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Re: summarization information delivery options: attribute or element

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 05:22:59 -0600
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa1002270322uee9f30emc57ce31a443a3e32@mail.gmail.com>
To: Gez Lemon <g.lemon@webprofession.com>
Cc: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Hi Gez,

> I disagree with "purpose" in the definition, and believe it's one of
> the reasons the summary attribute has not been used correctly. The
> important part of the definition is to provide the structure, as
> that's what screen reader users are most likely to struggle to
> understand when encountering a data table without the benefit of
> seeing it. The HTML 4 definition of summary definitely needs to be
> improved if it's to stay in HTML5.

This is the definition in the change proposal "Make the table summary
attribute valid, not obsolete, and conforming" [1]:

<quote>
The summary attribute represents a prose summary of the table's
structure, primarily for user agents rendering to non-visual media
such as speech and Braille. The value is text.

The primary purpose of the summary attribute is to provide concise
guidance to people with vision impairments on how to read a table,
where the structure and reading order is visually evident, but not
available to some assistive technology users. The summary attribute is
not intended to provide a long description of a data table.

The summary attribute may be set on the table element if the data it
contains is of sufficient complexity that users of non-visual user
agents would benefit from a prose description of the table's
structure. If the table contains data considered to only require a
short description, use the caption element. Do not repeat the content
of the caption element as content in the summary attribute.

The attribute may only be set on tables that contain tabular data. The
attribute must not be set on tables used for layout purposes. The
attribute should not be set to the empty string.

Any user agent may provide a mechanism to access the summary attribute
content. If the mechanism provides the summary content as conditional
content it must be input device independent.

The summary DOM attribute must reflect the summary content attribute.
</quote>

Ideas for improvement are welcome.

Thanks.

Best Regards,
Laura
[1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/SummaryAttribute20100222#With_Suggested_Text:
-- 
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Saturday, 27 February 2010 11:23:27 GMT

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