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RE: compliance and layout tables revisited

From: Denise Wood <Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 03:39:51 +0930
Message-ID: <E1962E8F1DF0D411878300A0C9ACB0F90246428A@exstaff4.magill.unisa.edu.au>
To: "'Michelle Podd '" <mpodd@iqnetcom.com>, "'WAI (E-mail) '" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

You raise an interesting point about the Priority 2 validation issues relating
to use of tables for layout. I too had trouble reconciling those points but in
the end decided that I would aim to use style sheets for layout in any case as
it is just so much better to be able to separate layout from content. You are
right, Joe did respond to this discussion (and I note his new post on this
topic has just arrived in my inbox).If you recall however, Joe also included
suggestions of html pages (templates) that effectively use CSS2 style sheets
for layout and look fine in NS4 and other lower/broken browsers. That is the
approach I took to be comfortable that the site does achieve triple A

I initially found the same problem with border="0" used as part of the img tag
being reported as invalid by the HTML validator. I changed the doc type to
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> and the
validator no longer reports this as a problem. I agree with Joe that use of CSS
to control the appearance of images with respect to borders is preferable.
However, many browsers do not recognise the class and still show the border. So
I decided to use the border="0" for the sake of browser compatibility. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Michelle Podd
To: WAI (E-mail)
Sent: 5/8/2002 1:56 AM
Subject: compliance and layout tables revisited

I've been reading the "compliance and html validation" thread with
interest as I've had similar questions.
The people involved in the discussion seemed to have settled on the fact
that if you use tables for layout, your page cannot meet Priority 2 WAI
standards. Is that correct?
This is a snippet from the 1.0 Guidelines: <snippet>
11 style_alignmentLayout, positioning, layering, and alignment

Checkpoints in this section:

*	3.3 <http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-TECHS/#tech-style-sheets>  Use
style sheets to control layout and presentation. [Priority 2] 

*	5.3
<http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-TECHS/#tech-avoid-table-for-layout>  Do not
use tables for layout unless the table makes sense when linearized.
Otherwise, if the table does not make sense, provide an alternative
equivalent (which may be a linearized version). [Priority 2] . 

Layout, positioning, layering, and alignment should be done through
style sheets (notably by using CSS floats and absolute positioning): ...


It seems as if checkpoint 5.3 is saying you can use layout tables. For
instance, if I use layout tables for a form where I have 2 columns (the
left holds the field name and the right holds the form control), that
would make sense when linearized.  If I have a nav bar that goes
horizontally across the top of my web page made up of a table with
several images in it, that would make sense when linearized.

Are these two points contradictory? Is it true that if I don't only use
CSS to layout my page that I can't say my page conforms to Priority 2

Denise also brought up another question related to html validation that
I'd like to clarify. My particular problem is that I am using a
graphical image as a button in a form. Here is the code:

<input TYPE="Image" SRC="images/buttons/update.gif" border="0"
VALUE="Update Basket" ALT="if you changed a quantity, Update Basket">

border="0" doesn't validate for the html 4.01 transitional doctype (the
most lenient) on the input tag yet if I take it out, a border shows up
around the image in some browsers.

Joe's answer to that was (and thanks Joe, as you were the only one to
provide an answer):

"Your only choice is to use a browser fork and serve different HTML
to different browsers, only some of which will validate."

That seems very extreme to get rid of an image border. My question is,
if there really is no other way to remove the border and still validate,
how far do we, as web developers have to go to be able to say our sites
meet certain accessibility standards? Does the border element in an
input tag make my site (or that particular part of the page)
inaccessible? No, it doesn't. I'd love to have all the little icons on
my site that tell people we've made efforts to provide an accessible
website however I can't see serving up different pages for different
browsers for things that don't make any difference to the accessibility
of my page anyway. Any thoughts or other solutions to the validation

partially asking and partially venting,

Michelle Podd, Web Designer



Received on Tuesday, 7 May 2002 14:09:56 UTC

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