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In XHTML and HTML Essential Training, Bill Weinman helps designers and coders understand XHTML and HTML. In the process, Bill covers document structure, block and inline-level tags, floating images, controlling white space, phrase and font markup, and tables and frames. He even provides a good introduction to CSS. Bill offers step-by-step guidance for building a complete working web site. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this chapter, I present a complete web site for the purpose of demonstrating the techniques covered in this course in the context of a real-world project. The web site uses tables for layout. Because this course is about XHTML and HTML and because it is not about CSS, I chose to avoid CSS for the layout in order to show how to use XHTML for this purpose. Keep in mind that this is not considered best practice in today's world. Using CSS for layout is commonly considered a better choice, and I strongly urge you to learn how to lay out your sites using CSS.
On the other hand, understanding legacy technologies is generally a valuable and practical pursuit, if for no other reason than there is a lot of legacy technology out there and you will likely encounter it in your work. How often you encounter a legacy technology will depend on how popular that technology was, or is, and how recently it became obsolete. In the case of HTML table layouts, this has been a very popular technology, and its obsolescence is relatively recent, and it's still in wide use today.
At the end of this chapter, I present an alternate version of this same site using CSS for layout instead of tables. This is discussed in detail in my course CSS Positioning Best Practices here in the lynda.com Online Training Library.
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