I recently had a discussion about the acceptable use of tables being used for the layout of a webpage. I still stand by the fact that tables should never be used for layouts, as is the w3c's consensus as far as i am aware, but i was questioned as to what happens to browsers that do not support css (e.g. early versions of netscape). The site in question is http://www.cam.ac.uk/cs. I believe that this site should, and quite easily could, be css positioned and the use of tables scraped! However, somebody at the university has insisted that tables are used so that the site is compatable on all browsers.
Is this a valid point, or is there no excuse for the use of tables in this case?
p.s. i would like to point out i have nothing to do with the design of that page!
Any views, and arguments to back up my case, much appreciated
Tables for css unsuported browsers?
I would argue just what they mean by "compatable on all browsers"
Using tables won't make it compatiable with all browsers, Some won't work and some will be a painful experience - i'm thinking of text browsers and mobile devices etc. (it looks bloody terrible on my phone for example and it's totaly unusable, and yes I do browse the web on my phone, trains are very boring ).
It entierly possible to have a site done in CSS that "works" a much wider range of browsers than a table based site. The difference is on things like netscape 4.75 and worse you might end up with just plain HTML. The site will still work and be nice and functionable. Unlike the current site is.
Incidentally does anyone know usage statistics for netscape 4.75 and ie4 VS screen readers and other assistaive technologies?