[thelist] Standrards Compliance -fine-tuning

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Sun Oct 19 08:25:25 CDT 2008

Will wrote:
> In addition to being better for seo, semantics and accessibility, I reckon
> this is the practical way to go as well. CSS is disposable. Well authored
> HTML should last you through several redesigns. I'd rather set how the page
> should look in the CSS and leave the HTML as semantically marked up content,
> free of any hacks.
> There are a grip of image replacement techniques floating around.  I like
> this one because it requires the least markup but if some one visits your
> site with CSS on and images off, they will see nothing with text-indent:
> -9999em;

Indeed. Or, if they visit the site with CSS and images on, but with 
their own color scheme (e.g. a user who needs higher contrast to read 
text), they will see nothing. By contrast, a user who cannot read the 
text in an img element knows it is there and can access the alternative 
text. So img works in more scenarios.

While neither solution is perfect, I'd therefore argue that img is 
actually preferable from an accessibility point of view to CSS for 
crucial content, like text and buttons.

I don't think it's a good tradeoff to prioritize accessibility over ease 
of redesigns that will in all likelihood require you to make HTML 
changes anyway.

Of course, if one's really serious about maximizing accessibility, one 
wouldn't dump text into an image at all.

If all we're talking about is a site masthead duplicated in the title of 
the page, it's not such a big deal either way. But I get very worried 
when I see sites dumping crucial buttons and content text into CSS images.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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