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Tables or CSS for forms?

From: Laura Carlson <lcarlson@d.umn.edu>
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 10:03:11 -0500
To: "'WAI Interest Group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <2147483647.1127728991@lcarslon.d.umn.edu>

With all the talk of layout tables, what are your thoughts on best 
practices for "laying out" a form?

You can make a simple accessible form without a table or CSS. But for 
more complex forms would you use a table or CSS? Besides using good 
accessible markup specifically for forms like label/for/id, 
fieldset/legend, optgroup etc, etc. what is the best way to go?

Using tables for forms adds to the size of a page. But overall, they 
are better supported, browser-wise, than CSS positioning. It is fairly 
easy to layout a form with a table.

_If_ you did construct a form with a table would you:

A. Consider it a data table and use structural table mark up?
B. Consider it a layout table and not use structural data table markup 
and have it make sense when linearized.

The advantage of CSS is it gives a wide range of options for 
controlling the various elements in a form. The disadvantage to using 
CSS positioning is that for newbies it has a definite learning curve 
and unequal support by older browsers. You can achieve 'table like' 
results by floating elements with CSS, but it's a lot more involved. If 
you're a CSS guru it's all part of the fun. But for others it can be 
incredibly frustrating.

Your thoughts?

Thanks,
Laura
___________________________________________
Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN  55812-3009
http://www.d.umn.edu/goto/webdesign/
Received on Monday, 26 September 2005 15:08:13 GMT

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