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RE: inaccessible site due to css

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce_Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 09:54:16 -0500
Message-ID: <5DCA49BDD2B0D41186CE00508B6BEBD0300441@WDCROBEXC01>
To: "'Chris Croome'" <chris@webarchitects.co.uk>, "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "'Charles F. Munat'" <chas@munat.com>
Cc: "'webmaster@altavista.com'" <webmaster@altavista.com>
Thanks for taking a look at this Charles.  I have not been able to get to it
and you provided a MUCH better analysis than I could have.   I will also
point out that while the page in question does, strictly speaking, use
"valid css", the w3c jigsaw tool returns over two dozen warnings!  All of
the warnings have to do with color and background-color, so they speak
directly to the usability problems noted.

> ----------
> From: 	w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org on behalf of Charles F. Munat
> Sent: 	Wednesday, December 20, 2000 4:46 AM
> To: 	'Chris Croome'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: 	RE: inaccessible site due to css [was: Re: Politics:  Strict
> Guidelines Considered Harmful]
> Bailey, Bruce wrote:
> "Can you cite one real-world reference where valid CSS was used but the
> results decreased acessibility?"
> Chris Croome replied:
> "I'm sorry to say that I can :-(
> "The AltaVista help pages:"
> http://doc.altavista.com/adv_search/ast_haw_index.html
> Inaccessible because of CSS? I think not.
> What we have here is a great example of the dangers of using deprecated
> elements and attributes mixed with CSS. This is exactly what some are
> arguing for, though I'm sure they weren't arguing for this result.
> True, the designers erred by not using relative sizes. If they'd been
> really
> interested in accessibility, they would have used the WCAG guidelines and
> there wouldn't have been a problem with legibility.
> Even as it stands, however, if the problem was with CSS, so what? Turn it
> off.
> Then you'll see the real problem. They didn't do their homework. In
> Navigator 4 with CSS off the links on the left side of the page are
> illegible: blue on blue. But guess what! That's exactly how it looks in
> Netscape 3 all the time! So if the page is inaccessible in Netscape 3, how
> is that CSS's fault?
> Had they used XHTML strict and validated their code, this would have been
> impossible. Then the small font size on Netscape for Linux (obviously,
> they
> didn't test with that either) would still exist, but turn of the style
> sheet
> and the page would be usable.
> Now, I don't mean to dismiss this as not really a problem. I'm sure that
> lot's of people don't know how to turn off their browser's CSS. But this
> isn't really an accessibility issue, it's a cross-browser compatibility
> issue. Most people are going to find this site unusable in either Netscape
> 3
> or Netscape 4 for Linux, not just those with disabilities. Alta Vista was
> using bastardized code and didn't bother to test properly. Shame on them.
> Charles F. Munat
Received on Wednesday, 20 December 2000 09:54:37 UTC

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