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RE: Standards Compliant = No support for NN4?

From: Andrew Johns <andrew.johns@jkd.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 12:52:50 +0100
Message-ID: <FDFC0668A850D246BC4231715D94904E263BF4@uranus.jkd.co.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

I was actually referring to this article:

http://www.alistapart.com/stories/journey/

but, after re-reading it, I realise that I have misinterpreted it - they weren't hiding the content, just the presentation.  Thanks for clearing that up, and thanks for all the urls to some useful articles.

Regards,

Andrew Johns






-----Original Message-----
From: Tom James [mailto:tom.james@digitext.com]
Sent: 19 June 2002 12:34
To: 'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'
Subject: RE: Standards Compliant = No support for NN4?



Andrew Johns wrote ...

> An author on "A List Apart" suggests that I shouldn't bother 
> attempting to make it compatible with NN 4.  They suggest 
> hiding the site content from them, and give an explanation 
> that the site is standards compliant, therefore works only in 
> standards compliant browsers and other accessibility devices, 
> and that for them to see the site they must get a standards 
> compliant browser.

I think this is a misreading of the idea, which was also promoted by the Web
Standards Project (WaSP).

My understanding of the idea was:

1) You write a page in valid code, marked-up structurally
2) You arrange for the stylesheet to do presentational things, but only to
load for standards-compliant browsers. (My prefered method for this is to
use an @import rule to hide the content from CSS-aware, but
non-standards-following, browsers.)

and optionally

3) You add a paragraph at the top of the page (in a style hidden using the
stylesheet) that explains that the page will look plain, but still be
readable, for non-standards compliant browsers.

Hence, NN4 users see all of the content, but it just follows their default
browser settings. And depending on your use of e.g. CSS positioning, it may
also be linearised as well.

This is certainly the technique used by alistapart. On my own site, I have
tried to use a two-column CSS positioning layout for both NN4 and more
compliant browsers. However, NN4 is very sensitive to minor code errors (I
know, I should validate every page ...) and I am tempted by the ALA / WaSP
technique. But this is a personal site, and I suspect a commercial site
would probably find this harder to justify.

URLs: 
ALA http://www.alistapart.com and in particular
http://www.alistapart.com/stories/netscape/

WaSP http://www.webstandards.org/ and in particular
http://webstandards.org/act/campaign/buc/tips.html

P.S. I'm not affiliated in any way with either organisation.

	Tom

Dr Tom James
Senior Consultant

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Digitext - Online Information at Work

Telephone: +44 (0)1844 214690
Fax: +44 (0)1844 213434
Email: tom.james@digitext.com
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Received on Wednesday, 19 June 2002 07:53:15 GMT

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