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HTML5: Table headers attribute should only point to TH with id?

From: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 19:10:55 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <1371175855.84422.YahooMailClassic@web125005.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>
To: public-html-comments@w3.org
I know HTML5 is the new way, but  it does not change reality by itself. In the matter of data tables, there is a small note in HTML 4.01 (section 11.4.1) that often goes unnoticed:
"Note that it's not always possible to make a clean division of cells into headers or data. You should use the TD element for such cells together with the id or scope attributes as appropriate." 
Refer http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/tables.html

So the authors of HTML5 should re-think the rule that  mandates that all id values within the headers attribute should refer to a TH cell. Or that only a TH cell may have the scope attribute. 
Authors can certainly use <TH id= xxx> in most places but if they need to they should not be prevented from using <td id=xxx> and referencing it from a headers attribute.
See the 'Travel Expense Summary' example on the above HTML 4.01 page.
Sometimes the second column of a table may contain the key values for the row and need to be designated as the row header with <td scope=row> as in the example for the scope attribute for WCAG2 techniques H63. 
Sailesh Panchang
Received on Friday, 14 June 2013 02:11:23 UTC

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