W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > January to March 2003

RE: Why are nested tables that bad

From: Denis Boudreau [ CYBERcodeur.net ] <denis@cybercodeur.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 16:01:55 -0500
To: "Jesper Tverskov" <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NFBBKIENDDEGDDKEEFGGIEKICLAA.denis@cybercodeur.net>

> 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

If the information in your tables is tabular data, then there's nothing
wrong with using them. This is what tables are meant to do in HTML, handling
data. The problem arises when tables are used to layout the site's
presentation (making columns of text, arraning images in such or such a way,
etc.) in which case a CSS approach would be much more recommendable in terms
of accessibility and eventual maintenance.

It is important to point out that tables aren't to be associated with the
devil. They can be useful for some uses, just as any other HTML element.
It's only when they're not used as intended that they become problematic.
Using a table to construct a monthly calendar for example is a good use of
them. Doing so in CSS would be pointless as the information conveyed in the
HTML table would be data, not text or images. But then again, there are
attrrbutes that need to be used in data filled tables to make them
accessible, summary, caption and abbr being just a few of them.

So the real question is: what are your tables used for?

Denis Boudreau
CYBERcodeur.net - Weblogs et standards Web
Received on Monday, 13 January 2003 16:02:02 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:36:13 UTC