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Re: fear of "invisible metadata"

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 02:59:46 +1000
Message-ID: <4676BA02.2090301@lachy.id.au>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> 1. poor authoring practices should NOT sway or inform our decisions -- if 
> markup is being misused, we need to be more precise in the definitions of 
> elements and properties, AND we must insist that -- just as ALT is 
> required for an image -- summary be a REQUIRED attribute of the TABLE 
> element

No, even if the summary attribute were added to HTML5, it certainly 
shouldn't be required.

 From the WCAG Samurai [1]:

| # You have more than one way to explain the purpose of data tables
| (including the use of plain-text explanations), so there is no reason
| to require the use of the summary attribute, which, by specification,
| is hidden from anyone who can see, including persons with
| disabilities.
| ...
| #  Guideline 5.5: The summary attribute, by specification, cannot be
| manifested visually. HTML provides numerous ways of clarifying the
| purpose of tables (caption, summary, headers), and the same thing can
| also be done by explaining a table in plain text. When we say you must
| ignore this guideline, we mean you must ignore the requirement to use
| summary.

[1] http://wcagsamurai.org/errata/intro.html

-- 
Lachlan Hunt
http://lachy.id.au/
Received on Monday, 18 June 2007 17:00:02 GMT

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