No Tables possible?

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brady
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No Tables possible?

Post by brady » Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:33 am

Is it possible to have no tables in Joomla? Have a design with no tables but Joomla insists on inserting its own which is breaking some stuff.

Any suggestions?

Alan

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by brady » Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:18 am

Ok, got it :)

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by compass » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:18 pm

Why do you want no tables? You can validate and still have a table or two.
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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by brady » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:53 pm

Nothing against tables :)
The design was already created without tables as they were not needed. Joomla inserting tables was breaking some elements.

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by alexhokamp » Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:00 pm

Hi guys ...

I hope you guys talk about template design, right?

@brady

The tables you are talking about?, Are they like module tables, or component tables, or something like that contact form? If yes, you can style them and change them with CSS and make them fit like you want them.

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by LeoBorsari » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:20 pm

brady wrote: Ok, got it :)
con you tell me how it works?

I'd like to create site without tables, using layout like that:

http://glish.com/css/home.asp#techniques

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by vavroom » Tue Dec 13, 2005 8:33 pm

You can create your template to be tableless, and therefore accomplish the layout you want with the techniques demonstrated in glish.

You'll still have tables in your rendered page, because the joomla engine delivers tables for now, but you'll be quite ahead of the game anyway.

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by mikl » Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:05 pm

vavroom wrote: You can create your template to be tableless, and therefore accomplish the layout you want with the techniques demonstrated in glish.

You'll still have tables in your rendered page, because the joomla engine delivers tables for now, but you'll be quite ahead of the game anyway.
How much of the table-dependant code is it possible to get rid of? Having

Code: Select all

<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
<tr align="left"><td><a href="/" class="mainlevel" id="active_menu">Home</a></td></tr>
<tr align="left"><td><a href="http://revelation.dk/weblog/" class="mainlevel" >Weblog</a></td></tr>
<tr align="left"><td><a href="http://revelation.dk/quotes.html" class="mainlevel" >Quotes</a></td></tr>
<tr align="left"><td><a href="http://revelation.dk/links/" class="mainlevel" >Links</a></td></tr>
<tr align="left"><td><a href="http://revelation.dk/component/option,com_contact/Itemid,5/task,view/contact_id,1/" class="mainlevel" >Contact me</a></td></tr>
</table>
Instead of just:

Code: Select all

<a href="/" class="mainlevel" id="active_menu">Home</a>
<a href="http://revelation.dk/weblog/" class="mainlevel" >Weblog</a>
<a href="http://revelation.dk/quotes.html" class="mainlevel" >Quotes</a>
<a href="http://revelation.dk/links/" class="mainlevel" >Links</a>
<a href="http://revelation.dk/component/option,com_contact/Itemid,5/task,view/contact_id,1/" class="mainlevel" >Contact me</a>
seems quite excessive, and the short version is really all that's needed to create all but the most advanced menu-systems in CSS :)

vavroom

Re: No Tables possible?

Post by vavroom » Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:27 pm

You can get rid of a LOT of tables straight out of the box.

In your example, your menu is more appropriately rendered into a ul, which can be selected in the menu module.  If you open the module for the menu, you can select to have it displayed as "flat list", and you got rid of that particular table.  There are some limitation to that system at the moment (sub menu items aren't working in flat lists), but there is a solid 3rd party module called Extended Menu http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,10389.0.html

You can also get rid of the tables surrounding the modules if you call them with a -1, -2, or -3 switch.

Code: Select all

<?php mosLoadModule ( 'user1', -2 ); ?>
-1 strips everything around the module
-2 wraps the module in a div with the class moduletable, and puts the module's title in a h3
-3 wraps the module in several divs, so rounded corners can be applied.

Yeah, not perfect, but it's going a long way.

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by mikl » Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:34 pm

vavroom wrote: You can get rid of a LOT of tables straight out of the box.

