Test of using ordered lists for roster notes

In a recent discussion among webmasters, someone pointed out that I should not be using single-column tables and two-column numbered tables, when ordered lists and unordered lists, with styling, would do a better job of conforming to "best practices."

"I'd say one of the bigger issues [with your site] is that a lot of content has been put into tables. Even those footnotes in the bottom are tables, even though it would make much more sense for them to be ordered lists."

I started doing locomotive rosters in 1973 (more here), and in the 1990s, I was lucky enough to have several roster books published (a list is here).

The first online rosters on UtahRails were also some of the very first pages on the web site, and were real multiple-column tables with tabular data. To better match the roster published in my previous books and magazine articles, each of those rosters also has a "roster notes" section, with footnotes, which explains the single-column tables instead of ordered lists.

There are hundreds of roster pages on my site, each with tables, and most have been there since 2000-2002. For later additions, I simply used the older tables as templates. Originally, they all had individual HTML formatting, with percentages set for each column, and no CSS. Later I converted to using CSS, but it never occurred to me to change the single column tables ("roster notes") over to ordered lists.

After several hours of experimenting and testing, fiddling with the CSS for classes and divs, and margins and padding, I finally found the right combination of styling to make the lists look like the original table layout version. But truthfully, the amount of editing to convert all those tables is bit too much, so unless I can figure a way to automate the process, the effort will have to wait for bluer skies.

But, in the interest of using best practices, any new roster listings will use ordered lists, instead of two-column tables. And I'll occasionally convert some of the older roster listings, when the mood strikes.

The original format looks like this (with table borders added for visibility).

UPRy 4-4-0 — 1 locomotive

1885 UPRy
Number
First
Number
Second
Number
Date To
800 Series
Builder Builder
Number
Date
Built
1898 UP
Number
Notes
UPRy 800 UPRR 87 UPRy 87 Jul 1883 Danforth   1868 UP 800 1

Description: (table layout)

Drive Wheel Diameter: 69 inches (rebuilt from 56 inches in July 1883)
Cylinders: 18x24 inches (rebuilt from 17x24 inches in July 1883)

Notes: (table layout)

1. UPRy 800 was built as UPRR 87 in 1868; to UPRY 87 in 1880; rebuilt to UPRy 800 in 1883; to UP 800 in 1898; vacated in 1899; scrapped
   

The same data, with more standardized formating, including ordered list instead of single-column tables.

Description: (p, in a div)

Drive Wheel Diameter: 69 inches (rebuilt from 56 inches in July 1883)

Cylinders: 18x24 inches (rebuilt from 17x24 inches in July 1883)

General Notes: (alpha ol, in a div)

  1. UPRy 800 was built as UPRR 87 in 1868; to UPRY 87 in 1880; rebuilt to UPRy 800 in 1883; to UP 800 in 1898; vacated in 1899; scrapped

Notes: (numeric ol, in a div)

  1. UPRy 800 was built as UPRR 87 in 1868; to UPRY 87 in 1880; rebuilt to UPRy 800 in 1883; to UP 800 in 1898; vacated in 1899; scrapped

 

Another example with table layout vs. ordered list layout.

F-M H20-44 — 11 units
2000 horsepower; B-B trucks; 254,100 pounds operating weight

Road
Number
Builder
Date
Builder
Number
Date
Retired

Notes
UP 1360 Aug 1947 L1033 Jun 1964  
UP 1361 Aug 1947 L1034 Nov 1962 1
UP 1362 Aug 1947 L1035 Nov 1962 1
UP 1363 Aug 1947 L1036 Nov 1962 1
UP 1364 Aug 1947 L1037 Jun 1964  
UP 1365 Jun 1947 L1031 Jun 1964  
UP 1366 Jun 1947 L1032 Nov 1962 2, 3
UP 1367 Nov 1947 L1040 Jun 1964  
UP 1368 Dec 1947 L1041 Jun 1964  
UP 1369 Dec 1947 L1042 Nov 1962 2, 4
UP 1370 Dec 1947 L1043 Jun 1964  

