Table Design Isn’t Going Away Soon

The first reason offered by web professionals who are unreasonably devoted to tableless design is that table design is outdated.  It’s going to be obsolete within a few years.  While I certainly don’t have a crystal ball, I’m absolutely confident that tabled design isn’t suddenly going to stop working.  Every time I hear this stated, I question whether it is genuinely believed or just a “sales feature/benefit” line.  Table layouts are a way of structuring a web page, not software, so massive changes would need made to the fundamental structure of HTML for them to be obsolete.

Not sure you believe me that tables are not on the way out? Visit some of your favorite sites on the internet.  View the code by right clicking and selecting “View Source”.  Look through there and see if you see any <table> tags. <tr> and <td> tags are also fair signifiers.  I’m willing to bet at least half the sites you encounter will have them. 

Browsers aren’t going to stop supporting table layouts because there are too many sites using it.  Would you use a browser where at least half the webpages you visited didn’t display accurately?  I know I wouldn’t.  The companies that make web browsers strive to make them as universal as possible so people will use them.  It’s not in their best interest to stop supporting a common layout.  Tableless design can make for cleaner code and is a completely valid way of working.  However, if a reason offered is that table layouts are going to be obsolete, beware, you might have an unreasonable fanatic on your hands.

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