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

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2003 10:46:06 -0400 (EDT)
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
cc: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0306141039390.19980-100000@tux.w3.org>

There are a couple of reasons why this seems a worthwhile requirement to

One is that the techniques for doing it are remarkably simple in general -
don't (as Microsoft Publisher certainly used to) use CSS positioning to move
the presentation of things which have a nonsensical source order, don't
include vital content through  CSS (this is just accurately seperating
content and presentation, although that is harder than people sometimes
claim, as Jonathan's examplle shows).

Certainly having a "different" but equally useful reading order seems less
than terrible- this has been used as a quick hack to give good rendering for
lynx users that is different to that provided for others (e.g. as a way
around the skip navigation thing).

This might seem like saying "don't do really perverse things to your page",
but that still needs saying - after all one person's abominable perversion is
another person's normal lifestyle.

And the difference between floated and positioned elements, very roughly, is
that floated elements are moved to one side or the other but are the same
vertical position as they would be if not floated, whereas positioned
elements can be placed more or less anywhere in the page, and can stay in one
place on the screen while the rest of the page is scrolled.



On Fri, 13 Jun 2003, Joe Clark wrote:

>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.

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
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Received on Saturday, 14 June 2003 10:46:09 UTC

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