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Thread: Table hack layout issue in IE6

  1. #1
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    Table hack layout issue in IE6

    Hi there,
    I'm using the table hack suggested in Joe Clark's Building Accessible Websites to place LHS menu after content.
    But what I'm finding in IE6 is that when the page content is long enough it causes the content of the menu cell to drift downwards by a couple of pixels.
    I've posted an example here..
    http://neilhardie.com/tabletest.htm
    This seems to be an IE issue, it doesn't happen in Opera.
    The only fix I can find is to force a height for the menu cell content to push it back up to the top, but I'd rather avoid that if possible.
    Has anyone else come across this and have any way around it?
    Many thanks..
    Neil

  2. #2
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    You do not need a table for a layout as simple as that (you do not need them for any layout for that matter).
    Vladdy

    Working web site is not the one that looks the same in a few graphical browsers, but the one that adequately delivers its content to any device accessing it.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, but that's the layout I'm using - any suggestions on how to get it working?

  4. #4
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    Yeah, do not use tables
    Vladdy

    Working web site is not the one that looks the same in a few graphical browsers, but the one that adequately delivers its content to any device accessing it.

  5. #5
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    Yawn. I'm all for beautiful pure CSS layout blah blah blah but some of use are actually working in the real world, and that's the layout that's being used. Can you help or not? This is a pretty tedious experience for my first attempt at getting some help from this forum.

  6. #6
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    Yawn. If you do not see a solution, when offered one, there is not much I can do. Maybe there is a way to drive a screw in with a hammer, but why would I try to figure one out, when I have a screwdriver in my toolbox

    .. yeah real word:
    Never have time to do things right, but plenty of it to correct mistakes.
    Last edited by Vladdy; 04-30-2004 at 08:45 AM.
    Vladdy

    Working web site is not the one that looks the same in a few graphical browsers, but the one that adequately delivers its content to any device accessing it.

  7. #7
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    You didn't offer me a solution at all - I've specifically stated that, for whatever reason, that is the layout I'm using, and I need a solution to get that to work.
    Last edited by NeilH; 04-30-2004 at 12:37 PM.

  8. #8
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    OK, first I'm going to reference this article.

    Then I'm going to say that using tables for non-tabular data is by definition inaccessible.

    Then I'm going to go on to say please don't insult people who, in a round about way, are trying to help.

    And in conclusion, if you do not want to use the alternative, accessible, layout offered then I will take a look at your table problem, if only to prevent some flames.
    Every fight is a food fight when you’re a cannibal.

  9. #9
    NeilH, I looked at your table....and it works fine if you get rid of the 2 rows, and just have the one row with 3 columns, although, it sounds like you're supposed to have them like you do...so I doubt that helped :P
    I'm using the table hack suggested in Joe Clark's Building Accessible Websites to place LHS menu after content.
    just for my curiosity's sake...why does he say to do this? and why does this make the site accessible?

    not a flame, or a leading question...I'm truly curious, as using tables for layout goes against accessible standards (from what I've read), and it's quite interesting that a book proposing to teach about building accessible websites tells you to use tables for layout.

  10. #10
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    lavalamp - thanks for the links. Honestly, I'd give my right arm to be able to do this the "correct" way, but it's simply not possible. Obviously I should have explained up front that this is my job, I'm working for a major client, and for the time being at least, this layout is just the way it is.

    rpassmore
    It's easy to be blinded by the CSS-fanatics who would have you believe that any use of tables for layout will bring plague and pestilence. In fact, tables are perfectly accessible as long as you are careful about how they are structured, the important issue being ensuring that the content flows in the correct order for user agents that won't be displaying the structure. Of course, you should still be marking up the content within the table correctly with paragraphs, headers etc. Tables for layout might be semantically incorrect, but there's nothing inherently inaccessible about a table, and while we're still dealing with varying browsers, tables for high level layout remain extremely useful, especially in the real commercial world.

    Anyway, to answer your question! The idea behind the "table hack" is that you can have a left-hand navigation bar displayed in the right place, but within the code it's actually at the foot of the page for the benefit of screen readers, text browsers etc... an alternative to a "skip navigation" link.
    I'd certainly recommend Joe Clark's book if you're interested in accessibility - lot's of useful advice - after all, how many of us have access to Jaws for testing? (oh, and lots of dispelling of myths too... )

    n

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