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Re: headers attribute (was Re: Form elements)

From: Steve Faulkner <sfaulkner@paciellogroup.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 16:20:04 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80706040820v65c4456bl73a10dd6b2d917b4@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Cc: public-html@w3.org

Examples of headers usage "in the wild":
I did a serach on google for "data table" and found these from that
search or pages linked to results form the search

http://data.bls.gov/GQT/servlet/InitialPage (need to fill out form
info to retrive particular data tables)

Yahoo table widget implements headers

On 30/05/07, Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk> wrote:
> Thomas Broyer wrote:
> > On the other hand, it has been proven that:
> > * headers= isn't used that much in the wild
> Due to poor authoring tool support.
> > (so current AT –which
> > have been said to poorly support scope=, so I suppose they support
> > *only* headers= for data-cell/headers-cell associations– can't make
> > most tables as accessible as they could with the kind of heuristics
> > HTML5 provides; in other word, they're not really usable yet –as far
> > as I understood what was said on this list–, at least wrt table
> > accessibility)
> headers currently work in the most consistent way. Scope works in most
> simple cases, but not necessarily with complex tables...meaning that
> those authors relying purely on scope for complex tables are (knowingly
> or unknowingly) creating tables that are, if not completely
> inaccessible, at least illogical to screen reader users.
> > * when used, it's often broken (header= instead of headers=)
> To me, that's completely irrelevant. This is like saying "many people
> can't type 'accommodation', so we should change the dictionary and drop
> the second 'm' entirely". Partly related to the bad authoring tool
> support as well.
> > Maybe it would need some more rules, e.g. a TH with no scope= in the
> > second column (resp. second row) is automatically affected a scope=row
> > (resp. scope=column) if the cell in the first column of the same row
> > (resp. the first row of the same column) is a TH with no scope= or
> > with scope=row (resp. scope=column).
> > That way, a table with e.g. two lines of TH column-headers (with the
> > first line having some cells spanning multiple columns) wouldn't need
> > scope= at all.
> >
> > However, with such a rule, I wonder whether scope=row and scope=column
> > would be need then… 'cause I've never been shown a table so complex
> > that this would be needed.
> Just to clarify: I'm all in favour of standardising these sorts of
> heuristic behaviours in the spec for tables lacking scope or headers
> attributes. But, since HTML 5 wants to specify current usage as well as
> expand the language, and standardise current practice and current
> behaviour, I can't see how this could be reconciled with simply not
> mentioning an attribute like headers which, despite playing the numbers
> game and saying it's not used much, is in fact in spec in HTML 4, and is
> demonstrably supported by current user agents. Unless HTML 5 UAs should
> deal with headers attributes as they would with any other
> unknown/out-of-spec attribute.
> What I'm getting at, basically: if HTML 5 wants to do away with
> versioning, and support current markup, how can it NOT at least define
> the headers attribute, even if it then marks it as "deprecated" or
> however this sort of thing will be handled in the future spec?
> Generally, if there's no versioning, shouldn't *everything* that is in
> the HTML 4.01 spec also be found in HTML 5? At least all the things
> currently implemented by UAs? (As much as I'd hate it, this would also
> include things like width/height/etc attributes on table cells, for
> instance...not that I want to see these recommended for use, but
> following the reasoning of 'standardising current browser behaviour',
> they probably need to be mentioned as well, no?) Trying to understand
> how deep this concept of unversioned support of all that was and all
> that will be runs...
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
> ______________________________________________________________
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> ______________________________________________________________
> Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
> http://webstandards.org/
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with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG Europe
Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium

www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
Received on Monday, 4 June 2007 15:34:59 UTC

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