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RE: Murky ratings

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 10:20:19 +1000 (AEST)
To: WAI Markup Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.980506100930.7241A-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
In response to Sean's valuable comments, the following may be noted.
First, the central reference document, which, so far as I am aware, has
not been updated so as to correspond accurately with the latest page
authoring guidelines, is supposed to provide details of the rationale
underlying each item in the latter document. There are also plans, though
I am not sure how advanced they are at this point, to create a web site
that will furnish examples of appropriate design practice.

I would argue that the requirement not to use tables so as to format text
in columns is of paramount importance, since existing screen readers are
unable to differentiate columns and will thus read the text (or display it
in braille) in the sequence in which it appears on the screen, from top to
bottom and left to right. Also, future assistive technologies will attempt
to locate the header cell that corresponds to each data cell in the table.
If the table is used for layout purposes, this algorithm will not be
applied correctly, as there are no headers as such, and the results may
well be confusing to the reader.
Received on Tuesday, 5 May 1998 20:20:26 UTC

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