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W3 org Accessibility

 
 
Ingo Griegert
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      10-19-2003
I am quite interested to hear how other people go about following W3 Org
Accessibility issues.

I myself have learned HTML years ago and have so far stuck to what I have
learnt. I have to admit I never bothered that much with keeping up-to-date
with the current W3 recommendations. Fair enough, I used css to format
fonts, but I tried to stay away from using stylesheets for positioning
content and graphics as much as possible, simple for the reason that I
wanted older browsers to be able to display my pages as well as possible.

Now I finally brought myself to having a look into the Accessibility
recommendations and had to realise that I am not supposed to use tables for
the graphical layout of my pages anymore. Instead, the recommendation says
to use stylsheets for all the graphical layout, if possible:
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-CORE-TECHS/#structure

So how about you guys - do you stick to these recommendations? Do you find
it easy to create your layouts using positioning with css? I have used a few
layers for dropdowns, etc, but I have never tried to create a layout with
css that fills the entire screen. I have got the feeling that there were
issues in some browsers (eg on the Mac) that layers cannot be positioned
relative to the right side of the screen. I can do that with tables, so why
use styles instead?

Also: use text equivalent for every non-text element.
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/wai-page...ext-equivalent
Well, I have used alt so far for images that had a major importance in
understanding or navigating the website. Let's say every button in a
navigation bar had an alt value. But do we really have to go that far and
give every single Spacer-image a text description? For people who have
turned off their images or cannot view them on their browsers, I think it
would be more confusing seeing all those descriptions that are completely
irrelevant, than having only the few descriptions that are of importance.

Wow, long post, but this is how it hit me when I read on the recommendations
today. Would be good to hear your 10 cents.


 
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Leif K-Brooks
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      10-19-2003
Ingo Griegert wrote:

> So how about you guys - do you stick to these recommendations? Do you find
> it easy to create your layouts using positioning with css?


Yes.

> I have used a few
> layers for dropdowns, etc,


http://dorward.me.uk/www/layers/

> but I have never tried to create a layout with
> css that fills the entire screen. I have got the feeling that there were
> issues in some browsers (eg on the Mac) that layers cannot be positioned
> relative to the right side of the screen. I can do that with tables, so why
> use styles instead?


Accessibility.

> Also: use text equivalent for every non-text element.
> http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/wai-page...ext-equivalent
> Well, I have used alt so far for images that had a major importance in
> understanding or navigating the website. Let's say every button in a
> navigation bar had an alt value. But do we really have to go that far and
> give every single Spacer-image a text description?


No, because you shouldn't have spacer images.

> For people who have
> turned off their images or cannot view them on their browsers, I think it
> would be more confusing seeing all those descriptions that are completely
> irrelevant, than having only the few descriptions that are of importance.


If you use images correctly, alt text will be important.

 
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Ingo Griegert
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-19-2003
"Leif K-Brooks" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:lwlkb.419$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Ingo Griegert wrote:
>
> > So how about you guys - do you stick to these recommendations? Do you

find
> > it easy to create your layouts using positioning with css?

>
> Yes.
>
> > I have used a few
> > layers for dropdowns, etc,

>
> http://dorward.me.uk/www/layers/
>
> > but I have never tried to create a layout with
> > css that fills the entire screen. I have got the feeling that there were
> > issues in some browsers (eg on the Mac) that layers cannot be positioned
> > relative to the right side of the screen. I can do that with tables, so

why
> > use styles instead?

>
> Accessibility.


Important, I agree. But even accessible pages should look good in general
browsers. Do you know whether the issue of positioning elements relative to
the right screen has been solved?



 
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Leif K-Brooks
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-19-2003
Ingo Griegert wrote:

> Important, I agree. But even accessible pages should look good in general
> browsers. Do you know whether the issue of positioning elements relative to
> the right screen has been solved?


Older versions of browsers are never "solved", so no.

 
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Ingo Griegert
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-19-2003

"Leif K-Brooks" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:CPlkb.423$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Ingo Griegert wrote:
>
> > Important, I agree. But even accessible pages should look good in

general
> > browsers. Do you know whether the issue of positioning elements relative

to
> > the right screen has been solved?

>
> Older versions of browsers are never "solved", so no.


Let's say: do the latest versions of IE, Netscape (and Safari) on Mac and PC
all support above mentioned positioning?


 
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Leif K-Brooks
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-19-2003
Ingo Griegert wrote:

> Let's say: do the latest versions of IE, Netscape (and Safari) on Mac and PC
> all support above mentioned positioning?


AFAIK, yes.

 
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TheKeith
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-19-2003

"Ingo Griegert" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:bmsn88$10um$(E-Mail Removed)...
> I am quite interested to hear how other people go about following W3 Org
> Accessibility issues.
>
> I myself have learned HTML years ago and have so far stuck to what I have
> learnt. I have to admit I never bothered that much with keeping up-to-date
> with the current W3 recommendations. Fair enough, I used css to format
> fonts, but I tried to stay away from using stylesheets for positioning
> content and graphics as much as possible, simple for the reason that I
> wanted older browsers to be able to display my pages as well as possible.
>
> Now I finally brought myself to having a look into the Accessibility
> recommendations and had to realise that I am not supposed to use tables

for
> the graphical layout of my pages anymore. Instead, the recommendation says
> to use stylsheets for all the graphical layout, if possible:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-CORE-TECHS/#structure
>
> So how about you guys - do you stick to these recommendations? Do you find
> it easy to create your layouts using positioning with css?


