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RE: [wcag2] Layout tables

From: Yvette P. Hoitink <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 19:36:37 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20040416173553.9674DA06C6@frink.w3.org>

Michael Cooper wrote:
> Regarding the suggestion to ban the use of layout tables outright:
> This is a difficult one for us working on techniques. We all 
> agree that layout tables are undesirable and we would like to 
> "ban" them. But the techniques aren't normative so we can't 
> actually forbid the use of any technology or technique that 
> leads to WCAG 2.0 compliant content. 
> [snip]

Actually, at the moment we require in guideline 4.1, item 1b: [1]
"structural elements and attributes are used as defined in the

In the HTML specification for tables, the introduction states: [2]
"Tables should not be used purely as a means to layout document content as
this may present problems when rendering to non-visual media. Additionally,
when used with graphics, these tables may force users to scroll horizontally
to view a table designed on a system with a larger display. To minimize
these problems, authors should use style sheets to control layout rather
than tables."

So the current working draft of the WCAG 2 effectively already bans the use
of layout tables, even if that isn't made explicit. This is because layout
tables are an example of using a structural element in a way that is not
conform the specification.

Even though I do not have a solution, I think we really need to take a hard
look at this because we cannot afford any conflicts between the techniques
document and the WCAG 2 document.

Yvette Hoitink
Heritas, Enschede, the Netherlands
E-mail: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl
WWW: http://www.heritas.nl

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-WCAG20-20040311/#use-spec
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/tables.html#h-11.1
Received on Friday, 16 April 2004 13:35:53 UTC

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