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Contradictory guidelines for use of tables?

From: kath moonan <kath.moonan@poptech.coop>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 17:24:37 -0000
Message-ID: <F6D671019A05EA4181828017EA87148F030616@poptechsrv1.poptech.coop>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Dear WAI group,

I am currently working on a Priority 3 site and I'm trying to make sense
of the guidelines which I feel conflict in their advice about the use of
tables for layout. 

The sites we build have a dynamic linearised text only version provided
by the BBC's Betsie.

Checkpoint 5.3 says "Do not use tables for layout unless the table makes
sense when linearized. Otherwise, if the table does not make sense,
provide an alternative equivalent (which may be a linearized version
<wcag10-tech.html>). [Priority 2] "
This seems to me to suggest it's ok to use tables as long as a
linearised is provided, however guideline 3.3 says "Use style sheets to
control layout and presentation. [Priority 2]

Which is correct?

Simple layout tables with a dynamic linearised equivalent or pure CSSP
with tables only used for tabularised data?
Our company has built a Priority 3 site before www.dialuk.org.uk

We didn't use any layout tables but we found using CSSP frustrating,
time consuming and the browser differences downright painful.

We are having the tables vs. CSSP discussion again as we understand that
the guidelines are intended to aid designers in creating accessible web
sites and they are open to interpretation.

We are most concerned with enhancing the experience for our end user,
I'd very much appreciate advice on best practice and user experience.

So are layout tables ok for a priority 3 site providing there is a
summary and we provide a dynamic, configurable linearised version of
each page?

Many thanks in advance


Does CSSp


Kath Moonan

Web Designer & Accessibility Consultant

Poptel Technology

dd: 44 (0)20 7704 3941

2nd Floor 
13 Swan Yard 
London N1 1SD


Received on Thursday, 30 January 2003 12:25:53 UTC

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