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Re: Further semantic markup for <TABLE>

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 10:50:08 +1000 (EST)
To: WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980730102937.13777C-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
A table used for layout is still presenting data. It is even presenting 
data in a tabular format. A UA which can linearise tables (Lynx has a 
basic system for this, which works even better with layouts, which are 
usually structurally very simple, than complex tabular data) will not 
have a problem linearising most layout tables.

The problems wth tables are:
1. Screen readers don't cope
2. The use of them is based on an assumption about the visual nature of 
the UA as a rectangular space in which to layout content. This breaks 
down for audio UAs, for small screen UAs, etc.
3. They increase bandwidth requirements and the complexity of HTML 
unnecessarily.

So I don't see that the concern is over marking them as layout. The 
concern is over convincing people that they do not render well, and that 
they should not be used for layout. The fact that people will insist on 
using them since there is 'no alternative' is not relevant. There is an 
alternative, which is to produce very accessible websites. They are 
generally not everything the designer wants. But there are designers who 
feel that door handles are unattractive too.

My 2c worth

Charles
Received on Wednesday, 29 July 1998 21:12:13 GMT

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