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Re: table, cell, heading, leader, trailer, header, footer, runner, TABLE, THEAD, TFOOT, part of my review of 3.15 Tabular data

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 01:57:01 -0500
Message-Id: <CEE1378E-0C02-4234-985B-416F962C7DA1@robburns.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>

HI Karl,

On Aug 17, 2007, at 1:02 AM, Karl Dubost wrote:

> Robert Burns (15 août 2007 - 17:25) :
>> <http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/40318/tasks83/results>
>> However, I'm also serious. These do make great real-world usse- 
>> case examples of why we need these features.
> Hmmm to be more exact.
> In this case, more than jumping to the conclusion, it would be  
> better to ask people with disabilities
>   1. what are the difficulties they met when reading this table?
>   2. what could have been done to improve the accessibility of the  
> table when used with their favorite tool?
> It would be cool also to know how could we ease the authoring of  
> the table meeting the criteria defined in 2.

Actually, for those tables, I was saying that able-bodied users would  
have trouble consuming those tables. I find them almost unusable. I  
do tend to magnify the text a bit for slight visual impairment  
compensation, but even at their default size they're very tedious to  
follow. On my laptops 1280x854 pixel display  these tables require  
that I pan 300% or or more horizontally and 10-fold vertically to  
keep to visually associate the headers with the data cells. I would  
probably be better off using an aural browser unless fixed THEAD/ 
TFOOT and scrolling bodies were implemented. So for me I'd say:

1) I face the difficult of having to pan both vertically and  
horizontally large distances to see little bits of data and then pan  
back to see what header cell they're associated with.
2) The only thing I can think of to improve the document (without  
improving Safari... or Firefox, or Opera) would be to break the table  
up into many more narrower tables. (that deals with the row headers)  
and then print them to PDF with a browser that repeats THEAD on each  
page and then replace those PDF with the HTML that's already there  
(that would deal with the column headers scrolling out of view  
without making a grid of vertically and horizontally small tables  
that would again make following the data a major chore).

I don't have any ideas on how to ease authoring with those  
requirements. That's why I'd like to see the UA experience improve  
dramatically for the visual presentation of such tables.

Take care,
Received on Friday, 17 August 2007 06:57:19 UTC

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