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Re: complex layout tables


From: Olaf Drümmer
Date: Jan 29, 2014 1:59PM

Regarding the use of the word "should" - here is an excerpt from [RFC2119].
"Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels, S. Bradner. IETF""

> 3. SHOULD This word, or the adjective "RECOMMENDED", mean that there
> may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a
> particular item, but the full implications must be understood and
> carefully weighed before choosing a different course.

so given there are valid reasons, it can be acceptable - on a normative level - to use a layout table.

HTML5 then proceeds - in a normative (and actually absolutely strict - by means of the word MUST) manner - what to do exactly when using a layout table (i.e. use role = "presentation" attribute)

I would see the task of the accessibility community in ensuring that content in a layout table is presented - by user agents and AT - in an accessible fashion. Given that such accessibility can technically be achieved I have difficulty seeing why banning layout tables anyway is deemed acceptable.


On 29 Jan 2014, at 21:26, Steve Faulkner < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> On 29 January 2014 20:00, Olaf Drümmer < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>> I actually do dispute that. HTML 5 even tells you how to do layout tables:
> patrick is right, tables are for data, that is the semantics they convey,
> when the normative advice in the spec is ignored one repair technique is to
> remove the semantics with role=presentation.
> HTML5 says<http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/tabular-data.html#the-table-element>;
> :
> "Tables should not be used as layout aids. Historically, many Web authors
> have tables in HTML as a way to control their page layout making it
> difficult to extract tabular data from such documents. In particular, users
> of accessibility tools, like screen readers, are likely to find it very
> difficult to navigate pages with tables used for layout. If a table is to
> be used for layout it must be marked with the attribute role="presentation"
> for a user agent to properly represent the table to an assistive technology
> and to properly convey the intent of the author to tools that wish to
> extract tabular data from the document."
> note the SHOULD NOT in the first sentence is a normative statement (as is
> the MUST in the third sentence). In other words use of tables for layout is
> NOT RECOMMENDED, but the spec acknowledges that tables are misused and
> provides advice on a repair mechanism. This advice could probably do with
> strengthening and expanding.
> --
> Regards
> SteveF
> HTML 5.1 <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>;
> > >