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  • #46
    Originally posted by Wayne Luke View Post
    Really depends on the site. Technically, it could be true but it really depends on the coding of the site itself. Most vBulletin sites load faster than ESPN.com, which is "semantically-correct XHTML design". Though ESPN.com probably loads faster than it would if it was a bunch of nested tables. Can't really compare though. Also have to take the browser into account. Some browser engines have problems with nested tables and fast rendering. Others don't. I am sure some have problems with DIV/CSS based rendering.
    http://www.stopdesign.com/articles/throwing_tables/

    Check out that article for a nicely-written case study about what would happen if Microsoft.com were correctly coded.

    It's a bit dated (it's their old layout), but the ideas presented are still good. It's interesting to note that Microsoft (as well as all its subsidiary sites) have since moved to (roughly) standards-compliant semantic code.
    :)

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    • #47
      I've read that before but "faster" is a perception to most users. I've seen pages with less code take 30 seconds to render on my screen where some large 100K plus pages are done in less than 10 seconds. That is why I said:
      Technically, it could be true but it really depends on the coding of the site itself.
      Even then the article is more focused on bandwidth savings for the company and cross-browser viewing and not speed savings for the customer.

      Not really trying to argue with you and I see losing tables for layout as the way forward but it isn't a cure-all that everyone always makes it out to be. Maybe in 5 years when CSS-3 is supported more than piecemeal and the actual recommendation exists completely it will be a different story. But we have had RTF and PDF for many years now and they still don't offer the features developers need completely. Design will be an ever evolving technology.
      Translations provided by Google.

      Wayne Luke
      The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud customization and demonstration site.
      vBulletin 5 Documentation - Updated every Friday. Report issues here.
      vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
      I am not currently available for vB Messenger Chats.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Zachery View Post
        I don't like the term "tableless" I've seen lots of examples of people actually putting tabular data into divs/css formatting.

        Using less tables is good, but we need to get over the fad that tables are pure evil.
        I don't know much about the differences between CSS and tables. What advantages does the latter have?

        Also, isn't the stock vB 3.x already XHTML 1.0 compliant?
        Forums

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Quillz View Post
          I don't know much about the differences between CSS and tables. What advantages does the latter have?
          Quick History lesson.

          Back in the 80s when HTTP became a recognized standard you had HTML 1.0. It was fairly boring. You couldn't format text or wrap it around images. You could use paragraphs and not much else. This worked for Academia and the Military complex because it was cheaper than emailing the documents.

          Enter a web browser called "Mosiac". It started opening up things to people outside the Academic circle and the military complex. It became the basis of both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer 1.0. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

          In HTML 2.0, the scientists and school researchers wanted more, they wanted tables to present data in their reports. So it was incorporated into the specification by the W3C.

          About the same time (1991-1993), the Internet "was born". This is regardless of the fact that it had been around since the mid-60s but I digress. The fact is here that the internet was opened to the common consumer and corporations. They wanted more so background colors, fonts, etc.. were added to the specification giving use HTML 3.0. At this time the only way to control the layout was tables and frames. Frames were supposed to be used for layout but many nascent browsers including Internet Explorer 1 and Netscape Navigator 3 couldn't handle them properly. However they could handle tables unless you stacked them more than 5 or 6 deep (which would crash Navigator). So everyone used tables for layout and ridiculed frames.

          Then came the Browser Wars. Internet Explorer went from 1 to 3 practically overnight and then quickly to version 4. Netscape also went to version 4. People designing websites wanted more features in their sites so both Microsoft and Netscape started giving dozens of proprietary tags and pushing some of them into the HTML spec since they both sit on the board. So we get HTML 3.2 and HTML 4.0.

          By this time HTML is very bloated and hard to deal with. You have to code two versions of everything to work in the two dominant browsers. Enter XML and CSS.

          History lesson over.

          With HTML a lot of shortcuts were taken from the original markup parent. You didn't have to close tags, some tags were optional and each browser can determine how to render those tags. This made a mess. For instance the <td> tag is optionally closed when the browser encounters a new <td> according to the specification. Internet Explorer closed it. Netscape Navigator didn't.

          XML's or more importantly XHTML's purpose was to get things back to the original tag markup system. Close tags, make sure required attributes are there, etc.. To handle the bloat though, a lot of the new proprietary tags were removed. The XHTML should only have the data you want to display. The browser should get the instructions on how to display it from another source.

          That source is CSS. It should contain font information for each element, where it is located on the screen, etc... The problem is that many browsers didn't support it or support it completely so people still used tables for layout, even though they went against the spirit of the specification.

          Today's browsers are better at supporting both CSS and XHTML but coding habits from the last 2 decades die hard. Especially when you add in tools like Frontpage, Dreamweaver and Go!Live which add to the problems in their own ways.

          Also, isn't the stock vB 3.x already XHTML 1.0 compliant?
          Yes, it does. However the validator cannot tell if tables are used for layout or tabulation purposes so it doesn't check that. Certain things would require change to be within the "Spirit" of the specification and not just within the "Letter" of the specification. However it wasn't until the new 6th generation browsers (IE 6 and Firefox 1.x) became prevalent enough that this might actually be possible wide scale. Other niche browsers support this but you need critical mass to support things. Now that 7th generation browsers are out ( IE7 and Firefox 2), you have more options.
          Translations provided by Google.

          Wayne Luke
          The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud customization and demonstration site.
          vBulletin 5 Documentation - Updated every Friday. Report issues here.
          vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
          I am not currently available for vB Messenger Chats.

