As I also suggested on the talk page of
why not something more WYSIWIG, like:
* [| starts a table rule
* |] ends a table rule
* consecutive rules belong to the same table
[| Name || Bill Clinton |]
[| Musical instrument || Saxophone |]
-- Jan Hidders
I speak as a person who finds tables to be a struggle. (My 12-year old
son had it figured out on the first day of a one-week web design course,
but that's another story.) In the old days :-) when typewriters
were in fashion you could put something in table form by simply using
the tab (or tabular) key; an advanced typewriter user would even learn
to set tabs. Now, even though word processing programs (perhaps
grudgingly) allow this use of the tab, I hesitate in other software
because the results are often unpredictable.
In those tab days (even before that name was usurped by a certain
soft-drink manufacturer) nobody even considered the possibility of
having his data in neat little boxes. The HTML community has made it a
serious challenge for the user to get rid of them. If you can't restore
the old function of the tab key then I vote for the one line=one row
approach as being more intuitive and more WYSIWIG.
The example above gives me cause for concern because it really only has
one data set. What will it look like when you add Harry Truman's piano
or some other president's fiddle?
I very much believe that with most non-technical users the need for
tables of data will be on a very elementary level. A person who wants
to fill in a table of presidents and their musical instruments will be
quite content to leave the complexities of the periodic table to someone
else. Those of us who have contributed to the "List of Novelists" since
it has started to become an annotated list would probably find a table
format less ragged than what we have now, but a contributor
(particularly a newbie) may hesitate to do anything if he finds the code
too complicated. Exaggerated mathophobia was once a characteristic of
English majors, and I would be surprised if that has changed.
Why can't we just bring back the tab?