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RE: Question on WAI Accessibility Guidelines

From: Charles (Chuck) Oppermann <chuckop@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 18:13:43 -0700
Message-ID: <E3A3FFB80F5CD1119CED00805FBECA2F038046E2@red-msg-55.dns.microsoft.com>
To: "'Liam Quinn'" <liam@htmlhelp.com>, Leslie Brogger <leslie.brogger@born.com>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
To me, the real question is "As author, am I trying to impart a particular
look and feel, or am I trying to structure my HTML-based documents?"  If
look and feel, use presentation elements like <B>, or better yet, use
CSS-equivalents.  If structure, use the appropriate structure tags.

CSS allows you to have the best of both worlds, applying a particular look
to your structural elements.  This is what Liam pointed out below.

To me, a structure element defines something about the document.  In short,
don't use <H6> just because the browser makes the text really small - use it
because you've used <H1> through <H5> and need another level of separation.
If you want small text, use the appropriate presentation tags/CSS
attributes.

Charles Oppermann
Program Manager, Active Accessibility, Microsoft Corporation
mailto:chuckop@microsoft.com http://microsoft.com/enable/
"A computer on every desk and in every home, usable by everyone!"

		-----Original Message-----
		From:	Liam Quinn [mailto:liam@htmlhelp.com]
		Sent:	Wednesday, June 03, 1998 5:55 PM
		To:	Leslie Brogger; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
		Subject:	Re: Question on WAI Accessibility Guidelines

		At 05:57 PM 03/06/98 -0500, Leslie Brogger wrote:
		>I have a question regarding the subheading #11 under the
topic Style and
		>Structure:  "Do not misuse presentation elements for
purposes of
		>structure."  I am not clear on what this recommendation
means.  Can you
		>give me an example where this recommendation applies?

		<CENTER><FONT SIZE=7
COLOR=red><B><I>Heading</I></B></FONT></CENTER>

		misuses four presentation elements for the purpose of
structure.  By using
		presentation elements exclusively, the example fails to
communicate the
		importance of "Heading" to non-visual browsers while
impeding navigation
		since one cannot generate a summary of headings in the
document.
		Structurally, the preceding example could be marked up as
follows:

		<H1>Heading</H1>

		along with a style sheet to give the presentation
suggestions:

		H1 {
		  text-align: center;
		  font-size: x-large;
		  color: red;
		  background: transparent;
		  font-weight: bold;
		  font-style: italic
		}

		>I am working to
		>bring my web site up to the current standards, and would
like to know if
		>I should make this change to all <HR> tags in the site, or
only on
		>certain ones.

		There's a lot of debate on whether the HR element is
presentational or
		structural.  I view it as a presentation element that should
not be
		depended upon to communicate structural information.  Use of
DIV or an
		appropriate heading element (H1, H2, ...) can communicate
the structural
		intention (section divider) that authors often have when
using HR.

		-- 
		Liam Quinn
Received on Wednesday, 3 June 1998 21:14:03 GMT

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