Give up, use tables21 Nov 2008
[Oops! Meant to post this last week. Ah well.]
There really does come a point, when you’re trying to put a site together, at which all the fussing and prodding you’re doing to CSS becomes irritating beyond belief. You get it working in one browser, only to discover that another implements the box model slightly differently or doesn’t quite like to float things the way the standard says.
It’s disheartening that the web has become such a big part of our lives, and we still can’t get the layout of things right. Joel Spolsky explains why it’s such a problem, sort of, in his article Martian Headsets.
Spolsky argues that there’s no ‘standard implementation’ for web developers to test against, and that specs are really hard to read (no argument there). I think he’s got the problem around the wrong way though; the problem isn’t web devs testing against a standard implementation, the problem is browsers handling the standards incorrectly - and we do have a reference implementation for browser developers to work against! The ACID2 tests from the Web Standards Project.
However you look at it, sometimes it’s just easier to give up and use tables. Even if it is a dirty, dirty thing to do.