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Re: UPDATED: Current state of the summary discussion

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 02:00:44 +0000 (UTC)
To: Cynthia Shelly <cyns@microsoft.com>
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.1001140153520.26049@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Thu, 14 Jan 2010, Cynthia Shelly wrote:
>
> 1) and 2)
> The intro to the summary section now reads:

Could you summarise how this differs from what HTML5 already says? The 
differences seem only editorial, but I may be missing something. Would we 
still include the suggestion to include table descriptions inline without 
<details> _or_ summary="" whenever possible?

I'm still concerned about not obsoleting summary="" completely. The 
proposed text suggests that there may be cases where summary="" is needed 
to hide table explanations from users, but could you show me some pages 
that have tabular data of a nature complicated enough to warrant a table 
explanation for screen reader users (and presumably for other users also), 
but for which the author refused to include visible explanatory text but 
was amenable to including hidden explanatory text? This particular use 
case is often put forward as an argument for summary="", but I have never 
actually seen an example of this happening. If it doesn't happen, then 
suggesting that summary="" be used would lead to the problems that I have 
discussed in depth before, most recently in:

   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2009Dec/0113.html
   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2009Dec/0104.html
   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2009Dec/0098.html

...and in the most detail in:

   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jul/0148.html

...which would be unfortunate.


> 3) I left orientation, rather than switching to definesorder.  After 
> deeper reading, further consideration, and discussion, I've realized 
> that orientation is different than order.  Orientation is about whether 
> the user should read the table primarily across rows or down columns. 
> Sorting/order is about whether a table is ordered by a particular row or 
> column.  Unsorted tables can still have orientation.

This hasn't been rejected as far as I'm aware, and indeed seems to be
orthogonal to the summary="" issue, so I think the right thing to do with
respect to the HTML WG process is to handle this one separately, like the
cells API.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 14 January 2010 02:01:22 GMT

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