General Notes: (table layout)

a. UP 1365 and 1366 were both used as Fairbanks-Morse demonstrator 2000, one on a western states tour and the other on an eastern states tour. F-M 2000 was displayed at 1947 Atlantic City Railroad Fair; both units were delivered to UP in October 1947 as the first units in Fairbanks-Morse order number LD43, which included UP 1367-1370.
b. UP 1360, 1361, 1362, 1363, 1364 were equipped for multiple unit operation.
c. In 1948, UP 1362, 1363, 1364, 1365, 1366 were equipped by Union Pacific with dynamic braking to reduce brake shoe wear and wheel failures on descending grades while in helper service on Cajon Pass and Cima Hill in California.
d. UP 1360-1370 were delivered with D.S. (Diesel Switch) prefix on road number; removed during March 1953.
e. UP 1360-1364 had F-M order number LD-39.
f. UP 1365-1370 had F-M order number LD-43.

The same data, with more standardized formating, including ordered list instead of single-column tables.

General Notes: (alpha ol, in a div)

  1. UP 1365 and 1366 were both used as Fairbanks-Morse demonstrator 2000, one on a western states tour and the other on an eastern states tour. F-M 2000 was displayed at 1947 Atlantic City Railroad Fair; both units were delivered to UP in October 1947 as the first units in Fairbanks-Morse order number LD43, which included UP 1367-1370.
  2. UP 1360, 1361, 1362, 1363, 1364 were equipped for multiple unit operation.
  3. In 1948, UP 1362, 1363, 1364, 1365, 1366 were equipped by Union Pacific with dynamic braking to reduce brake shoe wear and wheel failures on descending grades while in helper service on Cajon Pass and Cima Hill in California.
  4. UP 1360-1370 were delivered with D.S. (Diesel Switch) prefix on road number; removed during March 1953.
  5. UP 1360-1364 had F-M order number LD-39.
  6. UP 1365-1370 had F-M order number LD-43.

Notes: (table layout, with 'insidetd' for subtext)

1. UP 1361, 1362, and 1363 were seen being scrapped in Portland, Oregon during 1962.
2.

UP 1366 and 1369 are documented as being sold to Southwest Portland Cement and being renumbered to SWPC numbers 66 and 69; both units were renumbered to SWPC 408 and 409, but there is some question concerning the sequence. The museums in Illinois and California both state that examination of their respective unit shows that it is the former UP 1366.

This is a single sub-level entry -- Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

3. UP records show that UP 1366 was sold to Southwestern Portland Cement Company number 66 at Victorville, California in 1963; renumbered to SWPC 408 in 1969; retired in 1984 and donated to Pacific Southwest Railway Museum on May 15, 1984; moved to Campo, California on February 28, 1987; repainted back to UP's original yellow and gray paint in 1998, and renumbered back to UP 1366.
4. UP records show that UP 1369 was sold to Southwestern Portland Cement Company number 69 at Victorville, California in 1963; renumbered to SWPC 409 in 1969; retired in 1984 and donated to Illinois Railway Museum.

The same data, with more standardized formating, including ordered list instead of single-column tables.

Notes: (numeric ol, in a div, with div's to add subtext and to pause numbering)

  1. UP 1361, 1362, and 1363 were seen being scrapped in Portland, Oregon during 1962.
  2. UP 1366 and 1369 are documented as being sold to Southwest Portland Cement and being renumbered to SWPC numbers 66 and 69; both units were renumbered to SWPC 408 and 409, but there is some question concerning the sequence. The museums in Illinois and California both state that examination of their respective unit shows that it is the former UP 1366.
  3. This is a single sub-level entry -- Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
    This is a quote for a single sub-level entry -- Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
  4. UP records show that UP 1366 was sold to Southwestern Portland Cement Company number 66 at Victorville, California in 1963; renumbered to SWPC 408 in 1969; retired in 1984 and donated to Pacific Southwest Railway Museum on May 15, 1984; moved to Campo, California on February 28, 1987; repainted back to UP's original yellow and gray paint in 1998, and renumbered back to UP 1366. Click here for more information.
  5. This is the first paragraph of a sub-level entry -- Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
    This is the second paragraph of a sub-level entry -- Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
    This is the third paragraph of a multiple sub-level entry -- Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
  6. UP records show that UP 1369 was sold to Southwestern Portland Cement Company number 69 at Victorville, California in 1963; renumbered to SWPC 409 in 1969; retired in 1984 and donated to Illinois Railway Museum.

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