View Full Version : Teach me DIV

03-21-2006, 01:48 PM
I am in the early stages of learning css via Dreamweaver mx on my mac and after studying many sites and layouts it would appear to me that using tables together with css is rather dying out. The DIV tag is apparently much more reliable, but I am a real novice. Can anyone reccommend any good resource/tutorial on utilising this DIV tag and justifying why i should say goodbye to tables. Any resource with a direct link to Dreamweaver MX would be even better.


03-21-2006, 11:08 PM
I am in the early stages of learning css via Dreamweaver mx [...]I think you would first benefit from learning how to mark up a document by hand. You seem to be under the impression that the div element is something special. It is not. It is, in fact, just a generic, non-semantic block level container. Its usual purpose is only to group related elements; to divide the document.

Unless you have a clear understanding of how markup should be structured, which Dreamweaver will not provide, using CSS may prove difficult as good markup is a prerequisite (at least if you want things to be easy).

The DIV tag is apparently much more reliable [...]CSS has nothing to do with the div element. The key is simple, semantic markup; where the most appropriate and meaningful elements are used to mark up content.

[...] justifying why i should say goodbye to tables.Using non-semantic tables (that is, tables used only to provide a layout) was always just a hack (much like spacer images).

As I understand it, the 'Browser Wars' between Netscape and Microsoft pushed the introduction of new, presentational markup in an effort to make the newly-popularised Web more interesting to look at. As a result, style sheets (which did exist back then) were omitted from implementations and the Web moved to the presentational junk that it's only beginning to recover from. As there were no other ways to present a document, the only mechanism that could provide some semblance of control was the table.

As we are past all that now, tables shouldn't be used unless tabular data is involved.