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Re: layout tables

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 04:33:29 -0500 (EST)
To: Kerstin Goldsmith <kerstin.goldsmith@oracle.com>
cc: wai <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0211080429330.3771-100000@tux.w3.org>

Well the way I do it is by not using tables just for layout purposes. Really
simple (but not entirely true - I do use a tool for presentations that is
supplied to me and gets maintained and regularly updated by other people.
That uses a table to put some buttons on the page. I used to maintain my own
version, but it got too hard to keep up).

There have been discussions before about getting people to use
summary="layout table" (so should spanish tools look for summary="solo
maquetacion" or what?) or some similar mechanism.

It would also be possible to use a profile to identify this. It seems like
standardising ways of doing this and then getting that implemented in tools
is a lot of work compared with just not using tables for layout, from my


On Thu, 7 Nov 2002, Kerstin Goldsmith wrote:

>Has anyone come up with a way to standardize on signaling that a table
>is being used for layout purposes only?  When we run our documentation
>through our accessibility checking utility, we have told folks to add a
>null SUMMARY attribute to their tables, and our checking utility
>recognizes this as a signal that the table need not be checked for
>association between headers and cells, or for header markup itself.  Is
>anyone else standardizing on this, or are folks using SUMMARY="This is a
>layout table?"  Or some such variation?  It seems that the SUMMARY=""
>makes sense in the same way that null ALT attributes work for decorative
>graphics, no?
>Is anyone interested in standardizing on such a thing, so that all ERTs
>(Evaluation and Repair Tools) can be looking for the same thing?
>-Kerstin Goldsmith

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
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Received on Friday, 8 November 2002 04:33:31 UTC

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