W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 1998

RE: Can we really deprecate tables?

From: Dobson, James <JDobson@rnib.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 13:58:38 +0100
Message-ID: <F1ACF6648AF4D1119994006097AB82E4014989@priory.rnib.org.uk>
To: "'dd@w3.org'" <dd@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

I agree with Daniel, As a developer for the RNIB I have been using a two
column, one row table since '95. We have had only one complaint that I can
think of, and that was to do with the browser NetTamer missing the right
hand column completely. 

I'm not sure if NetTamer has been "upgraded" since then to correct this. 

Personally I would like to see an intermediary step to using CSS that states
that tables like above this are acceptable, until a (large) majority of
disabled users are using browsers that cope with the CSS specification

The Guidelines could include a new heading structure that address's current
accessible solutions and accessible solutions for the future. The solutions
for the future would then be the suggested improvements for the browser
developers (the other guidelines). This will allow authors to know what to
expect and to prepare for any potential changes. 

Personally I think this would make the guidelines move approachable and
usable as any developer/author can get an idea on the current state of play
in accessibility for the WWW.

James Dobson
WWW Developer

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Dardailler [mailto:danield@w3.org]
Sent: 10 August 1998 13:14
To: WAI Markup Guidelines
Subject: Re: Can we really deprecate tables? 

Our home page, http:/www.w3.org, uses a table for layout. 

From time to time, we're having an internal debate of whether or not
we should change that, but so far, it's still there.

Since this table is simple and degrades well on lynx, or any browser
that just ignore table markup (like Mosaic), our webteam doesn't see
much reason for moving it to CSS (using float and % width), which,
besides the re-programing expense, would give a degraded layout too,
but on most version of Netscape and some IE...

Besides the usual "W3C should promote CSS" message, which has limited
impact since our pages do use CSS for other styling effects, what
would help me convince them to move away from TABLE layout is to know
the percentage/numger of users for whom this table layout (hence our
main page) is inaccessible.

I think, but I may forget some criteria, that we're looking at people who:
  - can only use a browser that layouts TABLE as table with no
    turning off capability (i.e. any modern browser)
  - cannot/do not know how to use a lynx-me proxy/gateway service
    (that would serialize the table before it hits their browser)

This sounds like a lot to me, but somehow, we've never received much
of a complaint about our home page being inaccessible. How can we
explain that ?

Any *real* person on this list, who gets the "two-column-text read
left-to-right make no sence" effect with w3.org ?

Received on Monday, 10 August 1998 09:01:42 UTC

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