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Re: Can we really deprecate tables?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 11:14:33 +1000 (EST)
To: Brian Kelly <lisbk@ukoln.ac.uk>
cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980805105733.931C-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
The GL group is aware of the problems raised by legacy browsers and their 
widespread use. It would rate as one of the continually hot topics.

You raise one of the really difficult (for me) problems: When a major 
manufacturer produces a broken product, do we recommend the solution that 
solves their problem for them, at the eexpense of 'the good solution', 
and therefore to the detriment of anyone who implements the standard 
properly, or do we recommend that people use the standard if it is the 
most sensible solution, at the expense of the people who use a broken 
product?

The approach that I try to take is to use systems which degrade 
gracefully. Perhaps the solution for Netscape users is to add a sniffer 
to get around that particular browser. Unfortunately, in the real world 
people will simply say ??? Why not just stick tot tables - more people 
use Netscape than screen readers. Then we are back where we started, 
unless we are prepared to use legislative sticks to force people to do it 
right.

So there is a problem, and we're looking for the solution(s)

There is another approach. If we produced a list of the things which 
HTML does not provide, we would saay do not attempt to create pixel-level 
layouts - they are not supported. Again, people say 'oh, but they're 
supported by most browsers, and those browsers are free...'

Charles McCathieNevile
RMIT University 
Melbourne Australia
Received on Tuesday, 4 August 1998 21:37:10 GMT

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