Old School Web Design Still Works
I might just be getting old, but I don't understand these kids these days… Oh, crap, it's sentences like that where you know you're getting old.
But my point is this -- web design is getting unnecessarily complex. Part of the problem is the need for innovation, this constant push to create something cool and new, which is great. But as you do that, you abandon the people who aren't keeping up.
We did a site back in 2001 for the Portland Opera company using tables. Check it out on the archive at conquent.com/portlandopera/2002/. Everything still works in every browser I've checked, and it's all tables and GIF images. When you click into an individual show you'll see up to four images layered on top of each other in table cells -- the code may be deprecated by the W3C standards, but not by the real-world.
Albert Einstein wrote 'In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.' So much of what we do in code is theory, otherwise you wouldn't hear technical people say, 'It shouldn't do that' so often. It's still a matter of knowing who's going to see what you're working on, and guessing how they're going to break it.
Cutting edge is cool, but that sharp edge can cut your nose off if you're not careful.