Anne van Kesteren

Minz Meyer on tables

While I am quite busy today, I wanted to post this. Minz Meyer finally solved his server problems, which I think took a little longer than he expected (8 weeks!). So right after that post, he posted another, which is about data tables in HTML (or XHTML, it's your day). It is really great. These are the little things you want to dig out yourself some time, but you forget about it or you haven't got any time for it.

He also made some examples with it, which give you a view of how these things can look (with a little bit of extra class and/or id attributes these examples work fine in Internet Explorer I think, but he was not explaining CSS hacks and workarounds). I can't wait to read part 2:

Please don't mix these with the headers attribute, which will be discussed in Data tables part 2.

CSS Crib Sheet? I am still not sure about those id attributes (see comment 18.

I also updated my externals (they don't exist anymore). Please let me know if I have forgotten about your weblog.


  1. I've read the article twice now, and I feel like there's missing something. Perhaps it is just a (very) brief explanationon the examples?

    I also updated my externals. Please let me know if I have forgotten about your weblog.

    You forgot me! :'(

    Edit by Anne: blockquote can only contain block-level elements, like p. Your site into the externals is marked as issue 2003-001. Thanks.

    Posted by Mark Wubben at

  2. Well... I don't know if you forgot me, but I'm I do know I'm not the list. ;)

    Posted by ACJ at

  3. I'd seen Minz's article, too. It was good, of course. I think with examples for things like that, I'd try to choose real-world examples, looking specifically for ones that would show off all the features that might not always, but on occasion can be, used. Someone could be left thinking, "What's the difference between 'caption' and 'summary'?"

    People can build fully-featured tables online here.

    On your External Links:

    Posted by Michael at

  4. @Mark:

    I just have to admit, I had the same feeling when re-reading it. But as data-tables really made my head go nuts for quite some time (I am still trying to figure out how the axis attribute is working), the process of describing them in a language that is not your native language is even more complicated. Maybe part 3 should be a summary, describing elements and attributes more in depth to avoid things like Michael says:Someone could be left thinking, "What's the difference between 'caption' and 'summary'?".

    This time, I just wanted to share briefly what I found out so far.

    Posted by Minz Meyer at

  5. Anne,

    I should have said the links you already have show a good instinct. Apropos the comment on Stopdesign: the way I used "held at a premium" there is one way in which the idiom is used but perhaps not a good one. I mean he cares about such things.

    In an important article on his own blog Joe Clark says that Web Accessibility needs to be, [saved] from Itself.

    He thinks many people who take an interest in it are not just visually illiterate but actually hostile to beauty. Someone else tells me in a personal communication that that attitude is, "The last thing accessibility as a concept needs. Some people get excited if they find they can order others about." So I think sites on technical issues and code and usability and accessibility are good, but the Web needs people who are aesthetically aware, too.

    You do a good job of mediating between the low countries and Germany and the Anglophone world, and your links could be useful to many. I'd also suggest:

    Eric Meyer
    CSS guru

    If you want specific areas of sites, too, how about these?

    Posted by Michael at