Standards: Designing For the Future
Very good article by Ian Lloyd about “encouraging unenthusiastic developers/mark-up authors to adopt forward-thinking web development methods?”
Ian is a specialist in accessibility and you can check his website.
Extract from his article:
- Totally CSS-based page layouts
- Gone are the tables that were never intended for layout purposes (tables are for data, folks - layout grids are an abuse of the mark-up, an abuse that we’ve come to live with and accept a bit like an irritable auntie with an equally irritable terrier that visits every weekend). Now we can view such sites on a PC, a handheld device, using a screen reader and more, and we get the added bonus of quicker-loading pages.
- More usable forms
<legend> elements are supported by most modern browsers, and in the right hands they can make a form far more usable and accessible. And they’re definitely semantically sound.
- Data tables that work
- Using elements like
<tfoot>, and attributes such as summary, scope, ids and headers, data tables become meaningful to blind users accessing the content with a screen reader (rather than a jumbled mush of words and numbers).
My two cents on this part:
If I want to apply these rules (and I surely want) means that web accessibility validations systems like Bobby should evolve.
I have a site done with CSS only layout but it can't pass properly the tests.
My understanding is that Bobby expect to have the site compliant with some old browsers like IE4 or NS3.
Obviously these browsers are far away out of any CSS standards.
For the Fieldsets and Label tags I agree, but I will have the same problem with validation.
For the Datatables, regarding .Net, it will be surely a great idea to include the accessibility requirements natively.
Maybe in .Net 2 ?
For the moment, it should be possible to do so with some Repeater and some code.