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Re: lynx-dev Table support?

From: David Woolley
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Table support?
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 08:29:17 +0100 (BST)

> The way HTML is defined is that if a browser doesn't recognize a tag or
> handle it, it ignores the tag and the contents within the tag.

That's not true.  The browser should ignores the tags, but not the
contents; authors should, as far as possible, consider the tags as adding
value to the content, rather than being essential.

If you don't recognise a tag, you don't know whether it has an optional
closing tag and what its content model is, so it becomes a very difficult 
problem to ignore just the element, anyway!

> If lynx didn't handle tables, you would not see the categories listed
> vertically.  You would see nothing.

If Lynx didn't handle tables, they would be output with no spaces between
elements and no newlines between rows, unless there was markup within the
cells which produced these side effects.

> I hope that as people dream up ways for lynx to do tables better
> they keep in mind speech synthesisers and do not build a table display
> that makes it more difficult for software to read the table..

HTML 4 has a lot of guidance on rendering tables in speech synthesizers, which,
although rather wordy for sighted users might be worth considering for Lynx.
It includes quite heavy support for hinting how to name a cell based on
the contents of other cells, and provision for short form headings for 
this purpose.  I'm not blind so I haven't needed to investigate deeply,
but I don't know of any browser with current support, and like most
accessibility issues, I would expect nearly all authors to ignore these

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