> Andy Budd wrote:
> So what do they believe the accessibility advantages of XHTML Strict
> are? As far as I'm aware valid and semantically correct HTML is just as
> accessible as XHTML strict. And I'm guessing they probably aren't
> serving their pages up as XML so strictly speaking they are serving
> their pages up as HTML anyway.
> This kind of pettiness and misunderstanding of accessibility really
> gets my goat.
> It's a damn shame if you ask me ;-)
> Andy Budd
> http://www.message.uk.com/

There are a number of advantages to using HTML/XHTML Strict.

Firstly, the term "strict" implies the strict separation between content and
presentation.  This is meant to have benefit for both user and developer (in
an ideal world).  It is meant to free up both the user and designer.

Normally with think "STRICT", those W3C Nazis (like I saw recently on
another list:-), but the whole idea behind Strict is the strict separation
of content and presentation, ultimately aiming for both users and designers
worlds to be much more free and flexible.  That's the point.

Using strict frees the markup of attributes that are bound to the content
layer.  This ideally frees the web pages to accommodate more flexible
designs.  With strict you could develop alternate style sheets, one with
absolute units (to satisfy client requirements), and one with relative units
(to satisfy accessibility requirements), whatever you want.

If you use transitional, that is exactly what you are doing, and you may
need to do it, strict may not work for your design because of current lack
of support and other things, but you are using a DTD that is transitional
between the aim of separating content and presentation, and mixing them
together.  It's basically a compromise.

>From a developer's point of view, in large content systems, one of the major
problems is separating content from presentation.  It is very difficult to
regenerate sites with fresh designs if this issue is not addressed at the
foundation level.  This also aids addressing accessibility issues.

We just have to look at any of our own work, when better user agent support
arrives in the future, and the customer requires a redesign, will we be able
to leave the HTML/XHTML as is, and just modify the CSS, or will it require
an overhaul of both?

Geoff Deering

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