Re: XHTML/XML some constructive comments required.

On 27 Jun, Tim Roberts wrote:

> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html"; charset="ISO-8859-1">
> What are the implications to the accessibility of my XHTML through using this.

> Please keep the comments constructive as this is something I want to look
> into, and not to spend hours debating about. I would like to see the whole
> story, so I can make an informed decision about my methods.

  To be honest: I doubt we share iterpretation of
  "constructive". However, let's put up a few scenarios.

   (a) An author writes a document using the typical tag soup. The
       webserver - probably because it defaults to doing so - serves all
       .html and .htm files with the content-type "text/html". The
       document *looks* more or less as he wants it in IE, and he is
       therefore happy.

   (b) The author now reads an article that states "accessibility is
       important!" and "XHTML is inherently accessible". The server
       sends it out as "text/html" as usual. The author doesn't bother
       about validation, 'cause that thing over at just
       blabbers about details (actual quote). The document works exactly
       the same in IE - it error-corrects the HTML it gets. He is happy,
       and believes he has done his for accessibility.

   (c) Now the author reads some more, and gets to understand what
       accessibility IS about. He corrects his code, makes in shiny,
       clean, structured with all the trimmings and *good* alt texts.
       He spends some time getting it to work with CSS in IE et al. It
       now looks exactly the same - and it's still error-corrected into
       HTML by most user-agents.

   (d) But wait. He learns more, and finds that in order to be standards
       compliant, crossing that 't', dotting that 'i', he should send
       the XHTML document as "application/xhtml+xml". This he now does -
       and finds to his horror that the accessibility benefits he has
       lead to believe exist with XHTML now consist of *IE wanting to
       save his file*. (Default setting, IE 6, Win 98). So does Lynx.
       Confusion reins. Wasn't XHTML more accessible, he asks.

   (e) Our author goes back to the source, and re-reads the words of the
       acccessibility experts: "... the inherent accessibility of
       XHTML". But noone can see his documents - save Mozilla and Opera
       users - now that he IS doing as he is told, and using XHTML.

  Sic transit gloria mundi.

 -    Tina Holmboe                    Greytower Technologies      
   [+46] 0708 557 905

Received on Friday, 27 June 2003 07:25:19 UTC