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RE: Using em or percent for properties that need to change

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 13:39:45 -0400
Message-Id: <a061104afbd4a91b9acdb@[]>
To: "'WAI-IG'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

>>What John seems to be advocating is that authors never, ever take a 
>>stand that the WCAG WG orthodoxy disapproves of. Since the Working 
>>Group was only recently disabused of its notion that px is an 
>>absolute unit,
>(see: http://www.wats.ca/articles/pixelsarerelative/65)

Yeah, I know. WCAG WG members got caught with their pants down 
arguing for *years* that px is an absolute unit. Now that their 
mistake has been so embarrassingly publicized, we've got this whole 
campaign going to say, in effect, "Yes, well, px is a relative unit, 
but let's just go ahead pretending otherwise."

This all boils down to "Internet Explorer for Windows can't resize 
fonts set in px, so nobody must use px for anything ever." (That's 
*all* Derek's article talks about.) It's the browser that's at fault 

It is difficult to make the case that layouts should always be 
created in units other than px for reasons that have been explored on 
the list recently. In any event, most of you are unqualified to 
discuss Web layouts; leading standardistas are way ahead of you, and 
you should learn from them.

>Uhm, no Joe, only that this is what the WCAG states: "3.4 Use 
>relative rather than absolute units in markup language attribute 
>values and style sheet property values."

And that includes px. Game over.

>>At some point the Working Group will come to grips with the fact 
>>that it has been left in the dust by standardistas (almost all of 
>>them bloggers) who create sites with valid code that meet or exceed 
>>WCAG 1.0 *and also look nice*.
>WCAG A, AA, or AAA?  Big difference between the levels - a point you 
>fail to mention.  Show me a blog that conforms to AAA - go ahead.

1. It's arguably impossible to meet Priority 3.

2. Almost no sites on the entire Web actually do.

3. AAA compliance is not the only available standard *by definition*. 
Quit changing the subject.

>>  Oh? Aren't we writing them? What was WCAG 1.0? (What about HTML 
>>and CSS Techniques for WCAG 1.0?)

Many developers view the guidelines as standards, i.e., possibly open 
to interpretation but *not open to being ignored entirely*. In other 
words, you can't choose eight or nine criteria in Priority 1 and 
claim Priority 1 compliance. You may assert that your site meets all 
criteria due to your interpretation of them, but that's a different 

>One measures, the other instructs.  English 101.


>Hmmm... Which half are you in[,] Joe?

Take a wild guess. You've got a 50% chance.


     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
     Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
     Expect criticism if you top-post
Received on Thursday, 19 August 2004 17:59:05 UTC

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