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Re: Proposed change to checkpoint 5.3

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 12:14:26 +1000 (AEST)
To: WAI Markup Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.990415115248.25401A-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
In a further attempt to clarify my position, I would argue that checkpoint
5.3, at priority level 2, should prohibit the use of tables for layout,
except where either of the following conditions is satisfied:

1. There is an alternative version of the document provided, which is
properly marked up in such a way as to reflect its logical structure and
to comply with a formal grammar such as a DTD; this alternative version
should (i) contain the same information as the original; (ii) be updated
simultaneously with the latter; and (iii) be linked to in a prominent
fashion from the version that uses tables. These requirements are already
provided in the checkpoint related to alternative pages and can thus be
incorporated by reference.

2. (I) All of the logical structure and semantic distinctions conveyed by
the visual format of the document which uses tables for layout, are also
present in structural markup which is included within the tables
themselves (E.G. lists and paragraphs within TD elements), such that
deletion of the table-related markup would yield a valid (formal grammar
compliant) document in which the aforementioned structural and semantic
distinctions are preserved in virtue of the structural markup;
and
(II) When formatted by a visual user agent, the document which uses tables
for layout appears as a single column of text.

This is rather a complex way of stating the requirements but I am trying
to be as clear as possible. The essential idea underlying item (2) is that
the structural markup (excluding the table-related tags, which are purely
presentational) adequately conveys the logical organisation and semantic
distinctions inherent in the document, so that the table-related markup
can be stripped and the resulting document can then be formatted with
style sheets etc., for non-visual presentation. The "single colun"
requirement reflects the continued existence of primitive screen readers
that are unable to handle columnar material.
Received on Wednesday, 14 April 1999 22:14:34 GMT

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