Look inside a typical CSS [designer's] house. What do you see? Chairs, only chairs. No tables.
For years upon years—about eight of them, as this is being written—we've been using tables and spacer images to lay out Web pages. For the first part of all those years, it was the only way to create compelling visual design. Tools grew up to support this desire, design firms embraced it wholeheartedly, and pages got more and more bloated as a result.
When CSS came along, there began to be some hope that the trend might reverse and that pages could get smaller and more meaningful. When CSS2 introduced positioning, the door was opened. It become theoretically possible to do almost everything ...