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Re: Colors and the WCAG

From: C. Bottelier <c.bottelier@iradis.org>
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 10:14:07 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>, WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> > On the Internet I see a lot of pages, and the tools like
> > FrontPage and DreamWeaver tend to do it, is to specify
> > the bgcolor as white but not any of the other colors. Should
> > the WCAG not mention (priority 1 of 2 perhaps) that when
> > specifying the color of 1 element, all the other colors
> > _MUST_ be specified also. And that if _ALL_ the colors
> > specified are the default colors their MAY not be specified
> > at all (priority 3)?
>No, because the number of real-world browsers that cannot
>understand CSS is so very small that HTML-only techniques
>are no longer applicable.

Who did say the color attribute of the html element?

>You *can* set just the background on, say, html or body and
>then set the foreground on other elements.
>Cascading, remember?

Exactly, when soing this _ALL_ the (visible) elements have
all their colors set.

Setting the backgorund color for the body element to cyan
and setting the foreground color for all other elements to
marroon must be Ok. But the point is here that the WCAG
does not say anything (as far as I can find) about this.

A site that sets the background color to silver and only the
foreground color of table headings to black, table cells to
dark green, and paragraph headings to emerald would be accessible according 
to the WCAG. While if the page is
rendered on the PC of somebody whose OS or browser has different
default colors, or the user likes or must use other colors,
there's a posentional problem with the other paragraph headings,
lists, paragraph text, links, and so on.

For an good example set your browser to use white color on
any dark color and visit http://www.logos.net/en/ You
could read very little of the text. Thus we set the browser
to ignore the colors specified in the web content. Oops
another problem, the menus become inaccessible. To only way
to view this page (and thousands, if not millions fail this
test also) is to be forced to use black text on white
background. Seems to me as discrimination?

>A device that can't understand stylesheets is apt to use its
>own colours anyway. And besides, the requirement postulated
>above is *so* 1998, and the WCAG are outdated enough as it is.

First the problem exists both for plain old HTML and for
(X)HTML + CSS or XSL. And many if not most pages either use
plain (X)HTMl with the depricated attributes without CSS,
or use (X)HTML with those attributes intertwinded woth CSS.
Very little use only CSS for layout. Maybe this has to do with
very buggy CSS (2) implementations in NN4 and even IE5/6

Received on Sunday, 20 October 2002 04:06:54 UTC

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