In your example, your menu is more appropriately rendered into a ul, which can be selected in the menu module.  If you open the module for the menu, you can select to have it displayed as "flat list", and you got rid of that particular table.  There are some limitation to that system at the moment (sub menu items aren't working in flat lists), but there is a solid 3rd party module called Extended Menu http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,10389.0.html

You can also get rid of the tables surrounding the modules if you call them with a -1, -2, or -3 switch.

Code: Select all

<?php mosLoadModule ( 'user1', -2 ); ?>
-1 strips everything around the module
-2 wraps the module in a div with the class moduletable, and puts the module's title in a h3
-3 wraps the module in several divs, so rounded corners can be applied.

Yeah, not perfect, but it's going a long way.
Does this work for also?

vavroom

Re: No Tables possible?

Post by vavroom » Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:43 pm

mikl wrote: Does this work for also?
I'm sorry, no, it doesn't.  Short of a re-write of mosMainBody, you won't be able to remove the tables there at this point.

It does bug me, but that said, You can still get your site to comply with xhtml 1.0 transitional, WAI 1.0 Level 1 and 508 with those tables in place.  Not ideal, but better than nothing.

If you really want to go all out, you can use Run Digital's 508 Hack.  It's good.  Some of the code probably has changed, so doing a file diferential to see what's changed would be a good idea.  Some things I don't like from it (use of h1 and h2 in places that don't seem appropriate, and a few other *small* things), but if you want to remove all tables, it works.

But, again, if you write a template's index.php that is tableless, and if you load modules with the -2 switch, you've just removed a bunch of tables, and the site is at least shying away from nested tables, and more usable by people with disabilities.

vavroom

Re: No Tables possible?

Post by vavroom » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:41 pm


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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by hip » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:09 am

Hi vavroom,

I address to you for you're a Core Member (within this thread)  plus I've been 'redirected' to you from my last topic in a diferent box of this forum: "Help offer to stick to tableless standards (Joomla core + modules)" (http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,25958.0.html)

I would like to know the importance given to the table free (tableless) design by the Joomla Core Team. I don't want to begin (again and again) no polemics on 'yeah tables! hurra!' vs 'uuuuh! tables suck!' but myself decided time ago avoid extra code and make some extra effort on CSS.

As I explain in "Help offer to stick to tableless standards (Joomla core + modules)" I'm gonna try  remove tables from core modules to achieve my client's project, besides some other 'tweaks' (if any). If there's any interest in the developing team I would like to give to Joomla back the (hopefully) implementation, backed with the necessary changes in templates and CSS to help the lot show ok.

In brief:
  • may I be of any help?
    Is Joomla Developers Team sincerely looking after a 'tableless Joomla'?
Thanx in advance for the attention,
hip

btw: tableless is not for validating (no need) but for lightening code weight + empowering CSS possibilities + helping accesibility (plus, after some learning is MUCH easier to deal with than with td, tr, thead,...)

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by hip » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:25 am

Some amendings:

I've just read the 'Accessibility Statement' (http://help.joomla.org/content/view/805/60/). For what I understand it seems '1st priority' to get rid of tables for next Joomla release, but that's not the idea I get from navigating the forums and developers comments. But official is official, and I guess it doesn't get more official than the statement under 'help.joomla.org'.

Im wishing to test it or to give it a hand to greet the new year with this new 'transparent' Joomla template.  ;)

vavroom

Re: No Tables possible?

Post by vavroom » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:33 pm

hip,

Thanks for your offer to help.  At this point, we have enough people working on this.  More and we'd probably step on each other's toes :)

You'll notice that the accessibility statement does not say we'll get rid of tables for the next Joomla! release.  It says we'll be WAI 1.0 Priority 2 compliant by version 1.2 of Joomla!  This means that we will have removed all tables used for layout (but are keeping tables used for tabular data, such as displaying of content items/date/author/hits/etc).

