W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > March 2008

Re: several messages about tables and related subjects

From: Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2008 18:19:00 +1000
Message-ID: <5f37426b0803240119i4e819e1dq8878acf520601482@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: whatwg@whatwg.org, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Thanks for the Easter update Ian,

On Mon, Mar 24, 2008 at 5:29 AM, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:

>  On Thu, 16 Aug 2007, Ben Boyle wrote:
>  >
>  > Look at the balance sheet (3rd table). It's like we have nested sections
>  > within the table. There's "net assets" that's broken down into "current
>  > assets", "non-current assets" and "liabilities", each either their own
>  > heading and totals (footer).
>  >
>  > It would be interesting to investigate table markup that could support
>  > complex relationships within tables like this. It may be a bit esoteric,
>  > and can probably be handled through classes for those that need it. In
>  > either case it's very important we can clearly associate the headers
>  > with the right cells. I think it would be useful to be able to identity
>  > the "totals" (footers?) in each section too.
>  For simple cases like:
>                       WATER   FOOD
>     CATS
>       male              871     12
>       female            900     10
>     TOTALS FOR CATS    1771     22
>     DOGS
>       male              871     12
>       female            900     10
>     TOTALS FOR DOGS    1771     22
>     TOTALS             3542     44
>  ...you can now easily get this effect by putting everything in the left
>  hand column into <th>s, everything on the top row into <th>s, and
>  everything on the bottom row into its own <tfoot>.
>  Does that work?

Yes (for me anyway). I may use a separate tbody elements for cats and
dogs. A way to nest a footer within the tbody would provide an
additional semantic detail for the subtotal rows, but I don't know
that it's required.

>  > I'm going to through a crazy idea into the mix and suggest that
>  > <section>, <header> and <footer> may be useful within data tables for
>  > this very purpose.
>  I'm not clear on how that would work. (Especially considering backwards
>  compatibility and the CSS table model.)

It was to do with nesting. We have tbody, thead and tfoot which
essentially fulfil similar purposes to the sectioning elements. The
difference being they don't easily nest. Given that one can nest
entire tables if desired, and that it's more important to reduce
information complexity anyway, I'm fine with what we have and keeping
it simple (if I may refer to HTML tables as simple!)

Received on Monday, 24 March 2008 08:19:34 UTC

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