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Re: <table summary> and <td headers>

From: Bill Mason <w3c@accessibleinter.net>
Date: Wed, 02 May 2007 21:18:33 -0700
Message-ID: <46396299.4020208@accessibleinter.net>
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> 
> On Wed, 02 May 2007 21:14:27 +0200, Roger Johansson 
> <roger@456bereastreet.com> wrote:
>> On 2 maj 2007, at 10.27, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>>
>>> Indeed. At least summary= is often abused by authors: "Table used for 
>>> layout", "Grid of 3 by 2 cells", etc.
>>
>> If "abused by authors" is a valid criterion for removing an attribute 
>> or element, writing the HTML 5 spec should take no more than a couple 
>> of hours.
> 
> I meant misunderstood. I believe another reason was that the use case 
> was not particularly clear. Since HTML5 is not really based on HTML4 
> it's not really about dropping attributes, but rather adding attributes 
> for good reason. I don't think such a reason was found for summary=. 
> Tables haven't been debated much though.


A number of the examples offered for headers previously [1] are also
applicable as use cases for summary, since the use case for summary
often is to describe tables with a "complex structure (for example, when
there are several sets of row or column headers, or when there are
multiple groups of columns or rows)". [2]  (See also [3]).

In particular are these examples:
http://www.usability.com.au/resources/tables.cfm#id
http://www.webaim.org/techniques/tables/data.php#summaries
http://www.doit.wisc.edu/accessibility/online-course/standards/tables.htm#beyond508

As summary is used currently as an accessibility aid, and it does have 
an installed base of screen readers that support the attribute, I would 
suggest it be included in the HTML5 spec.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/0212.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-WCAG20-TECHS-20060427/Overview.html#H73
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#table-summary-info

-- 
Bill Mason
Accessible Internet
w3c@accessibleinter.net
http://accessibleinter.net/
Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 04:18:38 GMT

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