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Re: Contradictory guidelines for use of tables?

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 13:00:47 -0500
To: kath moonan <kath.moonan@poptech.coop>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <002101c2c889$bfda3a60$6501a8c0@handsontech>

I hesitate to bring up the lay out table summary issue again, but if we are
talking about accessibility, the summary for a lay out table has the effect
of stocking the bull horn full of bull.  The logical approach to this is
that the best practice is to provide lay out without tables but if that
cannot be done effectively than if you do, make sure the bable will
linnarize appropriately.  This is not a contradiction in the guidelines but
a recognition of the fact that sites are designed with tables and a guard
against design that does not liniarize under appropriate cases.  Under these
conditions, there is no reason not to mix and match where in some places,
css is possible and in those where it is not, tables are used.

----- Original Message -----
From: "kath moonan" <kath.moonan@poptech.coop>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 12:24 PM
Subject: Contradictory guidelines for use of tables?

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 13:02:58 UTC

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