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Table summaries - data on using <caption title="">

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2009 03:30:01 +0200
Message-ID: <49F50A99.4000607@malform.no>
To: HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>
Philip has kindly done some research into how common it is to use the 
title attribute on the <caption> element.


Dmoz.org collection: 2 pages of ≈125000 (0.0016%) with <caption title >.
Dotbot collection: 3 of 425543 pages (0.0007%) with <caption title >.

All 5 page make pointless use of @title - see code below. In comparison, 
this many pages used @summary (pointlessly or not):

Dmoz.org: 721 of 125000 (0.006%); Dotbot: 6161 of 425543 (0.015%).

Conclusion: This confirms the expectations I had that caption@title is 
extremely rarely used - close to zero. Thus usage data support that a 
switch from table@summary to caption@title for table summaries is 
possible to implement without breaking the Web.

Using caption@title has the same advantages as using caption@summary 
(see proposal C in the ESW wiki [6]) plus the additional benefits that
 * it doesn't require CSS to make it visible to  sighted users;
 * it can be hidden without CSS (<caption title="summary"></caption>);
 * all UAs supports it;
 * it is a very stable attribute - no one is going to suggest removing 

The 5 code examples with caption@title (edited for clarity) - links at 
bottom message:

[1] <TABLE  title="Links, Pattaya, Thailand"
          summary="Links, Pattaya, Thailand" >
   <CAPTION title="Links, Pattaya, Thailand" style="DISPLAY: none" >
                   Links, Pattaya, Thailand</CAPTION>

[2] <table    summary="list of stickers">
    <caption    title="click on a slogan to enlarge">
                       View enlarged stickers:</caption>
     <tr><td><a title="click on slogan to see enlarged sticker"

[3] <table><caption title="">Jul 2005 </caption>

[4] <table summary="in dieser Tabelle werden die letzten 10
                    Meldungen zusammengestellt. Alle Meldungen
                    sind auf der News-Seite zu finden"
             title="Zusammenstellung der letzten 10 Meldungen">
   <caption title="Aktuelle Meldungen">
                   Aktuelle Meldungen</caption>

[5] <table><caption title='Latest Headlines'>
                <h3><p>Latest News Headlines</p></h3></caption>

[1] http://postcards.a2zpattaya.com/art/art_thailand_003.htm
[2] http://www.bumperhumpers.com/sitemap.html
[3] http://www.kanu-schiri.de/
[5] http://www.littleelmchamber.org/
[6] http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/SummaryForTABLE/SummarySpecification
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 27 April 2009 01:30:43 UTC

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