WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives



From: Terence de Giere
Date: Jun 27, 2005 7:13PM

Thomas Jedenfelt < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote

Are there any accessibility advantages using the
ISO doctype, rather than e.g.
[W3C HTML 4.01 Strict] or
[W3C XHTML 1.0 Strict]?

ISO HTML is an accessible document type, but depending on the software
you are using to edit it, it might be difficult or impossible to use.
Graphical editing software tends to add things that ISO HTML does not
support. ISO HTML does not support scripting, for example. Many software
packages will automatically add image sizing information when the page
is loaded etc. ISO HTML works fine in an Standard Generalized Markup
Language editor where you can load the Document Type Definition, but I
am not sure it is really practical for most HTML editing programs. I
have used ISO HTML. This international standard, edited by Roger Price
and David Abrahamson represents a very conservative but very accessible
subset of HTML 4.01 strict, and emphasizes the use of stable and mature
features of HTML that have been around the longest.

If you have the means to edit it efficiently by all means use it if it
fits your requirements. But note many new kinds of devices, like cell
phones that support web pages are using XHTML as their basic page
language. The shift is toward the use of XML rather than SGML, and you
can easily emulate the features of ISO HTML with HTML 4.01 strict or
XHTML 1.0 strict. Very few people seem to be using ISO HTML, probably
because of the lack of easy-to-use-software for editing. You can
validate ISO HTML using the W3C's HTML validator.

If graphical sophistication is a requirement, the limitations of ISO
HTML might be a hindrance. For example, one cannot place headings inside
DIV elements, so some of the tricks for creating CSS format boxes to
replace table format in other versions of HTML cannot be done with this
version. ISO HTML is best for one-column, well-structured, documents
such as an academic report. A one-column format is of course, the most
accessible format.

Terence de Giere