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RE: Web Magazine featuring Accessibility issues

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 14:25:49 -0400
Message-ID: <01BF1A3D.D8652DE0.bbailey@clark.net>
To: "'Brian Kelly'" <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>
Cc: "'Web Accessibility Initiative'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Not to sound like a jerk, but the problems you are having relate to writing 
*valid* html and have precious little to do with accessibility!

Add the doctype statement.
Replace the & in your URL encodings (inside of HREF's) with &amp; and your 
links will still work AND be valid html.

I learned this trick from trying to create a link to Bobby that would test 
my page live.  See http://www.dors.state.md.us/test.html for an example. 
 (I have since stopped linking to Bobby on every page.  I don't expect to 
do this again unless CAST brings back an option for an easy-to-read and 
simple "Bobby Approved" message.  (BTW, Bobby STILL does not test for links 
which are hidden by ALT="" -- which is why I posted that page in the first 

Once you take care of both of the above, the W3C validator should start to 
report on the "real" errors on your page...  I'll bet Net.Fame that once 
you have a validated page the display inconsistencies with Navigator will 

Yes, it would be nice if the W3C validator did not get hung up on "trivial" 
html errors (especially ones that are repeated several times on a page). 
 But the tool works, and it's free and very fast.

Yes, publishing GOOD html is more work than posting stuff that *probably* 
will display as you expect.  Writing accessible html is only trivially 
harder than writing good html.  Do you expect kudos for using a spell 
checker on your documents?  The fact that 99.9% of web pages don't validate 
does not mean that there is not problems with this lazy practice!

On Tuesday, October 19, 1999 10:12 AM, Brian Kelly [SMTP:lisbk@ukoln.ac.uk] 
> Hi Bruce
>   Many thanks for the comments.  Have now fixed all but 2 of the HTML
> errors (still need to add a doctype and not sure what to do about the
> URL encoding which the validator doesn't like).
> The CSS has now been tidied up.
> Unfortunately the display bug still appears in Netscape :-(
> I guess I'll have to get into how browsers support CSS parse trees, or
> provide some user-agent negotiation.
> As I've said previously on this list, I'm afraid I disagree with Kynn
> when he says writing accessible pages is easy.  I think it's very
> time-consuming and difficult to follow the guidelines and cater for bugs
> in the browsers :-(
> (Although I'll keep on trying).
> Brian
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus
> UKOLN, University of Bath, BATH, England, BA2 7AY
> Email:  b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk     URL:    http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
> Homepage: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/ukoln/staff/b.kelly.html
> Phone:  01225 323943            FAX:   01225 826838
Received on Tuesday, 19 October 1999 14:26:17 UTC

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