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The author is arguing for semantic markup, but prior to HTML5 the concept barely existed. Everything was kludged together. Site layouts were tables. Later divs/spans ruled. Eventually sanity reigned and semantic elements were introduced.

So while I don't disagree with what they're saying, the title is a bit of a misnomer.

>[Don't] create tables built out of custom div elements

Tables aren't responsive. Those fancy div tables are used because they work better on mobile. With a splash of JS (or overly-clever CSS) you can also introduce interactivity, tabbed layouts, etc.

Unless dealing with a very small amount of tabular data, it's really hard to recommend tables anymore.

Otherwise, yeah, fair advice. Nothing really too controversial in there.




> The author is arguing for semantic markup, but prior to HTML5 the concept barely existed

Not really. The concept existed and was well known in many developer circles (e.g. List Apart Issue 268 from 2008 http://alistapart.com/issue/268/).


HTML5 was honestly the opposite. XHTML and XHTML2 were born of a desire to have stricter, more semantic markup. But we live in the shitty timeline where XHTML2 died and we got HTML5 instead.


That's fair. Semantic markup did exist pre-HTML5. I guess I should say that HTML5 emphasized it and drove adoption.

This article is from 2008, but I think it would be quite challenging to find something similar from 1999.


Semantic HTML was already fashionable in late 2004, when I was a graphic designer arguing against table tags. But my own exposure is a bad measure, just as is anyone else's. One of the most famous groups pushing for well-written HTML was WaSP, and it turns out that it was founded in 1998, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_Standards_Project


> Tables aren't responsive. Those fancy div tables are used because they work better on mobile.

Oh yeah? Then what does Bootsttrap's table-responsive class do? The <table> tag can collapse just like any grid/flexbox mess.


>Then what does Bootsttrap's table-responsive class do?

From a cursory glance, it slaps a horizontal scrollbar on them.




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