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Re: Why are nested tables that bad

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 07:00:19 +1100
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: "Jesper Tverskov" <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Message-Id: <A4755C00-2731-11D7-B233-000A95678F24@sidar.org>

I don't think nested tables are inherently an accessibility problem any 
more, if they linearise correctly. At some level it becomes difficult 
to navigate the complex structure in a system that actually provides 
full access to tables (linearisation is a nasty hack that loses 
important information encoded in data tables), but this is generally 
not that relevant for layout tables.

It isn't elegant programming/design style, and I wouldn't like to pay 
people for introducing the complexity in my site, but it might not be 
any problem for accessibility at all.

If we don't like something, but it isn't an accessibility issue, then 
we need to explain why we don't like it without trying to pretend that 
it is about accessibility. As professionals our general sense of design 
should be good too, and as a collection of professionals from around 
the world we may not agree all the time on everything, so we need to 
work on what we think is important...

just  my opinion



On Tuesday, Jan 14, 2003, at 04:15 Australia/Melbourne, Jesper Tverskov 

> I am reviewing a web site using seven tables on each web page, one 
> table having four nested tables, and two of these a nested table each.
> I would like to give this web site very bad marks, but the problem is 
> that the the tables linearizes well, the web pages sounds right in a 
> screen reader like JAWS, and all the web pages look nice in more than 
> 99% of the browsers in use today.
> So what is the problem?
> The truth could be, that just one misspelled word on the front page is 
> a greater offence or what? Please give me the facts about nested 
> tables. Why are nested tables bad in the real world of accessibility? 
> Teach me a lesson!
> Best regards,
> Jesper
Charles McCathieNevile           charles@sidar.org
Fundación SIDAR                       http://www.sidar.org
Received on Monday, 13 January 2003 15:00:55 UTC

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