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[Bug 10963] New: Table prohibited from being used as a layout aid

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Fri, 01 Oct 2010 22:37:56 +0000
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-10963-2495@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=10963

           Summary: Table prohibited from being used as a layout aid
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: PC
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML5 spec (editor: Ian Hickson)
        AssignedTo: ian@hixie.ch
        ReportedBy: schwer@us.ibm.com
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org,
                    public-html@w3.org


The HTML 5 specification states that for table
(http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/tabular-data.html#the-table-element) that it must
not be used as a layout aid. This text should be struck from the specification:

"Tables must not be used as layout aids. Historically, some Web authors have
misused tables in HTML as a way to control their page layout. This usage is
non-conforming, because tools attempting to extract tabular data from such
documents would obtain very confusing results. In particular, users of
accessibility tools like screen readers are likely to find it very difficult to
navigate pages with tables used for layout."

Tables are used extensively in most Widget libraries (like Dojo) for layout in
order to get fidelity across browsers that authors cannot achieve through the
use of CSS. Authors simply mark a table with role="presentation" and the
problem of interoperability with screen readers goes away. The JAWS screen
reader supports the Dojo widget library including ARIA-enabled grids where
portions of the grid implementation use grids for layouts.

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Received on Friday, 1 October 2010 22:37:58 GMT

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