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responsive web design

Forget responsive web design. Just use HTML tables

Well then…

My message, yesterday, sparked this doozy from PJ:

“If you just stuck to tables this entire time, imagine the years of frustration you could have avoided by ignoring floated divs, Bootstrap, flexbox and now CSS Grid! These ‘new’ methods add no additional benefit to the client or user, and the syntax is not any better either! I use floated divs and flexbox only because I was gullible enough to drink the koolaid. But if I had used tables all this time, really nobody would have noticed, and I would have been more productive.”

Bahahahahaha!

Wait. No. Don’t do it. Straight face. Be nice.

Okay… so…

Let me tell you why this is horribly wrong.

He’s talking about using tables for layouts.

Yes… sigh… this used to be a thing. Back in 2009, Smashing Magazine wrote an article about this and in it they referenced this thing called MAMA.

Metadata Analysis and Mining Application.

Say that three times fast.

Anyhow, this was a structural search engine that returned the details of a pages HTML structure. The table element was found on over 80% of the pages crawled.

Table, td and tr were all on the top 10 tags.

We did this.

I did this.

(Hangs head in shame.)

Then, divs came along.

Then, HTML5.

And, it was all a progression toward semantic markup.

And, PJ has a small, if very narrow-minded, point that the average site visitor probably doesn’t care about most of this… until they do.

The point of semantic mark up is adding meaning.

And, primarily that meaning is for machines…

But, it’s for the benefit of users.

Let’s take the nav tag.

You use it to define navigational elements.

Why is it any better than <div id=”nav”> or putting a <ul> inside of a table cell? Because, when we use nav, we are telegraphing that this is indeed a navigational element.

And, a screen reader can safely skip this element.

If you’re not blind, who cares?

But, if you are… not having to listen to: “Home, about, contact” in robot voice is quite nice. Especially, on those mega menus with dozens of different list items.

That’s real-world value to real people.

You may not care, but they sure do.

And, that’s just one example.

Search engines use semantic markup to better understand what a web page is about. So, if SEO and, ya know, getting website traffic matters to you…

Not to mention…

All the different ways machines will use this in the future.

Semantic markup helps create a better, more useful and accessible internet, helps search engines better understand your website…

And, future-proofs your code…

For when the machines take over.

Maybe, they’ll appreciate your semantic markup…

And, not kill you… right away.

Anyway, table-based layouts was always a hack.

A horrible, horrible hack.

So, PJ.

My man.

That you think what’s happened over the last decade or so is all about responsive design and we could’ve skipped it all by just “sticking to tables”…

Because it has “no additional benefit to the client”…

Just shows that you don’t really understand it. Not that the rest of us are crazy for embracing it. But, hey, do your table thing, my dude.

You can build ’em how you want.

That said, if you want to learn more about all of this and how to do it properly, when to use certain tags, when not to… all of it…

It’s inside my new Beginner’s Guide to HTML course.

I break it all down Barney-style.

And, help you master…

“Dis herr new-fangled aH eM eeeL Tees.”

The link to get started for nada on SkillShare is right hrr: https://skl.sh/2Lqhh1v

Later,

John

August 4, 2018

JMS067: Using Flexbox to Build Mobile Responsive Web Designs

In Episode 67 of the John Morris Show you’ll learn how to use flexbox to build mobile responsive web designs, how to write job proposals on Upwork that win, the losing “WordPress is for suckers” mindset and more:

Subscribe to the Podcast

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Opening – 2:56
  • Tools Not Code – 8:36
  • WordPress Is For Suckers – 23:34
  • Flexbox Examples – 36:03
  • How to Write Job Proposals on Upwork – 52:03
  • Weekly Q&A – 1:10:26

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

March 31, 2016

JMS057: 4 Responsive Web Design Principles Every Web Developer Should Know

In this episode of the John Morris Show, I share the 4 responsive web design principles every web developer should know, CES, Oculus Rift, how I’m launching my wife’s freelancing career, answers to your questions and more:

Subscribe to the Podcast

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Dealing with depression during the holidays [00:47]
  • CES, Oculus Rift and how it relates to web development [13:00]
  • How to avoid being a “hard to work with” developer [22:26]
  • Responsive design principles every web developer should know[31:09]
  • How I’m launching my wife’s freelance career [44:19]
  • Answers to your questions [59:02]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

January 6, 2016

How to Fail in 2014

Brace for impact. As we near the end of 2013, you’re going to be hit with an onslaught of “how to succeed in 2014” posts. That’s all fine and well…

But, sometimes knowing what NOT to do can be more powerful that knowing what TO do. This is one of the times.

Imagine this…

Imagine if you were around 100 or so years ago and were a horse and buggy maker. Imagine if you had ignore this new “fancy” technology called a combustion engine that was making waves at the time.

Imagine how in a few short years you’d be put out of business as the automobile made your product obsolete.

Or, imagine even just a couple decades ago when this “fancy” new technology called the internet came out. Imagine if you ignored THAT.

Now, fast-forward to right now. Consider all the “fancy” mobile technology that’s taking the world by storm.

Wanna know how to fail as a web developer right now?

Ignore mobile.

Ignore mobile and watch as clients and site visitors slowly fade away. Ignore mobile and watch as your competitors slowly run you out of business. Ignore mobile and watch as your online business dreams vanish.

If you really want of fail in 2014… that’s exactly how.

Now, here’s what TO do in order to succeed…

Of course, you don’t want to fail and that’s why responsive web design is now more important than ever. The world has gone mobile and as a web developer you have to keep up if you want to stay relevant.

That said, LEARNING responsive web design isn’t necessarily easy. In fact, at first it can be quite confusing. Plus, there’s a very specific set of skills you need to learn in order to master responsive design… and, if you don’t know what those skills are…

Well, that makes it about 100x harder.

Thankfully, I’m going to tell you what you need to learn:

  1. the 3 different approaches to responsive web design and which one you should be taking
  2. the 5 individual skills that make responsive design “happen”
  3. how to work with and extend responsive frameworks

Once you master those things, you’ll be all set with responsive design.

Of course, if you want to fast-track your learning curve, I offer a responsive web design course that will teach you all of the above and more.

But, whether you take that course, a different course, and you learn it all on your own (not recommended)… make 2014 about mastering responsive design and building mobile-friendly web sites.

Frankly, you can’t afford not to.

December 10, 2013