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Comment 7 - Linearizing Table versus Table for Layout

From: Robert Neff <robert.neff@uaccessit.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 11:12:08 -0600
To: "'Matt May'" <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c1d0fb$8cd8c630$0000a398@uac1>
Comment 7.  Linearizing Table.
Issue: This is a volatile subject as you have users that may use
browsers that may not support all the functionality.  The guidelines and
techniques should not be all encompassing, rather they may want to show
the issues and circumstances. While it is recommended to use the CSS
positioning, this is not at all widely supported and I consider this to
be a future implementation.  However, using tables for layout are widely
used with CSS.  The content under linearizing tables also mentions there
is a risk of word wrapping.  I have a HUGE CAUTION for this as it seems
we are contradicting ourselves in the direction.  People using this are
going to say what?  Are we saying table cells should be readable when
linearized, then I can do that.  But to say a table cell has issues with
linearization and this ison older tools, I am not sure what we are
driving to do? 

Please note, we recognize that this is not a perfect world in that
browsers and tools cost money and people may have older versions. But we
need to layout the options to the developer, not direct the acceptance.
Testing conformance is critical here as this becomes a test case. 

Solution:  Consider combining the two sections, Linearizing Table and
Tables for layout into one category called Tables and Methods for
layout, Tables used for Presentation or something? Then you could
discuss the pros and cons of each.  However, I do not think we should
tell people how to do this.  Provide the how and let the user decide
what works best for their audience.  I do nto think offering to provide
a text alternative page here is an option.  Unless you are running a
database generated site, this is too costly, cumbersome and will not be
implemented by the mass. I also think this needs to be reflected in WCAG
Version 2.

Additional Comment:  The next question is how do you turn this into a
testable item for the compliance tools?  We also need to consider what
is implementable and how the mass developer population is driving the
market.  Right now tables are used for layout with CSS. Positioning is
not being widely used as this is a future implementation.
Received on Thursday, 21 March 2002 12:26:54 UTC

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