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[Bug 14107] Non-conformance of the summary attribute for the table element makes WCAG 1.0 compliance impossible

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2012 21:46:37 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1Rrca5-00049k-0K@jessica.w3.org>
https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=14107

--- Comment #18 from steve faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> 2012-01-29 21:46:33 UTC ---
(In reply to comment #0)
> The summary attribute for the table element has become non-conforming, but
> should be obsolete but conforming, because:
> 
> Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Guideline 5.5 ("Provide summaries for
> tables") requires that summaries are provided for tables, and for "HTML", that
> means the summary attribute.
> 
> Furthermore, WCAG 1.0 Guideline 11.1 ("Use W3C technologies when they are
> available and appropriate for a task and use the latest versions when
> supported") requires that the latest versions of W3C technologies, including
> HTML, be used. So, once HTML5 is standardized, it will have to be used. (There
> might be some wiggle room on the "appropriate for a task" and "when supported"
> qualifiers; but I imagine that you wouldn't want people to recommend against
> HTML5 usage specifically due to this reason).
> 
> The summary attribute can't just be used in violation of the specification,
> because that would violate WCAG 1.0 Guideline 3.2 ("Create documents that
> validate to published formal grammars"). Custom Doctypes and similar solutions
> are likewise stymied.
> 
> While people should meet WCAG 2.0 rather than WCAG 1.0, there is currently
> significant legislative requirement around the world to use WCAG 1.0, which has
> not been updated.
> 
> Is there any special reason to retire the attribute? Most major browsers ignore
> it right now; is there a compatibility issue? It seems safer to keep it.

Also it should be noted that 5.5 Provide summaries for tables. is a 'Priority
3' checkpoint.

WCAG 1.0 states:

"[Priority 3]
A Web content developer *may* address this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more
groups will find it somewhat difficult to access information in the document.
Satisfying this checkpoint will improve access to Web documents."
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/#priorities

the key word 'may' as defined in http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt:

"MAY   This word, or the adjective "OPTIONAL", mean that an item is
   truly optional."

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Received on Sunday, 29 January 2012 21:46:38 GMT

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