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Re: review of RetroAccess evaluation tool from Diamond Bullet

From: <derrren@retroaccess.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 11:04:06 +0100
Message-Id: <200201161004.g0GA46H16927@zidane.inria.fr>
To: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org

On Mon, 14 Jan 2002, Wendy A Chisholm and Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

   Hello,

   Checked out RetroAccess today.  Anyone else played with this?
   http://www.retroaccess.com/access_enable.cgi

   Here are some thoughts based on a quick check. I used the demo 
   version to evaluate cnn.com.

   Negatives:
   3. The cnn page uses lots of tables for layout.  The tips 
   associated with all of the tables the tool identified says,
   <quote>Possible data table without headers
   Header rows and columns allow interpretive programs to read the 
   data in the table appropriately. Use the "th" tag to identify the 
   meanings of each row and column
   </quote>
   Since they are layout tables, th is not needed. This summary makes 
   it sound like th is required on all tables.

In fact th cells are forbidden in layout tables, according to WCAG.

5.4 If a table is used for layout, do not use any structural markup for the
purpose of visual formatting.	[Priority 2]
http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/wai-pageauth.html#tech-table-layout

Actually the evaluation and repair tool, AccessEnable, is merely 
flagging tables as warnings, or possible problems that require human 
judgement. The key word in the warning is "possible". Since, it is 
difficult to determine from the code whether or not a table is being 
used for layout or data purposes, it is necessary to flag these items 
and allow for human judgement. If the tables are for layout, the user 
can simply choose to ignore the warning and provide a justification 
note. I hope this clarifies things.

Derren
- -- 
- --------------------------------------------------------------
Derren Hermann                         	Usability Specialist
dhermann@diamondbullet.com             	Diamond Bullet Design
www.diamondbullet.com                  	315 W. Huron, Suite 140
phone: 734/665-9307                    	Ann Arbor, MI 48103 USA
fax: 734/665-9353

            Usability First --- www.usabilityfirst.com

               RetroAccess, www.retroaccess.com
               Opening the Internet to Everyone
Received on Wednesday, 16 January 2002 05:04:09 GMT

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