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Re: Contradictory guidelines for use of tables?

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 23:17:51 +0000 (GMT)
To: kath moonan <kath.moonan@poptech.coop>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0301302258320.2000-100000@jarl.webthing.com>

On Thu, 30 Jan 2003, kath moonan wrote:

> 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?

All this is IMO - others may disagree.

1. Yes there are inconsistencies, and interpretation is required.

2. But I don't think the above is a contradiction.  It's saying there's
   more than one way to do layout, and CSS is preferred but under
   certain circumstances layout tables might be an acceptable second-best.

> Our company has built a Priority 3 site before www.dialuk.org.uk

Sorry, that violates Checkpoint 11.2 [Priority 2]
(uses deprecated markup - lots of it).  Also there's your <h1>:
is "Serving the Disability Advice Network" really the same heading?
Oh, and what about your List ("the following factsheets ...")
that's marked up in violation of Checkpoint 3.6 [Priority 2]?

> 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?

I'd be inclined to say no, but you can call me unduly purist:-)

Nick Kew

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Received on Thursday, 30 January 2003 18:17:55 UTC

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