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Re: headers attribute

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2007 11:18:46 +0200
Message-Id: <p06240623c28651809369@[]>
To: <public-html@w3.org>

At 19:17 +0200 UTC, on 2007-06-01, Anne van Kesteren wrote:

> On Fri, 01 Jun 2007 02:22:03 +0200, Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl> wrote:
>> At 04:03 +0200 UTC, on 2007-05-31, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>> [...]
>>> (is it
>>> possible to use both scope and headers at the same time, btw?).
>> <http://webrepair.org/02strategy/03known%20systems.php> does.
> Where is the processing model for that defined? HTML4 seems to suggest
> that scope= can be used instead of headers=, not in conjunction.

I don't see where it says that. Granted, as with much else, HTML 4.01 is
vague. The relevant remarks I see are "This attribute may be used in place of
the headers attribute", at 11.2.6, and "Authors may choose to use this
attribute instead of headers according to which is more convenient", at
11.4.1. Neither, to me, seems to say that authors are not allowed to use both
(although now that you mention it, I can see that it might come across that
way and might even be meant that way). From an authoring standpoint it makes
sense to use both, because one UA might only support headers and another only
scope. You reach a bigger audience by providing both. (The axis attribute
seems utterly incomprehensible to authors.)

> It
> doesn't really define what UAs should do when they encounter a TD that
> uses both, nor does it seem to define what headers="" (empty string value)
> means or headers="x" where x is either a non-existant ID or an ID on an
> element that is not TH or is TH but is not part of the table.

Right, HTML 5 should try to not leave such gaps.

> How do
> screen readers support all those various cases today? Has this been tested
> by someone?

Yeah, would be wonderful to have actual data available.

I've had a few opportunities to test with two blind Jaws users. For them,
headers and scope didn't help one bit. Probably because Jaws appears to take
IE's output as input, so that's useless by definition. But I've heard claims
that newer versions of Jaws consume the actual HTML. If so, there's hope yet.

Note though that, at least for these users, configuring Jaws was an immense
challenge. So they may well have unknowingly had it configured to ignore
useful things. With my own eyes I've only seen Jaws 4 (quite old). Its
configuration area is pathetic. You actually need to be sighted to make sense
of it :( (This may be better in current versions of Jaws, I don't know.
Upgrading tends to be extremely expensive, because it will often mean also
needing a newer Windows versin, PC, speech synth and braille reader.)

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Saturday, 2 June 2007 09:22:25 UTC

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