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Re: Font vs. Style sheets

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 11:40:44 -0500
Message-ID: <38B55F0C.C9C93D6B@w3.org>
To: "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org>
CC: "wai-wcag-editor@w3.org" <wai-wcag-editor@w3.org>, w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
"Leonard R. Kasday" wrote:
> 
> Checkpoint 3.3 says
> 
> Use style sheets to control layout and presentation. [Priority 2]
>   For example, use the CSS 'font' property instead of the HTML FONT element
> to contro  font styles.
> 
> This implies that we should not do the following
> 
> <H1> <font size="+1"  color="green">  The Gadfly </font> </H1>
> 
> I don't see any practical consequences of doing this. We're specifying the
> logical classification of the text via H1.  Screenreaders will ignore the
> font.  People with low vision can override the font. 

I almost agree. The same reasoning applies to using color for meaning:
great, as long as you also convey the meaning through other means.

However, for the case you site, no specification ensures that users
can override the font. Browsers may do this, but the HTML spec does
not require or guarantee this. CSS describes an override mechanism,
hence the promotion of CSS.

Note that I have no objection to the above HTML in addition to CSS,
since CSS suggestions (though sadly does not require) that CSS-enabled
user agents make CSS style higher precedence in the cascade than
markup language style.

There are other reasons (not related to accessibilty) to avoid FONT and
to use STYLE or external style sheets instead, such as page/site
management.


 - Ian

>  So what's the
> harm?  I don't think we should rule out such cases.
> 
> There's just one problem I can think of, a bug in some versions of
> Navigator that don't fully override colors, even though there's a menu item
> to do that.  I've come across that in the past.  But at most, that means
> that you should precede this with "Until user agents fix bugs in allowing
> users to override font sizes and colors....".  And even then, do we know
> that style sheet override doesn't have bugs of it's own?  Plus, even though
> we have to worry about features that are just plain absent, I don't think
> we should worry too much about every bug in every browser or
> screenreader... the added complexity and just isn't worth it I think.
> 
> Len
> -------
> Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
> Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
> Department of Electrical Engineering
> Temple University
> 423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122
> 
> kasday@acm.org
> http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday
> 
> (215) 204-2247 (voice)
> (800) 750-7428 (TTY)

-- 
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel/Fax:                     +1 212 684-1814 or 212 532-4767
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Thursday, 24 February 2000 11:40:58 GMT

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