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RE: [166] Organize documents so they may be read without style sheets

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 13:23:53 -0400
Message-Id: <a05200f2bbb0fb7e10be8@[]>
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

I don't see a purpose to this guideline in 2003/2004. There just is 
no plausible scenario in which a disabled person would be using a 
browser that cannot render CSS and JavaScript *except* for Lynx or 
the even rarer competing text-only browsers.

The guideline requires the page to be readable without stylesheets. 
The ramifications of ordering HTML elements so they can be read have 
not been fully understood, either. Maybe Eric Meyer could explain the 
difference between floated and positioned elements and the 
requirements for linear position in source code.

Even if that were an issue, I contend that the document could still 
be *read* even if components were not in the same order as in CSS 
presentation. Remember, we're assuming valid HTML here. Nobody's 
expecting the same joy of use and ease of understanding with and 
without CSS.

I don't see what problem this guideline could actually solve here in 
the 21st century. It appears to attempt to restrict authors from 
using CSS and JavaScript, both of which have no inevitable bearing on 
accessibility. It seems to attempt to punish authors for making 
sophisticated Web sites rather than plain-HTML sites. WCAG 2.0 needs 
to encourage the use of CSS, not force authors to use it in one 
guideline ("use CSS for layout") and penalize them in another ("make 
things work fine without CSS"). This guideline embodies one of the 
many contradictions in WCAG 1.0.

I note that nobody can come up with real-world examples, save for one 
very unusual page. It's just not applicable.

Hence, this guideline should not be included in WCAG 2.0.

     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
     Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
     Weblogs and articles <http://joeclark.org/weblogs/>
     <http://joeclark.org/writing/> | <http://fawny.org/>
Received on Friday, 13 June 2003 13:37:24 UTC

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