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Re: draft of summary change proposal

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 04:39:10 +0100
Message-ID: <4AFB835E.10606@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: Cynthia Shelly <cyns@microsoft.com>
CC: "public-html-a11y@w3.org" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Cynthia Shelly On 09-11-12 00.57:

> This is an attempt to make more information available to
> assistive tech from the markup, so that less is required in
> summary.  I would particularly like feedback on the approach,
> and on ways that this goal can be achieved.
> 
> It reduces the scope of what summary is to be used for, by
> including
> 
> 1)      An orientation attribute on the table element.  This
> can be used to AT to describe the reading direction of the
> table.


I was not aware of the @orientation attribute proposal. It seems
like a good idea. I think this could increase accessibility. 
However, I wonder: Is reading directionality recommended to be 
inside @summary as it is today? I can't recall having seen it. 
Thus I wonder if this really helps in requiring less from the 
summary. However, it does help in describing/focusing @summary better.

Comments

(1) How about saying horizontal(ly) instead of "rows" and 
vertical(ly) instead of "columns", to avoid overloading 
rows/columns. We already have scope="row", scope="col", rowspan, 
colspan, rules=rows and rules=cols. Row and column is unclear also 
for other reason - e.g. because even if you say "row", then from 
another angel it can be interpreted as "column" ... (If we read 
row-by-row then we read in column direction - in my book.)

Orientation is also easy to mix with dir/direction. I would 
suggest @mainorder (or possibly @mainorientation). Adding "main" 
is good because there are always two orientations, it is just that 
one of them is the main or "unit constituting" order.

<table mainorder="vertical">

(2) Another thing: the spec proposal says that rows is the default 
value [see quote below]. Probably for a good reason: this is most 
common. However, the only example in the draft so far 
orientation="rows". I suggest adding an example for 
orientation="columns" as well. Especially, as I said above, since 
many will not immediately gather what orientation="columns" means. 
(But even if you change to e.g. mainorder="horizontal", there 
should still be examples of both ...)

> The orientation attribute has cna have the values rows and
> columns, which indicate whether the table should be read in
> rows (horizontally), in colums (rows). rows is the default
> value. 

-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Thursday, 12 November 2009 03:39:50 GMT

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