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Re: [wcag2] Layout tables

From: Maurizio Boscarol <maurizio@usabile.it>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 16:19:36 +0200
Message-ID: <4083DFF8.9010201@usabile.it>
To: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Jens Meiert wrote:

>Hi Maurizio,
>
>
>  
>
>>[...] and I have nothing against validators, parsers and such
>>algorithmical tools. But I still prefere people, that's all.
>>If I can't serve both, then I prefer to serve people.
>>    
>>
>
>I don't understand you, I fear -- if you cannot validate a resource (leaving
>aside known validator problems related to assessment of semantics, text
>quality, etc.), what do you do? Your remarks sound like you wouldn't care
>and deliver it to 'the people', because you 'prefer to serve them'.
>  
>

First of all I put all in one (parser, validators, algoritmical tools), 
but it was a oversimplified assert: in fact, tables for layout perfectly 
validate, of course! :)

So, best: "I prefer serving peole, even at the cost of lack of semantic 
value of markup". That was what I meant.

At the moment, the lack of semantic of some misused table tags are not 
valuable for me if it doesn't cause problems to users. In a longer 
perspective, I hope semantic web will be a reality. For that time, I 
hope that some robust way to visual design the web consistently will be 
found, and this debate won't have sense anymore.

Nonetheless, it's quite a wider question we are now debating:

>We're not talking about two different ways of distributing information
>('tool' and 'people' channels), but only one way -- 
>

I do think that we are serving two 'channels', instead. And this is an 
important issue, no matter table o table-less problems. Techs and people 
don't have the same kind of problems. You should design for peope (final 
goal), making good use of technology (a mean to reach the goal). But if 
the goal can best be achieved with a little misuse of technology, damn, 
ok, let's do it temporarely, trying to do the best as soon as possible! 
It's a "best fit" approach, if you want...

And please consider this: you can't tell the validity or invalidity of a 
page just looking at the rendering. - any modality you consider!

This mean that a valid page can be really inaccessible, or harder to use 
for everyone.
And an invalid page can have no problem for the user, if the user agent 
can cope with it - and usually, storically, UA *can cope with it*. They 
always did. Yet sometimes they have problems in the rendering, but this 
is due most to browser war or rendering bug (the most in css 
rendering...), not validity issue.

Validation is a rough extimate of accessibility. Focusing on validation 
is easier, because you can always verify it. But it is a poor extimate, 
beacuse it can't consider cognitive, perceptual, linguistic, 
organizative aspect of the page. They are far more important for the 
experience of every user.

Anyway, validation is still important, because it can address attention 
on standards, on accessibility, can drive the process, but it is only a 
small part of a process. One page can be accessible for every user even 
if it don't validate. Yes, it's true that a valid page have higher 
chance to be accessible than an invalid one. But you are not sure!

>and if you cannot
>validate a document and/or don't have the heuristics to assess the quality
>of a document, it's likely (or at least possible) that people will have
>problems to deal with it. 
>

I'd like to separate validation and heuristics. I think heuristics are 
very important (for the web, more important and harder than validation) 
in any quality process. Because they are more suited to the type of 
problem we have: to make accessible *some contents* (not only some 
functionality) in a good way, in a world where the validation has been 
taken into account by browser makers only recently.

Ok, I'm OT, now.

bye,

Maurizio
Received on Monday, 19 April 2004 10:19:32 GMT

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