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Compliance and html validation - how to interpret?

From: Denise Wood <Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au>
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 20:29:48 +0930
Message-ID: <E1962E8F1DF0D411878300A0C9ACB0F902464209@exstaff4.magill.unisa.edu.au>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi everyone

I am in the process of preparing a training site on Web accessibility for staff
at my place of work and of course am aiming to ensure that site meets triple-A
compliance. I also want to ensure that the site will look ok in browsers that
do not support or only partially support CSS2. For this reason I have still
used lay out tables. The original site I developed using only CSS2 for
positioning looked great in later browsers but of course is not really very
aesthetic in broken browsers such as NS4 (I need to accommodate all browsers
particularly NS 4 as this is still commonly used by many staff).

I  have checked the site using Bobby, the accessibility extension checker in
Dreamweaver and A-prompt and apart from user manual checks (with which I think
the site complies) everything verifies at triple-A level. However, I am not
sure how to interpret the issue for compliance level 2 regarding "3.3 Use style
sheets to control layout and presentation". Does this mean that if I have
chosen to support lower end browsers and have used layout tables that the site
is not triple-A compliant (ie I have not used CSS2 for positioning)? I have
used CSS for all styles it's only layout that is the issue here.

Secondly, with regard to HTML validation - the site reports validation errors
(using W3C html validator) with regard to attributes that are no longer
supported in HTML 4 (ie align, bkcolour, border and hspace). These are required
(unless you can advise me how to get around this) if the site is to look OK in
browsers that don't recognize my style sheet. Is there any way of getting the
site to validate as HTML 4.0 strict or transitional and still provide
formatting for browsers that ignore the style sheet? I am also curious because
I have seen several sites that use attributes such as border that are
displaying the W3C html 4 validation logo. How can they use the logo if the
page still includes deprecated language?

The style sheet verifies fine using the W3C style sheet validator and the pages
look good in IE 5 and NS 4 and function fine in Lynx and with a voice browser.
It's just the problem of how to technically claim triple-A compliance or html 4
validation if one wants to still cater for any browser.

Any advice will be very gratefully received.

Denise 
Received on Saturday, 27 April 2002 06:59:52 GMT

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