The Power of Agreements

Worked on the first page of one new website most of the day for a client ( see test site of Epoch Consultants Inc. ) trying to build it using only CSS and have it be completely table-free–and still work in Netscape 6 and IE 5.5 and 6. It is supposed to look something like this [link died], but the fonts are too small in that image – I can’t read them.

Klaus Hilgers (if you visited that link you saw his picture) is an old friend with whom I wrote a book, (The Power of Agreements) a few years back. I’ve been trying to get him to put up a website since 1995 – at long last he consented.

It would be a piece of cake to make this site using tables, but they add so much extra HTML code (aka “table soup”) to the page that it is hard to go in later and figure out what you’ve done. Tables are also boring and not very fluid. It is debatable whether not using tables for layout makes the site more usable to visitors, but I like the flexibility that it give me when using only CSS (“Cascading Style Sheets”) for underlying formatting and display. Those visitors who know how can make the fonts as big or small as they need for comfortable reading and can make the screen sizes as large or small as they want, and even if all the formatting is turned off, can still make sense of the page when surfing in text-only mode on a Palm or telephone or watch or ring or some other ridiculous Dick Tracey/Pacific Rim gadget with a tiny screen.

Question du jour: “Am I an effete snob for trying to make new websites using only CSS?” Who, besides another web designer, would know or care?

Answer: No. I just want to bring my web design skills to a new level, which is why I’m also studying PHP every night and am reading half a dozen books about web design in any given month. Got to stay sharp!

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