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Re: Any browser? table

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 14:07:39 +1000 (AEST)
To: WAI Markup Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.980426135626.27911C-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Although I agree with the general principles behind Alan's thinking in
this area, and appreciate the clarifications which he offers, it remains
to be shown that the benefits of the trick which he suggests would outway
its disadvantages. For example, the non-breaking spaces could cause havoc
in the braille formatting of a document, given the typical maximum line
length of 40 characters. So far as the advantages are concerned, the
proper formatting of tables in Lynx would indeed be helpful to braille
display users, but of limited benefit to those relying upon speech
synthesizers, since the spatial aspects of the document can not be
conveyed by a screen reader in an intelligible fashion. Of course, the
reader might resort to counting spaces and locating columns manually,
using the review functions offered by the screen reader, but I doubt that
many readers would be inclined to do so.

Consequently, I think this is one deficiency, limited to only a single
browser, which should not be compensated for in the guidelines. Indeed, as
I remember, problems specific to only one browser were ruled out of
consideration at an earlier stage of guideline development when it was
proposed that tricks should be introduced to avoid certain shortcomings
associated with the handling of TITLE and ALT by Microsoft's browser. A
trick concerned with the treatment of TR and TD elements by Lynx was also
rejected on similar grounds.
Received on Sunday, 26 April 1998 00:07:45 UTC

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