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Re: Use of headers and summary attributes (was : <font> (was Support Existing Content))

From: Simon Pieters <zcorpan@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 04 May 2007 18:43:56 +0200
To: "Denis Boudreau" <dboudreau@webconforme.com> (WebConforme), "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.trs93ike7a8kvn@hp-a0a83fcd39d2>

On Fri, 04 May 2007 16:41:17 +0200, Denis Boudreau  
<dboudreau@webconforme.com> wrote:

> Headers and summaries are crucial for assistive technologies such as  
> screen readers to interpret how a table is organized. Blind people for  
> example (yes, THEM again) will rely massively on that information to  
> announce to a user how an upcoming set of information is structured.  
> Imagine the following table:
>
> <table summary="">
> <caption>Travelling expenses report</caption>
> <tr>
>    <th id="l1c1">Destination</th>
>    <th id="l1c2">Traveling dates</th>
>    <th id="l1c3">Meal</th>
>    <th id="l1c4">Hotel</th>
>    <th id="l1c5">Transport</th>
>    <th id="l1c6">Total</th>
> </tr>
> <tr>
>    <th id="l2c1" headers="l1c1" rowspan="3">Atlanta</th>
>    <th id="l2c2" headers="l1c2 l2c1">August 25th</th>
>    <td headers="l1c3 l2c1 l2c2">37</td>
>    <td headers="l1c4 l2c1 l2c2">112</td>
>    <td headers="l1c5 l2c1 l2c2">45</td>
>    <td headers="l1c6 l2c1 l2c2">&nbsp;</td>
> </tr>
> [...]
> </table>

I'm very curious to know in which ways the above table is more usable for  
people with AT than the following table:


    <table>
     <caption>Travelling expenses report</caption>
     <tr><th>Destination<th>Traveling  
dates<th>Meal<th>Hotel<th>Transport<th>Total
     <tr><td rowspan="3">Atlanta<td>August 25th<td>37<td>112<td>45<td>
     <tr><td>August 26th<td>27<td>112<td>45<td>
     <tr><td>Sub-total<td>64<td>224<td>90<td>378
     <tr><td rowspan="3">Boston<td>August 27th<td>96<td>109<td>36<td>
     <tr><td>August 28th<td>35<td>109<td>36<td>
     <tr><td>Sub-total<td>131<td>218<td>72<td>421
     <tr><td>Compilation<td>Grand total<td>195<td>442<td>162<td>799
    </table>


What features does the first table provide that this one doesn't? (This is  
a serious question.)

If you insist that the first and the second column should be table  
headers, then the current design with scope="" allows for that too,  
AFAICT, but I could be mistaken.


> I could either have a summary saying:
>
> [...]

-- 
Simon Pieters
Received on Friday, 4 May 2007 16:44:03 GMT

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