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RE: HTML 4.x or XHTML for accessibility

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 19:43:38 +0100 (BST)
To: Andrew Johns <andrew.johns@jkd.co.uk>
cc: "WAI List (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20020618192933.T859-100000@fenris.webthing.com>

(to start by addressing the original question, HTML4 and XHTML1 are
equivalent, and it is trivial for a parser to convert either format
to the other, so there is no inherent difference regarding accessibility.
Of course that observation doesn't address broken markup or software).

On Tue, 18 Jun 2002, Andrew Johns wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jon Hanna [mailto:jon@spin.ie]
> > Which are incapable of being checked why?
> in response to:
> >> All,
> >> I enjoy the assumption that all pages are static files that can be checked
> >> before being sent.  Actually, the great value of the Web is
> >> dynamic content,
> I can see his point.  In some cases where the page is dynamically built
 based on content pulled from external sources, the original source may
 not always structurally correct.  This in turn means that your once
 perfectly validated page will now fail validation when the additional
 dynamic code is added.

Then you should fix whatever is coming from the external source.  If it is
not originally markup then you just have to mark it up.  If it is markup
that might be invalid, parse it and generate your markup from the tree.
If it is known to be valid you can optionally skip the parsing step.

> However, if you are providing the content - e.g. using ASP and a
 Database to build a table - with some extra care and attention to what
 the code is actually building, it should be possible to ensure that the
 resulting dynamically built code is still valid.

Of course, that is straightforward, unless your software comprises
seriously grotty hacks written by someone who doesn't understand markup.

> For external sources, the best you can probably do in this situation is
 give feedback to the content provider and hope that they some day fix the

Failing that, parse it yourself.  If anyone has trouble with that,
I can offer you software or a webservice to parse markup and transform
it to something valid (HTML, XHTML or other) that meets your requirements.

Nick Kew

Available for contract work - Programming, Unix, Networking, Markup, etc.
Received on Tuesday, 18 June 2002 14:43:53 UTC

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