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Re: http://backports.org abuses <table> to enforce a visual layout

Trent W. Buck wrote:
> Hi, currently backports.org uses tables to force the end user to view
> the page in a particular visual-oriented layout.  It also includes
> many images that I presume are just eye-candy, because their ALT
> attributes are empty and they have names like
> /images/corner-upperleft-df0451.png.

Your assumptions would be correct.

> A consequence of this is that the "Main" cell of the layout table
> occupies about a third of my screen (though it is blank for the first
> six screenfuls).  To view the actual content in the other pane, I have
> to scroll left and right repeatedly, because the table prevents w3m
> from wrapping the paragraphs of text to fit on the screen.

What version of w3m are you using?  When I view the page with w3m
version 0.5.2-2+b1 in Lenny I do not see the same behavior that you
are describing.  The first page displayed does have a large portion of
the screen taken up by blank space but not the first six pages.  I see
that the left side has a 18 blank columns and the right side is hidden
past column 80.  My testing shows that a terminal 100 columns wide is
required to avoid the need for horizontal scrolling.

> Please use CSS for such stuff, as then your attempts to force a
> particular layout on the end user will be ignored by text-based
> browsers.  It will also allow people using graphical browsers to "opt
> out" by turning CSS off, or supplying their own CSS.

I agree with you in principle enough that I felt compelled to vote
with you for this request.  Use of html tables isn't good for
accessibility.  I would like to it use stylesheets similar to the main
www.debian.org page.  But it would still take someone a non-zero
amount of effort to actually do the work.

Perhaps until this issue can be addressed you can obtain some relief
within w3m by using the plain html link provided by DokuWiki (from the
html head section).  (Lynx is the only browser I know that displays
the links from a document's head section.)


Or you might try using lynx which fails to render tables and therefore
ironically succeeds better here.  But I realize that doesn't solve the


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