CSS for Deprecated HTML Attributes: Part 1

When HTML 4.0 was introduced some attributes became deprecated. Browsers continued to support them to ensure older sites continued to display correctly, and developers were urged to stop using them in favour of more flexible alternatives such as CSS.

The deprecated attributes were purely presentational, meaning they are only of benefit for the way the element will look. We remove presentational aspects to a CSS file to separate content and structure from the look of a web page. This has many benefits for the user, developer and holder of the bandwidth purse-strings. Continue reading

Helping the Developers

In a recent article, Marco Battilana wrote about how he ensured his standards-compliant designs remained so after handing them over to a client. His solution was to target the depreciated tags and attributes and style them using BRAT, which made the developer acutely aware that there was some problem behind their WYSIWYG‘d page.

I had a similar problem a couple of years ago when I was employed by a company to tidy up front-end code and to design a cleaner looking user interface and I had to come up with a subtle way of steering them in the right direction. Continue reading

Accessible Radio Buttons/Checkboxes

Take a straight forward question that is usually asked during any online sign-up form:

Gender:

It is marked up according to the WCAG Priority 2 checkpoint 12.4 that says you should associate labels explicitly with their controls (i.e. by using the label element).

<input type="radio" id="male" name="gender" />
<label for="male">Male</label>

However, I want to explicitly link the original question (gender) with the 2 possible answers and this isn’t possible using the label element because there can be only one label and one control per line. There are a couple of solutions. Continue reading

Quick Guide to Microformats

I first heard about microformats during the first @media conference in 2005, but didn’t understand what they were about so didn’t think any more about them. They’ve been mentioned at various times since then but each time that I’ve tried researching nothing has been simple enough for me to understand what the fuss is about.

Within the last few months, microformats have come back into my radar and now seems to be the time to try harder to understand them. Continue reading