Thread Subject: Re: Group D: 22(d) Readable without stylesheets
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From: Myers, James
Date: Thu, Dec 07 2006 10:20 AM
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During the discussions of the original standards, 1194.22(d) was
included as "style sheets" were a new and emerging technology, and the
possibility existed that browsers did not support the use of style
sheets. Therefore, the method to test should be to emulate a browser
that doesn't support the style.
>From experience with my early use of style sheets I ran into problems
with style sheets a several times usually with older browsers. Some Web
sites that I've reviewed found that some methods of using CSS, <font> or
style within elements as a design foundation can create a "collapse"
effect when removing the developer designed sheet. The effect would
render a page that could not be read due to the overlapping of text with
page elements. An example of this would be to set a font size very
large, in hopes of creating a layout that is visually readable creating
an absolute size (for the layout) and use combinations of
relative/absolute positioning for the remaining page. I viewed one page
that collapsed all content into the upper left corner of the browser
with a simple insertion of the custom styles (creating a simple style
sheet with very little or no markup to emulate disabled) essentially
disabling, but not accepting the default of the browser. The goal is to
see how the page looks without the "associated style sheet", not how a
particular browser overcomes the unknown by reverting to a safe
"default" browser setting. By creating a relatively blank style sheet
and using it in place of the developer created styles, we get a more
accurate picture of the page without style. In other words, outsmarting
the browser defaults.
Most browsers these days do support style sheets and most use styles in
a way that works, even when style overrides are used. Finding browsers
that don't support styles is rare. In addition, browsers are also
recognizing the absence of basic CSS within any "fake" style sheets used
to override the developers and the browsers are becoming smart, and
default goes to a safe presentation.
This leads me to the "off topic" discussion about the baseline. It may
be the chosen browsers in the baseline technologies, not the CSS
programming practices that might be mentioned. This leaves things
essentially the same as quoted, if you don't have browser X, too bad.
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jared
Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 1:37 PM
To: TEITAC Web/Software Subcommittee
Subject: Re: [teitac-websoftware] Group D: 22(d) Readable without
On 11/29/06, Andi Snow-Weaver < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Current wording: Documents shall be organized so they are readable
> without requiring an associated style sheet.
I've always struggled with this guideline. I don't think I've ever seen
a web page that is not 'readable' with styles disabled. And is 'styles'
just CSS or is it also <font> tags, layout tables, and such?
I think the intention is, as Jonathan notes, that the reading and
navigation order and structure of the content is logical and operable
when styles are disabled. Also, the word 'readable' is quite different
from 'understandable', 'logical', and 'operable'. I can read a site in
German or Elvish, but it won't be very accessible to me.
And to be a bit technical, you never really disable all style sheets,
you just revert to the browser default styles.
> This is not a requirement in WCAG 2.0 because it is a baseline issue.
> If CSS is in your baseline, then the page doesn't have to work with
> style sheets disabled. If CSS is not in your baseline, then it does.
Perhaps this is a bit off topic...
Maybe I'm interpreting baselines incorrectly (imagine that?), but if a
page uses CSS and is inaccessible with them turned off, then CSS MUST
be in the baseline because it's a required technology, right? So if CSS
is in the baseline, is there no contingency for ensuring that the page
is accessible if those styles are disabled or overridden by user styles
(which is essentially the same as turning them off)? If this is the
case, this could result in big issues for many users that require user
styles or even prefer no styles - the develop simply says that
*this* CSS is required and if it doesn't work for you, too bad.
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