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RE: waicard9

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Thu, 04 Feb 1999 15:51:02 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Neff, Robert" <Robert.Neff@usmint.treas.gov>, "'w3c-wai-eo@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>, "'dd@w3.org'" <dd@w3.org>
Cc: "'jbrewer@w3.org'" <jbrewer@w3.org>
I'd support Bob's comments questioning the requirement for CSS on this
card, even though I agree that it is very desirable to have.

I was going along with the reqt, but I'm swayed by Bob's comments plus my
experience this morning in a meeting on helping ordinary people, like
liberal arts college profs here at Temple, who are not professional web
page designers, write accessible pages.  

CSS is only P2 in the guidelines.  We're comfortable dropping other P2's
(e.g. explicit reqt for separate text links for image maps).  And the
guidelines have further qualifications, viz.

"A.6. Checkpoint 4: Use style sheets to control layout and presentation
wherever possible as soon as a majority of browsers in use support them well"

I'm worried that some people who would only have to do a couple of simple
things to get their sites accessible would get turned off because we want
them to use CSS instead of <B> </B>, and indeed imply that they should
retrofit their old pages to be accessibile.  It could also turn off people
with pages laid out with tables that are quite accessible with lynx,
pwwebspeak, home page reader, and NN and MSIE  3.0+ with screenreaders of
that vintage.


At 09:59 AM 2/4/99 -0500, 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
>>4. Image Maps Use client-side MAP and text link for hotspots.
>ROB>Disagree, feel we are confusing the issue and recommend,
>Use client-side MAPs, ALT Tags for hotspots and text links.
>Justification: ALT Tag for hotspots and text links are two separate issues.
>The ALT Tag for the Hotpsot provides users with a visual description of the
>hotspot, whereas Text Link provides text links of each hotspot for the
>>7. Page Organization Use headings, lists, and consistent structure. Use CSS
>>for layout and style.
>ROB> I still disagree with the statement, "Use CSS for layout and style."  
>Justification:  Why?  How are designers in the trenches going to understand
>this?  Their audience may be HTML 3.2.  We are seeing browser versions 1.x
>and 2.x .  I am curious how you can tell someone who has to be in compliance
>with ADA and Rehab Act Section 508, and has to design for multiple browsers
>and versions, that they must use CSS.  I think it is wrong to say "Use CSS
>for layout and style" .  Imagine if a Federal Manager or CIO reads this and
>tells their web service that they must use CSS because it is on the
>QUICKTIPS!  Please do not make our jobs any more difficult.
>Suggest we say, "For layout and style, recommend CSS or accessible HTML"
>>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
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Universal Design Engineer, Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering
Temple University

Ritter Hall Annex, Room 423, Philadelphia, PA 19122
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Received on Thursday, 4 February 1999 15:51:01 UTC

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