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Re: Axis attribute

From: Joachim Andersson <joachim.andersson@etu.se>
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 10:52:29 +0000
Message-ID: <a92e08980811280252k627ed114p2316cbdad8b75e07@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Michael Stenitzer" <jenoe.stenitzer@gmail.com>
Cc: "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I see your point, but I still believe that we need to understand the
fundamentals of standards. Web developers have always struggled with
compatibility issues between web browsers. The simple reason being that we
find solutions that are convenient at the time being, for example using
tables for layout, formatting text instead of using headers and so on. Today
we are also struggling with other user agents, such as screen readers, that
do not follow W3C specifications and recommendations. I am not saying that a
visible link instead of a longdesc attribute is in any way wrong. I would
suggest the same, and so does W3C. Visible links are suggested in many cases
throughout recommendations in cases like that mentioned.

What I was saying is that if a user agent doesn't support an element or an
attribute, that is in no way a reason not to use it. If it is useful in its
declaration in a specification and if it doesn't present a usability issue
like longdesc, it should be used as specified. The user agents will
hopefully get to a point where they can handle these functions properly.

About tables specifically, I have to agree with you Michael. Simplicity is
good, and as you say, many people have a hard time understanding tables.
What I am trying to say is not that we should prepare accessible websites
for standards, but for people as you say. But I also think that there is an
important point in actually following standards, in order for everything to
work together. I believe that web developers, user agent developers and
authoring tool developers need to have a set of rules to follow, in order
for the Internet to actually be the kind of media it was intended to be. It
should not matter what tools you use, what preferences you have or what
developers think you need. We cannot continue in the old compatibility
jungle. We need a simple set of rules - web standards.

Best regards,

Joachim Andersson

2008/11/28 Michael Stenitzer <jenoe.stenitzer@gmail.com>

> i'm sorry, but i have to disagree strongly.
> we are preparing accessible websites for people and not for standards.
> as long as there are ways to make a certain information accessible,
> usable and understandable with techniques that are supported by
> browsers and AT we should certainly choose those techniques.
> eg. the LONGDESC attribute does not help anybody (and i also see
> potential usability problems with this). therefore: don't use it but
> place a visible link for a detailed image description right after the
> image.
> concerning the AXIS attribute: there are other standard conformous
> ways and techniques to make a table accessible. use those. (BTW:
> usually the best one is to simplify a table structure as much as
> possible. this also helps without a screenreader. you might be
> surprised how difficult it is for many users to understand tables).
> just my 2 cents, michael
> On Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 8:58 PM, Joachim Andersson
> <joachim.andersson@etu.se> wrote:
> > The usefulness is not really the issue. I understand that this might seem
> > strange, but developing according to W3C standards does not only concern
> the
> > time being, but the time to come. Hopefully Jaws and other tools used to
> > convey web based information will improve in upcoming versions, but at
> this
> > time they do not fully conform to W3C recommendations and specifications.
> >
> > Think of it this way. If web developers produce services according to W3C
> > specifications and recommendations, one day Jaws and other tools will
> render
> > web based content as it was meant to be rendered. That is when we get the
> > real use of it, and now is the time to develop this way, in order not to
> be
> > one step behind when Jaws reaches that goal.
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Joachim Andersson
> > Web Accessibility Specialist
> >
> > 2008/11/27 Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com>
> >>
> >> Dear all:
> >>
> >> I've been reading a lot about the use of "axis" attribute to categorize
> >> and group cells, but I also have read that its support is almost
> inexistent.
> >> Does anyone know if this attribute is going to be supported in the near
> >> future? or perhaps in the distant future...? <wink>
> >>
> >> I've tested it with JAWS and nothing happens, so I'm confused about its
> >> real usefulness.
> >>
> >> Thanks in advance,
> >> Ramón.
> >>
> >
> >
> --
> Michael Stenitzer | WIENFLUSS information.design.solutions
Received on Friday, 28 November 2008 10:53:08 UTC

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