No More Tables

For the last ten (or so) years that I’ve been posting to a weblog (first as c0nsumer on LiveJournal and now here on I’ve regularly posted images at the top of the post. Embarassingly, up until today I’ve been using a templatized HTML table with 1px of padding and a black background to make the 1px black border around each image:

<center><table cellpadding=1><tr><td bgcolor=”black”><a href=””><img src=”” height= width= border=0 title=””></a></td></tr></table></center>

I’ve know that this is the wrong way to go for a while now, but not knowing much about CSS I didn’t want to take the time to learn what was needed to change things for the better. I also had something that worked, cross-posted properly to LiveJournal, and wasn’t hard to maintain. One thing that it didn’t afford me was the ability to use WordPress’s visual editor; something which would allow me to easily create more image-laden posts and edit posts more quickly.

With the recent implementation of the new MMBA Trail Guide and some updates that needed to be done I’d been reworking a few different parts of the server, and it was time to change some things on this, my personal site. The main page had been MediaWiki (MW)-based for a while, but I now prefer WordPress (WP) for a main-website CMS, especially as I make blog posts far more frequently than the long-form technical writing that MediaWiki is best for. I started by upgrading MW and returning it to a more default theme, then moving WP to be the main page reached when one visits Content on MW was the adjusted to house only Technical Pages, and links to the most useful pages were added to WP.

The result of this will be that the main page of is now WordPress based, and brings about all the ease-of-writing features that it is known for. MediaWiki remains present, but has been relegated to a repository for technical info that’d be difficult to write up cleanly in WP; something which I intend to continue using whenever I work on detailed technical topics.

Thanks to help from my friend Rob I was able to get my head around using Chrome’s Elements Panel to easily figure out what was needed to style the images with a nice 1px border without using a silly table. Hopefully I’ll stick to the use of CSS in the future, avoiding more silly hacks like using tables in 2013. All posts going back to the beginning of the year have been updated to remove the use of a table for a border, but previous posts will end up stuck with a 6px border: 1px for the original padding plus 5px added by a margin on the images. I don’t think this is terrible and is probably just part of the price of progress. I had to do it at some point.

Going forward I may also move some of the less-technical content (such as a journal written while on a solo cruise to Alaska in 2003 or mixes) to WordPress just as I did with the About page, but I’ve yet to decide on that. For now I’ll just enjoy the enhanced writing capabilites, growing CSS knowledge, and improved writing tools.

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