E-mail List Archives

Re: THs with IDs (again)


From: Paul Brown
Date: Jan 26, 2005 4:48AM

Hi JF,

You missed my point - or maybe I didn't make it very clearly :)

My understanding is that only about 20% of screenreader users have
software that's up to date enough to make use of the ID information.
I'm not sure how up to date this figure is, so if anyone has better
data that would be useful.

So while one certainly should use ID and Header markup to associate
cells with headers in complex tables this more a piece of future-
proofing (yuck - nasty buzzword) than actually helping the majority
of users. And while I take your point about not being held back
by supporting legacy browsers, I'd argue that a great majority of
people (say 85% plus) have to have technology with a given feature
before you can use that feature to make your content accessible.

On a wider note, even when a complex table is properly marked up,
how easy is it to understand the data when it's read out to you,
and wouldn't it be better to instead use a greater number of
simpler tables, rather than ID information? Not that the table
that started this thread was particularly complicated.


Subject: Re: THs with IDs, and Sitemorse
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 03:10:05 -0700

On THs and IDs, my understanding of the limitation of the
latter is that only the most modern screenreaders implement
them, and hence the majority of users with older versions won't
benefit from the ID information. In which case it needs to be
considered whether the table can be simplified to not require


Subject: Re: Me again
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 05:37:31 -0700

As for using ID's in your TH's: why would you not want to do so? Just
because some older software can't keep up is no reason to not code for
future. Expanding on that line of thought to the absurd, why should I
include images in my web pages since some users of older browsers or
only browsers won't be able to use them.

As developers, our jobs are to make the pages and sites we create as
accessible as possible. By the same token, we must work within the
reasonable assumption that our audience has a certain responsibility to
(relatively) current with their software; heck if not, why are we all
switching (switched?) to CSS based layouts... We should just stick to
period 'cause there are still people out there using Netscape 3.2 Gold.

Not meaning to come off as snarky as it may read


Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
http://www.wats.ca 1.866.932.4878 (North America)