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RE: waicard9 - tables

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 10:30:24 -0500 (EST)
To: "Neff, Robert" <Robert.Neff@usmint.treas.gov>
cc: "'w3c-wai-eo@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9902041023230.6396-100000@tux.w3.org>
I don't know that there is a position paper by the WAI on Tables, although
there is a lot of discussion in http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WD-WAI-PAGEAUTH
both in the Guidelines and in the techniques.

I think column layout is pretty well-defined - it means two groups of text
which occupy the same space horizontally but a different space vertically.
That includes all text which is designed in columns, and does not
constrain the type or purpose of the text. (The idea of a table which
breaks text at a specific pixel is a myth.) As a quicktip for
accessibility we have a good statement of what needs to be done. For a
more thorough explanation refer to the full/complete guidelines.


On Thu, 4 Feb 1999, Neff, Robert wrote:

  Here are my comments as based upon Judy'd email last night.  I fear there
  may be some latency in the email on my end, so I hope it is not to late to
  >11. Tables Make line by line reading sensible. Provide a Summary. Avoid
  >using tables for column layout.
  Rob>  Seems I am going to have to agree to disagree on the last statement,
  using tables for column layout." <smile> and here is why.
  How you define column layout may not be the way someone else does.  What is
  column layout?  Is it using navbars in a two column table (left column is
  navbars and right dolumn is text)?  Is the left column broken in many rows
  for the navbars while the right column is still one cell.  What about nested
  rows and columns?  And spans?  
  Is it one large table that is used to ensure the text wraps at a
  predetermined pixel?  This would pass the first sentence, line by line.  
  What is it we are really trying to say?  Dan, can you describe and clarify
  what we are trying to have designers not do when it is seen by all browsers
  (voice, text, screen readers).  I would recommend that we redefine this
  comment, "Avoid using tables for column layout"  or else we are really going
  to confuse the people in the trenches.
  Could we point to URL that contains a position paper on "Acceptable and Not
  Acceptable Table Usage" as written by the WAI?
  Many thanks and please copy me on discussion at this email address.
  Robert Neff
  Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed are personal opinions and not those of
  the US Mint

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://purl.oclc.org/net/charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Thursday, 4 February 1999 10:30:33 UTC

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