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(unknown charset) RE: Current state of the summary discussion

From: (unknown charset) Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2009 03:04:30 +0100
To: (unknown charset) Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: (unknown charset) Cynthia Shelly <cyns@microsoft.com>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20091219030430991078.0d6f8e83@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Ian Hickson, Sat, 19 Dec 2009 01:29:19 +0000 (UTC):
> On Fri, 18 Dec 2009, Cynthia Shelly wrote:

>> * In threads after the call, the suggestion was made to Would adding a 
>> <summary> inside <caption>, while still allowing the @summary for 
>> back-compat. In many ways, this is the same as details, and could be 
>> subject to the same UI toggle.  However, I think it would be easier to 
>> explain to people that summary changed from an attribute to an element, 
>> and would be less disruptive to regulations or existing training.
> What would <summary> do? 

1) It would make the table summary programmatically detectable for AT. 
According to WCAG 2.0 it is important that the table summary is 
programmatically detectable.

2) A <caption> that contains non-caption content  is unheard of in HTML 
4 and in XHTML. <summary> would justify placing non-caption content 
inside <caption> (since <summary> carries a "not the caption" stamp).

> If it is hidden by default, like summary="", then 

The thread (I and Martin) concluded that it should be _visible_ by 

> it would have the same problems. If it is shown by default, it seems 
> unnecessary (<p> would already handle this job fine).

A <p> would not handle the job that <summary> is meant to handle: <p> 
is not a programmatically detectable summary container for AT software 
- such as WCAG 2.0 says. A <p> doesn't carry a "not the caption" stamp.

> If it is a widget that can be hidden or shown by the user inline,
> then it seems identical to <details>, and thus redundant.

It is not a widget. It is just a container that separates the table 
summary from the caption content. 
leif halvard silli
Received on Saturday, 19 December 2009 02:08:15 UTC

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