Re: Checkpoint 3.3

Without using style sheets, and without confusing the distinction between
structure and presentation, there are few means available in current HTML
technology by which to control layout and presentation while maintaining
correct document structure. Visual presentation is, however, important;
and this is why style sheets should be used. The guidelines are careful to
require that only style language features supported by user agents be
employed. Support for CSS has existed in major browsers for at least the
past two years, and though it is inconsistent, it is steadily improving.

I would strongly oppose any attempt to remove or otherwise erode the
requirement specified in checkpoint 3.3, due to the importance of style
sheets as the only technology which supports rich visual (or auditory)
presentation, with retention of the document's logical structure and
markup semantics.

The simplest solution to the practical problem would be to require
existing web sites to be repaired up to level A conformance, whereas new
web sites (or existing web sites when their content is substantially
updated) must achieve double-A conformance. This is an issue that should
be addressed to policy developers; the guidelines must conform to their
own goals and definitions, and should not be unduly influenced by whatever
problems may arise for developers if government policies are formulated
which do not adequately address the issue of compliance costs.

Received on Monday, 12 July 1999 20:25:50 UTC