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Re: How Much Of A Problem Are Tables Used for Design?

From: T. V. Raman <tvraman@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 08:47:21 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <14386.56345.717400.754584@raman.almaden.ibm.com>
To: Kelly Ford <kford@teleport.com>
Cc: tvraman@explorer.almaden.ibm.com, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>, WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
as an example of what I mean look at the following lines
extracted from your message:

Science & Space...

Now, when you land on "audio books"
--how do you know that that's children's audio books 
without feeling around the screen?

For instance say you search for occurrences of "audio books" 
on the page--
you hit the string "audio books"
multiple times,
and each time you have to look both at the line above
(or possibly below)
to put it in context.

This in itself does not sound too bad--
but realize that the fact that the "children's" landed up in
the line immediately above "audio books"
was pure accident --and something that could change if the
Yahoo site 
decided to change from being row-oriented to column-oriented
in their table design.
Equally,  the proximity of "children's" to "audio books" 
is a function of whether the screenreader  decides to
decolumnize using row major or column major order.

>>>>> "Kelly" == Kelly Ford <kford@teleport.com> writes:

    Kelly> Hi,
    >> Also, most layout-oriented sites only manage to turn into a
    >> different form of gibberish when decolumnized in this way 
>the issue gets especially bad with nested tables where the
>decolumnizing gets even more ad-hock.
>As an example, try 
>the various yahoo sites e.g. broadcast, loans etc.

    Kelly> Could you provide some clarification on what you
    Kelly> mean here.  Below is part of the text as
    Kelly> decolumnized by both JFW with Internet Explorer
    Kelly> and Lynx.  Of course missing here are the numbers
    Kelly> Lynx could insert or the word Link before each
    Kelly> line below but basically each line below is a
    Kelly> link.

    Kelly> My impression of this page, like much of the main
    Kelly> Yahoo Index, is that you have a basic category
    Kelly> name and then some subcategories under that
    Kelly> category.  The pattern is terminated with a link
    Kelly> that has several periods, which is an indication
    Kelly> that the next link will be a major category.  To
    Kelly> me this is very readable and functional.

    Kelly> The other sections of the page are links to live
    Kelly> events today and are equally readable to me.

    Kelly> I'm not saying readable to Kelly equals
    Kelly> accessible.  But of the hundreds of people who
    Kelly> are Blind I've worked with on internet access,
    Kelly> Yahoo has been a favorite site because people
    Kelly> find it functional.  ***Begin cut from
    Kelly> http://broadcast.yahoo.com*** AudioBooks Author
    Kelly> Interviews, New Releases...  CD Jukebox Listening
    Kelly> Parties...  Video Educational, Movies, TV
    Kelly> Series...  Radio Local, Shows...  TV Local,
    Kelly> Networks, News, Weather...  Broadband Movies,
    Kelly> Music, TV Shows...

    Kelly> Business Events, Industries, Investing,
    Kelly> Leadership...  Careers & Employment jobs.com,
    Kelly> Resumes...  Children's Audiobooks, Music, Science
    Kelly> & Space...

Best Regards,

IBM Research: Human Language Technologies
Phone:        1 (408) 927 2608
Email:        tvraman@us.ibm.com
WWW:          http://cs.cornell.edu/home/raman
PGP:          http://cs.cornell.edu/home/raman/raman.asc 
Snail:        IBM Almaden Research Center,
              650 Harry Road
              San Jose 95120
Received on Wednesday, 17 November 1999 11:42:28 UTC

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