The next major release will be 1.1.  Tableless/accessibility will NOT be included in the core (other than small features here and there).  We are hoping to have a tableless/accessible package available shortly after 1.1 comes out (no promises!!!).

Please feel free to participate in this forum :)

Cheers

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by hip » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:30 pm

Hi Vavroom,

Thanx for the reply. I'll try to attend to any news in this forum from now on.

To solve 'my problem' I'll do some 'light hacking' here and there but keeping in mind I may let it upgrade smoothly to next Joomla releases. On the other hand I consider 'tabular data' the ones like 'monthly incoming rates & percentages' or 'Primer League Scores by players and teams', and not text/author/date/... in posts and alike (unless a proper table for admin purposes, e.g.). I don't know if that's what you're meaning. I'm a bit more into ALA (http://www.alistapart.com) style, to say. It doesn't mean, as I have already suggested, I (we) am right and the rest wrong, of course.

Thanx again for the atention and I'll try to make the most of what I find in Joomla to give it back to the comunity.

Read you , ;)
hip

vavroom

Re: No Tables possible?

Post by vavroom » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:15 pm

I think you'll find the ALA crew to be in agreement with our interpretation of tabular data.  That and many other people "into accessibility".

On Accessify forum (http://www.accessifyforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=4273 ) Cerbera says:
A data table is best used when a series of data entries (rows) share the same headers (columns). By using a table, you only need one set of headers for an infinite number of entries. It also enforces the relationships between the data entries structurally and visually.
I couldn't agree with Cerbera anymore.

I don't wish to start a debate about what is, and isn't tabular data.  I have posted a brief bit on the help site about tabular data and what is considered so for our purposes.

http://help.joomla.org/content/view/1619/125/
Last edited by vavroom on Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by hip » Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:10 am

Hi,

I totally agree with the sample used at JoomlaHelp > Tabular data in Joomla! (http://help.joomla.org/content/view/1619/125/), as well as with
I don't wish to start a debate about what is, and isn't tabular data.
There's no point in it. We better do our jobs.
In relation to my prior comments and questions, any following thread might be closed. I mean, I got the answers to my q's.

Thanx again,
hip

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by stephenrs » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:48 am

hi vavroom,

i disagree that tables are necessary in the example that you give (articles in a category), but rather than debating what is and what is not tabular data, i would approach the question from a more practical angle. one person might wish to display articles in a category is a tabular form, but (particularly in this example, where there are few columns) another person might prefer to display this information in another form, such as:

Articles in this category:

Imaginary title
1 January 2005
by John Q. Public
1247 hits

...and perhaps even list multiple articles in a 'row" across the page. with this data rendered in a table, designers/developers are forced to submit to one type of layout - and there doesn't seem (to me at least) to be a compelling practical reason to impose this limitation.

From http://help.joomla.org/content/view/1619/125/:
But tables are necessary to display tabular data
it's one thing to agree on occasions when tables would not be inappropriate for layout, it's really a different thing to say that they are necessary. no? in the example given, a table is not necessary.

i'm not really sure i quite understand the reluctance to get rid of tables in favor of a more designer-, and flexibility-friendly core.

maybe tables in the main content rendering could be toggled in the same way that they can be toggled for modules?...

vavroom

Re: No Tables possible?

Post by vavroom » Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:04 am

stephenrs, you obviously missed where I said I didn't wish to start a debate on what is and isn't tabular data.  I really ought NOT to respond to this as it can only lead to a long and useless debate.  But...  Like a moth to a flame, here I go:

Tables were designed to display tabular data.  When you have several records containing the same fields, it is considered tabular data.  Each article in a category constitutes one record.  Each record has fields such as "title", "date", "author", "hits", etc.  This is therefore tabular data.

Use the right tags for the right purpose.  That's part of what semantically correct coding means.  That is the compelling reasons.

Yes, you can use a knife to screw a screw, but it's not the right tool for the right use.  Just as using a table for layout is not appropriate.  But using a table for tabular data *is* appropriate.

