Best way to markup and style forum posts?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Leif K-Brooks, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. I'm working on a forum, which I want to be compliant and accessible. The
    general layout which looks nicest in visual browsers with CSS support
    is <http://tw.ecritters.biz/html_examples/forums/prettyforum.html>, but
    it's hard to understand without CSS support, and (I'm guessing, though I
    don't have one to test with) in aural browsers.
    <http://tw.ecritters.biz/html_examples/forums/uglyforum.html>, on the
    other hand, should be fairly accessible, but doesn't look too nice. Any
    suggestions for markup and styling which is both accessible and pretty?
    Or do other sets of eyes think the second example looks good enough to use?
     
    Leif K-Brooks, Aug 1, 2004
    #1
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  2. Leif K-Brooks

    Toby Inkster Guest

    Forum threads are tricky. The data does seem to naturally sit as a table
    -- a column for user names, a column for user status, a column for the
    post itself, a column for the date posted, etc...

    But then you end up with too many columns and the post itself gets
    squished.

    The solution is consolidation -- scrap the user name and user status
    columns and replace them with a single "user info" column that contains
    the data for both. Similarly the date and your "delete, reply" options can
    all go in one "message" column. There -- two columns. Not ugly and not
    *too* bad semantically.

    Observe forum here: http://www.huzzie.org/forum/

    (I won't claim that Huzzie.org is the most accessible site -- I didn't pay
    an awful lot of attention to accessibility when building it -- but it's
    not too bad and certainly better than they used to have.)
     
    Toby Inkster, Aug 1, 2004
    #2
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  3. The problem with that, in my opinion, is that usernames and user types
    aren't clearly marked as such. The order of fields gives some
    indication, of course, but not enough IMHO.
     
    Leif K-Brooks, Aug 1, 2004
    #3
  4. Leif K-Brooks

    Toby Inkster Guest

    Well, the <cite> element could come in handy here, then perhaps use
    @summary on the <table> to explain the role of each column?
     
    Toby Inkster, Aug 1, 2004
    #4
  5. Seems to me this is a natural spot for an <address> element:

    The ADDRESS element may be used by authors to supply contact information
    for a document or a major part of a document such as a form. This
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    element often appears at the beginning or end of a document.

    Though, generally ADDRESS is accepted to be the author of the page as a
    whole, so maybe not. A thought, anyways.
     
    Owen Jacobson, Aug 1, 2004
    #5
  6. Leif K-Brooks

    Jeff Thies Guest

    Forum threads are tricky. The data does seem to naturally sit as a table
    I'm inclined to agree with the minimal columns.

    I was just surfing through this:

    <URL:
    http://www.macfixitforums.com/php/s...=629401&page=0&view=expanded&sb=5&o=31&fpart=
    which strikes me as about the right way to do this visually. The HTML is
    pretty bad but that shouldn't be hard to "fix".

    Jeff
     
    Jeff Thies, Aug 2, 2004
    #6
  7. Leif K-Brooks

    Toby Inkster Guest

    I'm not entirely sure that "user name" + "user status" == "contact info".
     
    Toby Inkster, Aug 2, 2004
    #7
  8. Admittedly. On the other hand, a link to a profile page might be, on the
    grounds that the profile contains contact information, and "user name +
    email address" definitely is. It depends on what the content really is.
     
    Owen Jacobson, Aug 2, 2004
    #8
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