W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > April 2002

Re: Deprecated stuff in XHTML1.1

From: Albert Lunde <Albert-Lunde@northwestern.edu>
Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 8:28:00 CDT
Message-Id: <200204091328.IAA13442@nuinfo.northwestern.edu>
To: www-html@w3.org
> Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org> writes:
> > Michael Bowen <fizzbowen@mindspring.com> wrote:
> > 
> > > Please, let there be someone at W3C working on a fix (erratum) for the 
> > > usemap/IDREF problem. Otherwise, given the current state of the major 
> > > browsers, client-side image maps are effectively deprecated in XHTML 1.1.
> > 
> > See: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-validator/2002Apr/0019
> I'm not impressed with the original complaint since imagemaps -- a bad
> idea from the outset -- are not compliant with the accessibility
> guidelines, and, moreover, look terrible -- though their links are
> accessible -- in lynx (on those occasions when I need to use lynx).
> More or less the same effect can be achieved with a table whose cells
> are anchors with anchor text an image (which can and should have an
> alt text).

This seems to me to be bad advice, and a misreading of the accessibility
guidelines. IMHO, tables should be used for tabular data, not
pressed into service for everything.

Client-side image maps are the _most_ accessible form of image maps,
when used properly, because they expose the structure of the map
to the client, and allow alt text to be supplied for all the

(They may indeed "look terrible", but how to render them is under
control of the client.)

This is recognized by the Accessibility Checklist, which has a section
"And if you use images and image maps"

"Provide redundant text links for each active region of a server-side 
image map. "

"Provide client-side image maps instead of server-side image maps 
except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric 

    Albert Lunde          Albert-Lunde@northwestern.edu (new address)
                          Albert-Lunde@nwu.edu (old address)
Received on Tuesday, 9 April 2002 09:28:02 UTC

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