Over three years ago, I wrote a rant about the difficulties of using pure CSS for layout. That post got some Google traction and still slowly collects comments. Today via Signal vs Noise I saw another person saying much the same thing years on, that yes doing layout in pure CSS is more pure and technically correct but using tables gets it done and allows you to move on with your life. Hilariously a post entitled “CSS Trolls Begone” began to collect CSS trolls almost immediately. CSS fundamentalists are exactly as big a pain as any other form of fundamentalist and for the same reason – disagreeing with them pokes a big hole in the purity of their belief system and they feel the need to “correct you”.
Listen, I’d prefer to do all my layout work in pure CSS too. When I read up on best practices, implement those and then test on 3 different browsers with 3 different results – I’m done. It’s too expensive and out of the range of feasibility. If you are so concerned about the purity of CSS, then make it your personal crusade to get the CSS layout support standardized across all HTML rendering engines. Until then, you can rage at me until your face turns blue, call me stupid for failing to implement layout in CSS, do whatever you want but I’ll do the pragmatic thing that works.
I don’t get to live in the world of theory and optimality. I’m here on the ground, with deadline and timelines and finite resources and bills to pay on top of an endless array of projects I’d like to do. I need to get shit done and off my plate for new shit to come in. If I can do that by hacking a table in 20 minutes, when 4 hours of CSS layout work still leaves me with a non-scalable layout that renders differently in IE than Firefox then Safari, I’m going low tech.
CSS troll comments routed to /dev/null because my resources are finite and life is too short.