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Re: [Text] Resuming Table Summary Change Proposal Discussion

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 06:34:08 -0500
Message-ID: <CAOavpvcXdauxQ6TMkVjvQMTGaRZC5fkHEtF4gHom7ArUKrUBRA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, Léonie Watson <lwatson@nomensa.com>
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, Vlad Alexander <vlad.alexander@xstandard.com>
Hello Janina, Josh, Léonie and all,

On 8/19/11, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net> wrote:
> Please consider the Change Proposal with request to reconsider the
> HTML-WG decision on Table Summary

Thank you, Josh and Léonie, for working on this change proposal. Lots
of good information in:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Category:Table_Summary

The following are a few ideas to consider. Some are simple suggestions
for verbiage replacements and such. Some would require reworking the
document's structure to the supply specific grounds for reopening the
issue thereby improving the chances of that indeed happening.
Basically it would add sub-sections to the Rationale section and
rearrange things to something like:

1.1 Summary
1.2 Rationale
   1.2.1 Identification of Use Cases
     1.2.1.1 Real World Examples in the Wild
   1.2.2 aria-describedby
   1.2.3 Authors of Development Tools
   1.2.4 Current Examples are Problematic
     1.2.4.1 Screen Reader Tests
1.3 Details
1.4 Impact
   1.4.1 Positive Effects
   1.4.2 Negative Effects
1.5 Extending @summary?
1.6 Rebuttals/ Responses to Arguments Against Retaining @summary
   1.6.1 Hidden Meta Data
   1.6.2 Objections on Syntax
   1.6.3 Objections on the basis of Need
   1.6.4 Objections to 'Drop the summary="" attribute'
1.7 References

Anyway, the following (A-J) are suggestions to consider.

A). ADD A DEDICATED "IDENTIFICATION OF USE CASES" SUB-SECTION TO THE
RATIONALE SECTION.

WHY: To directly and specifically address the Chairs' statement in the
decision for new information to reopen the issue. They said the issue
could be reopened with:

"Identification of specific use cases, along with a number of specific
examples from real-world sites, where a separate table summary would
be useful either instead of or in addition to a caption element or an
aria-describedby attribute. Ideally such use cases would explain why
this is needed only for tables but not also for images or canvas
elements which could express the same information using a different
mechanism."
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Apr/0091.html

The proposal currently identifies problems with the accessibility of
the examples in the spec. I suspect this alone will not be considered
sufficient grounds for reopening the issue.

As with the longdesc attribute the Chairs do not understand *WHY*
@summary is needed. Without this information front and center it is
unlikely that the issue will be reopened. Providing formal use cases
and basing them on real world examples in the wild would provide that
information.
 * The real world examples provide evidence of use.
 * The use scenarios provides the story and motivation and the why.

Some use case verbiage is interspersed in this proposal. Relocating it
into a new dedicated "Identification of Use Cases" section would make
it unmistakable that it is in fact new information and rationale to
reopen the issue.

In other words for this sub-section, cite the Chairs' statement and
supply the requested information as prominent rationale.


B). ADD A DEDICATED "aria-describedby" SUB-SECTION TO THE RATIONALE SECTION.

WHY: To directly and specifically address the Chairs' statement in the
decision for new information to reopen the issue. They said the issue
could be reopened with:

"Identification of specific operational problems with the
aria-describedby attribute that make it not able to be
programmatically determined or suitable for use as a table summary."
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Apr/0091.html

The "Decision History" section of the HTML Working Group's home page
provides further insight into the Chairs view on aria-describedby for
issue 32:

QUOTE
2011-04-05: Drop the summary="" attribute (in favor of the
aria-describedby attribute)
UNQUOTE
http://www.w3.org/html/wg/#events

This underscores the need to supply rationale in this new proposal as
to why aria-describedby does not negate the need for table summary and
why @summary should not be dropped in favor of the aria-describedby
attribute.

Some aria-describedby verbiage is interspersed in the "Negative
Effects" section of the Josh and Léonie's CP . Relocating it into a
new dedicated aria-describedby  sub-section would make it evident that
it is in fact new information for the issue to be reopened. Without
new information on aria-describedby it seems doubtful that issue 32
will be reopened.

After the initial Issue 32 poll Gez mentioned good rationale that
could vey well be added to this sub-section. He said that using ARIA,
as a workaround for a table summary would be way too cumbersome for
authors. No one would want the text on the screen, as it would state
what is visually evident. So to use ARIA, a person would have to write
the content, hide it with CSS, an then reference the hidden text with
aria-labelledby. That's so cumbersome that surely even the most
enthusiastic ARIA supporter should realize that the summary attribute
is far more efficient and already well supported.