As for design flexibility, once the table is provided through HTML, you can do just about anything you want with it via CSS.  Obviously, it'll be displayed in rows and columns, but as for the rest, you have a lot of control over it visually.
stephenrs wrote: i'm not really sure i quite understand the reluctance to get rid of tables in favor of a more designer-, and flexibility-friendly core.
I'm not really sure *I* quite understand the desire to completely eradicate all tables everywhere.  Tables do have their use and purpose.  The tag is still a valid and appropriate tag, in HTML *and* XHTML.  If you find them too constrictive for the use they were intended for, well, perhaps it's time to revisit your abilities as a designer.....

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by stephenrs » Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:26 am

vavroom,

thanks for your reply - i respect your work immensely.

however, i think you missed my point. i share your desire not to debate what is and what is not tabular data. so i repeat: my issue is purely a practical one - no philosophy here. unless i'm missing something about the css table model, it would not be possible to display an article listing the way i've described above. colors, font-size, spacing etc would be stylable from css, but not the layout. and i don't think it's that hard to imagine why someone might want to display articles in this fashion.

i never said you *shouldn't* use a table to display articles in a category. all i'm saying is that you shouldn't be forced to.

or perhaps better put: why *should* you be forced to?

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Re: No Tables possible?

Post by stephenrs » Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:50 am

vavroom,

i just re-read your reply, and in my excitement that you had actually replied i guess i missed how annoyed you seem, so i'd like to follow-up:
I'm not really sure *I* quite understand the desire to completely eradicate all tables everywhere.  Tables do have their use and purpose.  The tag is still a valid and appropriate tag, in HTML *and* XHTML.  If you find them too constrictive for the use they were intended for, well, perhaps it's time to revisit your abilities as a designer.....
although you don't want to discuss what is or isn't tabular data, you have implicitly decided that (for example) artcles in a categroy *is* tabular data, so no matter how good a designer i am or anyone else is, we are limited in design flexibility by your individual opinion.

if articles in a category were rendered without tables, true flexibility would be afforded to designers at all skill levels. you have drawn an artificial line in the sand, and i disagree with it - and express my disagreement without any personal attacks.

it's not my intention to anger you.  i just think this is an important topic.

vavroom

Re: No Tables possible?

Post by vavroom » Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:52 am

I haven't drawn an artificial line in the sand.  I've looked at what a table is meant to be used for.  Then I've looked at what we had on hands.  At the risk of repeating myself:

A table is intended to display tabular data.  In fact, David Miller on http://alistapart.com says:
Semantic markup and CSS have replaced tables as layout tools. Tables are now relegated to their original role: displaying data stored in records (rows) and fields (columns).
Note here that I am not suggesting that Joomla use tables for *layout*.

http://webdesign.about.com (while perhaps not quite as "reputable" as alistapart says:
If you're going to have header fields at the top of columns of data or to the left of rows of data, then it is tabular and a table should be used.
So, your headers are: TITLE, AUTHOR, DATE, HITS.  Those "headers" are fields, or columns.  Under each of those you have records, one for each article.  You don't get much closer to "tabular data" than that, other than perhaps, displaying a spreadsheet of numbers.

If you're concerned about visual design flexibility, then you may want to look at some of the table designs done with css  at the CSS Table Gallery, in particular the following one: http://icant.co.uk/csstablegallery/index.php?css=60 which while using the appropriate code for a table (as it is tabular data), it is displayed in a much more linear manner.

The right tools for the right purpose.

The idea here is to apply the most appropriate (x)html tags to the content.  Visual design should be applied through CSS.

Yes, it's an important topic.  Yes, I'm annoyed.  Because what you are suggesting is a common idea that arises from over zealousness against tables. 

But in the end, my opinion has very little weight, as I'm not part of the team anymore... 
Last edited by vavroom on Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.


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