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Re: BFoB Case Study question--table summaries

From: Tom Gilder <w3c@tom.me.uk>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 20:52:40 +0100
Message-ID: <97332990359.20030625205240@tom.me.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

On Wednesday, June 25, 2003, 8:28:22 PM, Leslie K. Yoder wrote:
> In looking at the source code of the site itself
> (http://www.birminghamfocus.org.uk), I see that all the tables have
> summaries (for example, "This table is a spacer" and "This table contains
> the main site navigation bar"). Is this necessary?

No, I don't believe it is, and I feel it is a classic example of Bobby
somewhat harming accessibility instead of helping it.

If tables are (mis)used for layout, informing the user of them just
makes things worse. It's pointless, ridiculous and irritating. What
possible value could a user get from knowing a table is to make a
visual space? It'd be much better if it was simply ignored (and of
course, it'd be infinitely better if CSS was used instead).

The navigation summary may be of some usefulness, but not that much,
and I would have said much shorter text would be better if it was
absolutely required. The user doesn't need an exact description of all
content before they get to it.

Some of the alt text on that site is also ridiculously long, a great
(or should that be awful?) example being:

  "Logo indicating that this website achieves AAA accessibility
  compliance - this graphic is an External Link to the W3C Web Content
  Accessibility Guidelines that opens in a new browser window."


Tom Gilder
Received on Wednesday, 25 June 2003 15:52:46 UTC

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