[sclug] Simple WYSIWYG HTML editor?

Adam Trickett adam.trickett at iredale.net
Mon Mar 3 16:48:03 UTC 2008

On Monday 03 Mar 2008, Simon Huggins wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 03, 2008 at 04:02:09PM +0000, David Given wrote:
> > And if anyone can come up with a way of using CSS to say 'I want this
> > column to be wide enough to contain this string without wrapping it, but
> > no wider', or 'I want this box to be the same size as that box', I will
> > be a happy man.
> Isn't that what tables are for? :)

Tables are for tabulated data only. It is true that you can coerce them into a 
primitive form of layout as you suggest, however it's not actually that good 
and it produces really heavy pages. I know you are only joking but a lot of 
people do try it out and it's just a rod for your own back.

> I do think the CSS fanboys were wrong with all the "tables are evil"
> rhetoric.  The elastic boxes that tables provide that you control well
> are really useful.

It is true that when CSS first came out as a replacement for tables, there was 
a lot of "hot air", but modern CSS design is now pretty good, with pretty 
good usability and much lighter and more reliable than tables ever where. 
However fundamentally html was just never designed as a DTP language and no 
matter how you tweak it, it will never be a DTP language without a massive 

> Thankfully I'm not a webdesigner though.

Thankfull I don't do it as a day job anymore, I just get asked to fix other 
people's pages and it's a royal pain in the bottom.

I once took what looked like a simple page with one small rendering bug. It 
was a dreamweaver/tables special job, looked 99% good in Firefox and IE, but 
the graphic designer wasn't happy with something (I don't remember what) and 
asked me to fix it. I ended up re-writing the whole page from scratch using 
only a few divs and a long list. My version was 100% perfect in Firefox, IE 
and Opera, and best of all it was less than 25% of the file size so it went 
over the wire quicker and was rendered by most browsers much faster too.

When you are chasing that last few percents towards perfection you have to do 
things by hand no tool will do it for you. I also know it's a thankless task 
and in most cases not worth doing...

Adam Trickett
Overton, HANTS, UK

A feature is a bug with seniority.
	-- anon
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