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Re: Deliverable for Action 72 @headers

From: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2008 01:03:07 +0300
Message-Id: <3B69E0EC-F1D1-46F7-B1FA-129A18A72199@robburns.com>
To: html WG <public-html@w3.org>

Hi James,

On Aug 23, 2008, at 10:29 PM, James Graham wrote:
>
> I think the absolute simplest message that we can give authors is  
> "mark up your
> table headers as <th>". It is then our job to make sure as many  
> tables at this
> lowest end of the accessibility learning curve work correctly as  
> possible.

Keep in mind that there can be confusion either way in communicating  
to authors. For example an author drawing data from an SQL database to  
display in an HTML5 table will think of some of the headers as data.  
For example consider a table of data on employees for a company.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<table>
<tr><th>Name</th><th>Hire Date</th><th>Pay grade</th><th>Employee ID</ 
th></tr>
<tr><th>James</th><td>2004-01-22</td><td>A</td><td>1234567</td></tr>
<tr><th>Rob</th><td>2005-07-12</td><td>C</td><td>7654321</td></tr>
<tr><th>Gez</th><td>2006-08-02</td><td>B</td><td>3122222</td></tr>
</table>

While authors can follow your advice and markup the names with TH  
elements, this may also be confusing because the authors think of  
those as data (key data as Al suggested), but data nonetheless.

There may be other small issues with marking up data as headers, but  
another one is that the TH elements normally do not get headers  
associated with them too. So if the user is at the Gez cell, that user  
cannot query to get headers for that Gez data (i.e., "Name" in this  
case).

So the issue is that some cells contain headings for data cells. Some  
cells are strictly data cells. And thirdly some cells provide headings  
for data cells and themselves need heading associations.

So by allowing authors to point data cells at other data cells (where  
such data cells then also provide heading information for the other  
data cell), we match the needs of table like this one.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Saturday, 23 August 2008 22:04:10 GMT

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