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          • #50
            Awesome read wayne

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            • #51
              I think we can talk ad nausea about perceived loading speed improvements or whether it makes sense to adhere to standards. But what most if not all today's web designer agree on is that it's a lot easier and efficient to separate design (css) from content (xhtml).

              Do you guys know csszengarden.com? Believe it or not, all the designs share the same xhtml code basis and only differ in the style sheets used.

              Another interesting post: 55 reasons to design in xhtml/css: http://www.khmerang.com/index.php?p=106

              Let me rephrase the original questions of why xhtml/css should be better than tables... why should vBulletin continue to use tables?

              Comment


              • #52
                I'm really impressed with the new look of phpBB. I think they did a fantastic job. I never expected to see anything like that

                Comment


                • #53
                  I don't think I'd be wrong in saying that the problem is not the idea of CSS itself, it's the browsers. Internet Explorer 6 in particular is grossly painful because it has poor standards support even when all the other major browsers do not and unfortunately pre-XP users and all those who haven't upgraded to 7 are still using it. If browser support was efficient and world-wide then vBulletin would have already switched, no doubt. They just want to maintain as high a compatibility level as possible. I don't doubt that the switch of phpBB deliberately coincidences with the more-or-less-demise of Internet Explorer 6 and an approach to a reasonable level of global CSS support.

                  Oh, and I think it looks great. I never thought vBulletin's appearance was particularly strong and while I think their colour scheme is a bit...odd... the overall smoothness is terribly nice. Definitely a happy step away from the "bunch of boxes" appearance.

                  Not that I'm knocking boxes, I use them a lot.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    I would like to see vBulletin go all CSS too.

                    But sometimes I wish there was a table button on the message post panel.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Another interesting post: 55 reasons to design in xhtml/css: http://www.khmerang.com/index.php?p=106
                      That's interesting enough.
                      Syrian Medical Society - mi la do - My Hacks - vCharset converter - Projects Queue

                      I want to breathe the freedom, and to strew the mounts of nostalgia in your eyes.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by AlexanderT View Post
                        why should vBulletin continue to use tables?
                        No one said it should. However it won't happen in a 3.X release. There are several reasons for this. The templates have to work on a wide range of installation. They should be as backwards compatible as possible with other versions in the same series (which is why most of the 3.5 and 3.0 quick tips still work in 3.6). And they have to be easy to use for people who don't know anything about HTML.

                        Let's look at that last one. Many of our customers are editing their templates in Frontpage and Dreamweaver. The templates are just parts of a page without any giving you an entire page. This means they don't render 100% in these programs, CSS positioning doesn't work, etc... They are not designers. They are simply people trying to make a website. To make a tableless design that would work for them would mean redoing the template system and rewriting portions of the code. phpBB took a logical step to do this which is their 3.X series. We have already said that the templates will be revamped in 4.0, again a logical step. To do it now would literally upset more customers than it would make happy. That is the unfortunate truth behind it all. I don't know what the templates will ultimately look like but I do hope for an improvement in 4.0.
                        Translations provided by Google.

                        Wayne Luke
                        The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud customization and demonstration site.
                        vBulletin 5 Documentation - Updated every Friday. Report issues here.
                        vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
                        I am not currently available for vB Messenger Chats.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          You may prepare the customers for that, since it's for future version, which may be in years, I think we won't see vB4.0 Gold in 2007.
                          Syrian Medical Society - mi la do - My Hacks - vCharset converter - Projects Queue

                          I want to breathe the freedom, and to strew the mounts of nostalgia in your eyes.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by miladkk View Post
                            You may prepare the customers for that, since it's for future version, which may be in years, I think we won't see vB4.0 Gold in 2007.
                            What do you mean prepare them? We don't have the resources to teach people proper XHTML/CSS design techniques. However as time gets closer, documentation and tutorials will be updated and new articles about customization will be released at vBulletin.org. If necessary we can probably put some basics in the manual with links to other resources.
                            Translations provided by Google.

                            Wayne Luke
                            The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud customization and demonstration site.
                            vBulletin 5 Documentation - Updated every Friday. Report issues here.
                            vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
                            I am not currently available for vB Messenger Chats.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Wayne Luke View Post
                              No one said it should. However it won't happen in a 3.X release. There are several reasons for this. The templates have to work on a wide range of installation. They should be as backwards compatible as possible with other versions in the same series (which is why most of the 3.5 and 3.0 quick tips still work in 3.6). And they have to be easy to use for people who don't know anything about HTML.

                              Let's look at that last one. Many of our customers are editing their templates in Frontpage and Dreamweaver. The templates are just parts of a page without any giving you an entire page. This means they don't render 100% in these programs, CSS positioning doesn't work, etc... They are not designers. They are simply people trying to make a website. To make a tableless design that would work for them would mean redoing the template system and rewriting portions of the code. phpBB took a logical step to do this which is their 3.X series. We have already said that the templates will be revamped in 4.0, again a logical step. To do it now would literally upset more customers than it would make happy. That is the unfortunate truth behind it all. I don't know what the templates will ultimately look like but I do hope for an improvement in 4.0.
                              I agree and see your point.

                              I think the PHP forum looks fantastic (first time I go on it btw).

                              I was wondering - what are the advantages of a tableless design?

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by ---MAD--- View Post
                                what are the advantages of a tableless design?
                                AlexanderT already stated that a couple of posts above this one.
                                Translations provided by Google.

                                Wayne Luke
                                The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud customization and demonstration site.
                                vBulletin 5 Documentation - Updated every Friday. Report issues here.
                                vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
                                I am not currently available for vB Messenger Chats.

                                Comment

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