I'm currently converting all of the pages in my site, to conform to the w3
specs, and I have to say that ultimately, styles offer more felxibility than
the old way. It's really a question of learning how to use them properly.
I'm havnig a rough time eliminating all of my tables as well, but with
styles like "float" and absolute positioning, you'll discover that you
really don't need the tables after all, and if eliminating them gets you the
w3c validation, it's all the more worth it. You'll have the upper hand in
the long run.


I have used a few
> layers for dropdowns, etc, but I have never tried to create a layout with
> css that fills the entire screen. I have got the feeling that there were
> issues in some browsers (eg on the Mac) that layers cannot be positioned
> relative to the right side of the screen. I can do that with tables, so

why
> use styles instead?


you can do it with styles. I actually learned this just yesterday. Let's say
you want to align and element to the right:
<div style="width:200px; height:200px; margin-left:auto">Content</div>
this will align it to the right of the page.



> Also: use text equivalent for every non-text element.
> http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/wai-page...ext-equivalent
> Well, I have used alt so far for images that had a major importance in
> understanding or navigating the website. Let's say every button in a
> navigation bar had an alt value. But do we really have to go that far and
> give every single Spacer-image a text description? For people who have
> turned off their images or cannot view them on their browsers, I think it
> would be more confusing seeing all those descriptions that are completely
> irrelevant, than having only the few descriptions that are of importance.


for purely graphical elements in your site, you can just have alt="" -- you
can skip the text. If it's anything important though, use alt text. As for
spacer gifs, they're not needed if you learn how to use styles well enough.
There are all kinds of ways of producing space where you need it: margins,
padding, etc.

Do it with styles--you're conforming to a standard and at the same time,
saving yourself all kinds of unnecessary markup by not worrying about the
various browser "quirks."


 
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Ingo Griegert
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-19-2003
Thanks for the input, Keith! That should get me going.

"TheKeith" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Ingo Griegert" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:bmsn88$10um$(E-Mail Removed)...
> > I am quite interested to hear how other people go about following W3 Org
> > Accessibility issues.
> >
> > I myself have learned HTML years ago and have so far stuck to what I

have
> > learnt. I have to admit I never bothered that much with keeping

up-to-date
> > with the current W3 recommendations. Fair enough, I used css to format
> > fonts, but I tried to stay away from using stylesheets for positioning
> > content and graphics as much as possible, simple for the reason that I
> > wanted older browsers to be able to display my pages as well as

possible.
> >
> > Now I finally brought myself to having a look into the Accessibility
> > recommendations and had to realise that I am not supposed to use tables

> for
> > the graphical layout of my pages anymore. Instead, the recommendation

says
> > to use stylsheets for all the graphical layout, if possible:
> > http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-CORE-TECHS/#structure
> >
> > So how about you guys - do you stick to these recommendations? Do you

find
> > it easy to create your layouts using positioning with css?

>
> I'm currently converting all of the pages in my site, to conform to the w3
> specs, and I have to say that ultimately, styles offer more felxibility

than
> the old way. It's really a question of learning how to use them properly.
> I'm havnig a rough time eliminating all of my tables as well, but with
> styles like "float" and absolute positioning, you'll discover that you
> really don't need the tables after all, and if eliminating them gets you

the
> w3c validation, it's all the more worth it. You'll have the upper hand in
> the long run.
>
>
> I have used a few
> > layers for dropdowns, etc, but I have never tried to create a layout

with
> > css that fills the entire screen. I have got the feeling that there were
> > issues in some browsers (eg on the Mac) that layers cannot be positioned
> > relative to the right side of the screen. I can do that with tables, so

> why
> > use styles instead?

>
> you can do it with styles. I actually learned this just yesterday. Let's

say
> you want to align and element to the right:
> <div style="width:200px; height:200px; margin-left:auto">Content</div>
> this will align it to the right of the page.
>
>
>
> > Also: use text equivalent for every non-text element.
> > http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/wai-page...ext-equivalent
> > Well, I have used alt so far for images that had a major importance in
> > understanding or navigating the website. Let's say every button in a
> > navigation bar had an alt value. But do we really have to go that far

and
> > give every single Spacer-image a text description? For people who have
> > turned off their images or cannot view them on their browsers, I think

it
> > would be more confusing seeing all those descriptions that are

completely
> > irrelevant, than having only the few descriptions that are of

importance.
>
> for purely graphical elements in your site, you can just have alt="" --

you
> can skip the text. If it's anything important though, use alt text. As for
> spacer gifs, they're not needed if you learn how to use styles well

enough.
> There are all kinds of ways of producing space where you need it: margins,
> padding, etc.
>
> Do it with styles--you're conforming to a standard and at the same time,
> saving yourself all kinds of unnecessary markup by not worrying about the
> various browser "quirks."
>
>



 
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David Dorward
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-19-2003
Ingo Griegert wrote:

> Let's say: do the latest versions of IE, Netscape (and Safari) on Mac and
> PC all support above mentioned positioning?


Yes... as well as other CSS layout techniques.

--
David Dorward http://dorward.me.uk/
 
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David Dorward
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-19-2003
Leif K-Brooks wrote:

>> I can do that with tables, so why use styles instead?

>
> Accessibility.


and easy of use
and bandwidth
and speed
and the ability to provide different layouts for different medias (e.g.
screen and print) without requiring the user to manually visit a different
page.

--
David Dorward http://dorward.me.uk/
 
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