This would be the perfect section to cite and discuss Leif's test page.
http://malform.no/testing/html5/table+aria.html

Vlad Alexander provides new information that can be quoted directly.
http://rebuildingtheweb.com/en/aria-for-content-doomed/


C). ADD A DEDICATED "AUTHORS OF DEVELOPMENT TOOLS" SUB-SECTION TO THE
RATIONALE SECTION.

WHY: To directly and specifically address the Chairs' statement in the
decision for new information needed to reopen the issue. They said the
issue could be reopened with:

"First hand statements from authors of development tools currently
implementing the summary attribute that the making the summary
attribute obsolete would present an unacceptable burden or that it
would significantly inhibit the adoption of HTML5 by the tools that
they produce."
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Apr/0091.html

Without new information the issue will NOT be reopened. In other
words, cite the Chairs statement and supply the requested information
prominently.

Vlad Alexander does indeed provide new information that can be quoted
directly for this section as well as the ARIA section.
http://rebuildingtheweb.com/en/aria-for-content-doomed/


D). RENAME THE "RATIONAL" SECTION "RATIONALE"

WHY: There is no "Rational" section in the Change Proposal template.
It is a "Rationale" section. "Rationale" is a noun that means the
reasoning or principle that underlies or explains a particular course
of action, or a statement setting out these reasons or principles.
"Rational" is an adjective.


E). ADD DETAILS TO THE "DETAILS" SECTION.

WHY: The details section lacks any details. This section is a required
in a change proposal. It can take one of the following four forms:

" *A set of edit instructions, specific enough that they can be
applied without ambiguity.
  *Spec text for a draft to be published separate from HTML5 (though
such a draft can be proposed at any time without a Change Proposal).
  *Exact spec text for the sections to be changed, and a baseline
revision for the version of the spec being changed.
  *With prior permission from the Chairs, a high-level prose
description of the changes to be made."
http://dev.w3.org/html5/decision-policy/decision-policy-v2.html#change-proposal

For ideas check the two previous proposals to reinstate @summary:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Summary_Change_Proposal_Nov_18%2C_2009#Details
http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/SummaryAttribute20100222#Details


F). ADD AN "IMPACT" SECTION.

WHY: It is missing. An "Impact" section is a required section in a
Change Proposal.
http://dev.w3.org/html5/decision-policy/decision-policy-v2.html#change-proposal


G). MOVE REBUTTALS TO A DEDICATED "REBUTTALS" SECTION:

WHY: The verbiage starting with "The following are my responses to the
'Working Group Decision on ISSUE-32 table-summary'" is currently under
the "Negative Effects" heading. It is misplaced.

The negative effects section is supposed to state real negative
effects of a change proposal. In this case it would be any negative
effects of reinstating @summary.

Currently the verbiage in this section consists of rebuttals to
previous unsubstantiated or misguided accusations against @summary.
Using the "Negative Effects" for rebuttals legitimizes those
accusations as being negative effects of reinstating @summary.

So consider putting the current information in a "Responses to
Arguments Against Retaining @summary" or simply "REBUTTALS" section.

For the "Negative Effects" section state negative effects of
reinstating @summary. If it does not have any state: none. Or remove
the "Negative Effects" section. It is not a required part of a change
proposal. The Impact section is.


H). REPLACE THE FOLLOWING VERBIAGE

"None of these reasons are definitive, and @summary's current status
as obsolete but conforming"

WITH: "None of these reasons are definitive, and @summary's current
status as obsolete"

WHY: The verbiage is incorrect. The table summary attribute now is
*completely obsolete*. It is not conforming in any way, shape, or
form.
http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/WD-html5-20110525/obsolete.html#attr-table-summary


I). REPLACE THE FOLLOWING VERBIAGE:

"This advice is contradictory. Our preference is that @summary is
retained as a fully conforming attribute. This is for several
reasons."

WITH:

"This advice is contradictory for several reasons."

WHY: Preferences do not matter in the Decision Policy. Strong
arguments based on technical arguments do.


J). REMOVE THE CURRENT CHANGE PROPOSAL FROM THE TABLE SUMMARY
"CATEGORIES" PAGE to ITS OWN PAGE.

WHY: The current page is misplaced. The Change Proposal text was put
on an existing "Categories" page. MediaWiki has special dedicated
"Categories" pages that auto-magically provide
indexes/tables-of-contents based on category metatagging.
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Category
Putting a Change Proposal on an existing "Categories" page is a
mistake. It obscures the index functionality for users.

I would suggest removing the Change Proposal contents (not the
automagic "Pages in category Table Summary" info at the bottom) from
http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Category:Table_Summary
and putting it on new page in the actual Change Proposal directory.
The following URL would get a new page in the right spot:
http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/ReinstateTableSummary

Hope some of this is useful. Thank you for your consideration.

Best Regards,
Laura

--
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Monday, 22 August 2011 11:35:42 GMT

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