W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2007

Re: complex tables: heading cells and summary cells

From: Ben 'Cerbera' Millard <cerbera@projectcerbera.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 02:09:01 +0100
Message-ID: <003301c7d958$b6b80090$0201a8c0@ben9xr3up2lv7v>
To: "Robert Burns" <rob@robburns.com>, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: "HTMLWG" <public-html@w3.org>

Contrived tables are risky. You can end up thinking mechanisms are needed to 
address a hypothetical use-case, only to find such use-cases don't actually 

Working with genuine examples found on the web gives an automatic reality 
check. So your efforts get focussed on how to express cell arrangements to 
users which real authors definitely build.

As such, I agree with Ian Hickson's recent clarification [1] that tables 
built solely to demonstrate theoretical association needs ([2]?) are not 
genuine and should probably be ignored. It's great to see people getting 
their hands dirty but let's work on real issues?

I also advise against making the term "heading" and alias for the term 
"header" and then deleting "header" from our vocabulary. These terms already 
have clear and specific meanings when discussing HTML. Diverging from these 
definitions causes inconsistency which makes discussions harder to 
understand, imho. As well as making them a little harder to track via e-mail 
subject lines. :-)

When talking about HTML table headers, I think "headers" is the best word 

Perhaps Dan Connolly has some thoughts about what research is valuable and 
the consistent use of terms within this Group?

[1] <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Aug/0328.html>

Ben 'Cerbera' Millard
Collections of Interesting Data Tables
Received on Wednesday, 8 August 2007 01:09:21 UTC

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