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RE: [wcag2] Layout tables

From: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 17:25:54 -0500
To: "'lisa seeman'" <seeman@netvision.net.il>, "'Mike Barta'" <mikba@microsoft.com>, "'WAI-GL'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <005b01c4265d$50bdb340$6501a8c0@JTCOM2400>

> Does a professional site without tables for layout truly look and 
> behave as professionally as on that uses tables.

I believe it is a lot more likely to find a pure CSS page with improper
reading order than it is to find page with table layout with improper
reading order. The reason is simple; there is a natural relationship between
table cells in the code and reading order. There is no such relationship for

It is very difficult (for us mere mortals) to get CSS-only layout to work
the way we want. It is also easy to get the reading order wrong. 

There is a very good reason why (almost) all major commercial pages use
tables for layout - it works in a completely predictable way and the results
are consistent across browsers.

Accessibility, What Not to do: http://jimthatcher.com/whatnot.htm.
Web Accessibility Tutorial: http://jimthatcher.com/webcourse1.htm.

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of lisa seeman
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 11:35 PM
To: 'Mike Barta'; 'WAI-GL'
Subject: RE: [wcag2] Layout tables

Last time I built a site just using just CSS I got into trouble when it
looked bad on old browsers etc...

Reality check... And call for real life information
Does a professional site without tables for layout truly look and behave
as professionally as on that uses tables.

Does the CSS positioning work consistently?
Can text overwrite text as the window gets dragged or resized?

All the best
Lisa Seeman
Visit us at the UB Access website
UB Access - Moving internet accessibility

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Mike Barta
> Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 9:09 PM
> To: Yvette P. Hoitink; WAI-GL
> Subject: RE: [wcag2] Layout tables
> I would read this as joe did.  We say that one _must_ follow 
> specification, the specification says that you _should_ not 
> misuse tables, ergo we say that you should, but not must.
> While I agree with the intent that made this should I would 
> be wary of requiring a must here if only due to the enormous 
> quantity of content that uses tables for layout.  Most of the 
> content I know of is tabliscious [heh, word tried to correct 
> that to maliscious].  We should consider if this 'must' would 
> be an undue burden.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf > Of Yvette P. 
> Hoitink
> Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 11:01 AM
> To: 'WAI-GL'
> Subject: RE: [wcag2] Layout tables
> Joe Clark pointed out:
> > > Actually, at the moment we require in guideline 4.1, item 1b: [1]
> > > "structural elements and attributes are used as defined in the 
> > > specification."
> > 
> > The specification permits layout tables.
> > 
> > > In the HTML specification for tables, the introduction states: [2]
> > > "Tables should not be used purely as a means to layout document 
> > > content as
> > 
> > "Should not" does not mean "must not."
> If we explicitely require to use structural elements as 
> defined in the specification, to me that suggested that we 
> require the authors to follow the 'shoulds' from that spec. 
> Perhaps the subtleties of the English language are still 
> somewhat beyond me :-)
> Yvette Hoitink
> Heritas, Enschede, the Netherlands
> E-mail: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl
> WWW: http://www.heritas.nl
Received on Monday, 19 April 2004 18:26:23 UTC

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