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Re: Further semantic markup for <TABLE>

From: Nir Dagan <nir.dagan@econ.upf.es>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 01:47:06 GMT
Message-Id: <199807301652.SAA29420@darwin.upf.es>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Tables for layout that are written well 
degrade gracefully to non-table browsers.
(One can be witty and claim that these browsers have a 
mechanism to linearize them)

I think that as far as authoring guidelines, one should define 
what "written well" above means, and emphasize 
that writing even well written tables for layout 
is strongly deprecated in favor of stylesheets.

As for user agents, one can suggest that user agents will 
have an option to "turn tables off", i.e., to display 
the table's elements (TABLE, TBODY, TR, TD, TH, etc.) 
like regular blocks in the normal flow.

This could be usability improving also for sighted users 
with low resolution displays, and/or for those with 
slow connection who want to receive the table's 
content incrementally.

I think it may give a wrong impression--or excuse--to 
authors to use tables for layout if WAI recommends 
to mark them in a particular way. 

Also it is an unjust burden to require user agents to apply 
sophisticated display schemes that distinguish
between tables with different purposes.


Nir Dagan                            
Assistant Professor of Economics      
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Barcelona (Spain)

email: dagan@upf.es
Website: http://www.econ.upf.es/%7Edagan/
Received on Thursday, 30 July 1998 12:43:45 UTC

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