of this, many sites appear broken and you often see a Best Viewed With message. Whenever you see this, rest assured the site was coded by a novice.

Tables are noticable for older machines or dial up users. Tables often mean more code, and longer loading times. I am by no means saying tables don’t have a place in HTML, or that divs solve all issues, because neither is true. However, if you are considering using tables for a layout, please visit http://shouldiusetablesforlayout.com/.

The alternative to frontpage could be software such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression Web, although I do not reccomend a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editor. You should take the time out to learn HTML, and proper HTML at that. I follow the (X)HTML standards myself, but those standards work with an HTML doctype. In the future I plan to use (X)HTML 5, the XML compatible version of HTML5.

Tables are meant for tabular data. Nothing else. For your other needs, you should use semantic code if it exists (h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 for headers, strong and em, blockquote, etc), or divs if they don’t (For block level elements). Divs should also use CSS. This often (Some people manage to screw it up) results in less code, faster load times, and better compatibility. Not as many nested elements.

WYSIWYG editors will almost always result in much more code than if you code by hand. And always if you are an experienced coder. Code slingers can do pretty amazing stuff with HTML, that you just can’t do anyway else.

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