W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 2008

Re: SPAM(6.0) Re: Layout Tables vs. Style Sheets

From: Joachim Andersson <joachim.andersson@etu.se>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2008 19:54:16 +0200
Message-ID: <a92e08980810071054u36d125bdx89aec4d887ee1b6@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Harry Loots" <harry.loots@ieee.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
WCAG 1.0 became a public recommendation in may, 1999. It clearly states that
tables are not to be used for layout.

What happens then, when tables are used for layout? Well, that is a
different question for different users. Visually impaired users who use
screen readers, such as Jaws for Windows, may find that tables containing
text that breaks into two or more rows in a single cell are read linearized,
witch means that the first row of cell one is followed by the first row in
cell two (same row) and so on. This might cause confusion, as the text was
intended to be read one cell at a time.

Today it seems this problem is not as big as it used to be. Jaws for Windows
has become better at these things, since this has been one of the biggest
accessibility problems on the web for many years now. But we should all know
that Jaws is not rendering content correctly when fixing this little
problem. It's just a workaround to fix something that we web developers
should have fixed ten years ago.

In general tables are not meant to be nested. I've never even come across a
complex data table with the need for nesting. The simple answer to questions
concerning nested tables is that they should not be used at all. The more
complex answer might be that user agents rendering information based on the
code behind the visual page (such as screen readers, web browsers an such)
will do this wrong sooner or later if we use elements in ways they're not
meant to be used.

It is quite simple. The W3C states that HTML/XHTML should be used to convey
structure of a document, while CSS should be used to determine layout and
visual effects.

My best tip is to use XHTML 1.1, which is the latest and most strict version
of HTML. Read WCAG 1.0 (all levels) to get a feel for what is ok and not.

Best regards,

Joachim Andersson


On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 5:06 PM, Harry Loots <harry.loots@ieee.org> wrote:

>
> Jim
>
> from your point of view...
>
> what about nested tables?
>
>
> Kind regards
> Harry
>
> Mob: +44 7826 926 994
>
> ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~
>  We do not inherit the Earth from our Parents-
>  We are simply Borrowing it from our Children!
>
>  Join 'Consumer Resistance Against Packaging' at
> http://apps.new.facebook.com/causes/57239?recruiter_id=12448357
> ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~
>
>
> ---------- Original Message -----------
> From: james.homme@highmark.com
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Sent: Tue, 7 Oct 2008 10:52:16 -0400
> Subject: Re: Layout Tables vs. Style Sheets
>
> > Hi,
> > >From my point of view as a totally blind user, not speaking for any
> other
> > totally blind user, I don't care if you use layout tables unless
> > either my screen reader detects them or you use the summary
> > attribute on them and tell me that they are layout tables. What I'm
> > not absolutely sure of is this. If you use layout tables, I would
> > think that if you use percentages in your width and height values,
> > you will help people with low vision who need to make the text
> > bigger. I'm not sure what would happen to the layout if they tried
> > to enlarge the text too big to fit into the table cells. You would
> > also need to use font measure units that are not absolute. As a
> > developer, I would want to be able to use CSS for layout because it means
> > less work for me if I have to change the layout.
> >
> > Thanks.
> >
> > Jim
> > James D Homme, Usability Engineering, Highmark Inc.,
> > james.homme@highmark.com, 412-544-1810
> >
> > "The difference between those who get what they wish for and those
> > who don't is action. Therefore, every action you take is a complete
> > success,regardless of the results." -- Jerrold Mundis Highmark
> > internal only: For usability and accessibility:
> http://highwire.highmark.com/sites/iwov/hwt093/
> >
> >
> >              "Jens Meiert"
> >                    <jens@meiert.com>
> >                          Sent by:
> >                To              w3c-wai-ig-reques         "Patti
> > Burke-Lund"                               t@w3.org
> >  <pburkelund@yahoo.com>
> >                                         cc
> >              w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> >  10/07/2008 10:31                                      Subject
> >        AM                        Re: Layout Tables vs. Style Sheets
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > I was wondering if anyone could share their insight with regard to
> layout
> > > tables and accessibility,
> >
> > Layout tables do not necessarily (!) mean accessibility problems,
> >  they rather
> >
> > * mean markup used the wrong way (referring to semantics),
> > * impose specific maintenance problems, and
> > * impair performance (as yet more appropriate alternatives usually
> > use less characters).
> >
> > --
> > Jens Meiert
> > http://meiert.com/en/
> ------- End of Original Message -------
>
>
>
Received on Tuesday, 7 October 2008 17:54:58 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:14:28 GMT