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Re: Breaking Dependencies - @summary (FW: Call for Review: German WCAG 2.0 Candidate Authorized Translation)

From: Joe D Williams <joedwil@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2009 12:02:19 -0700
Message-ID: <5CC7BB59C23B48F198D66ED61C8E1CE4@joe1446a4150a8>
To: "Sam Ruby" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Cc: "John Foliot" <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
> In addition, I believe that there is a little matter of a burden of 
> proof.


Rather than looking at what is up for review now, let's have a look at 
what are the best sources I have found about the roots of this 
discussion.

(1) First (from Ian using some guidance from our gov's access board 
document and other data):

http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/1194.22.htm#(g)

"Although highly recommended by some webpage designers as a way of 
summarizing the contents of a table, the "summary" attribute of the 
TABLE tag is not sufficiently supported by major assistive technology 
manufacturers to warrant recommendation."

(2) Then (from John using some guidance from our W3C WAI/WCAG 
documents):

http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/#gl-table-markup

http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20081211/H73.html

http://www.eramp.com/david/tablesample2.htm
http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20081211/H63.html
http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20081211/H51.html
http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20081211/H39.html

"H73: Using the summary attribute of the table element to give an 
overview of data tables
,,,
The objective of this technique [using @summary] is to provide a brief 
overview of how data has been organized into a table or a brief 
explanation of how to navigate the table. The summary attribute of the 
table element makes this information available to people who use 
screen readers; the information is not displayed visually."


At this time (even though I think I probably should stay clear of this 
because my actual keenest interest is just with <object> and bug 7075 
and i see tables as more than likely just a weak fallback for better 
ways to provide interaction and information) all this looks sort of 
like the Editor made a very conscious decision to raise everyones 
awareness of this problem of different understandings and 
recommendations for @summary by following a source that is basically 
outside but interested in providing feedback to the W3C. From the WCAG 
and WAI publications it looks like those folks have been working on 
providing some standards for evaluating the effectiveness of @summary, 
@caption, and @scope and others for some time including now and that 
the existing stuff may well be direct responses to the gov's article.

Since I am all for innovation, resonance, and synergy leading to wide 
consenus and many successful implementations it seems entirely 
reasonable for HTML5 to depend upon the current keystrokes of the 
specialty groups and not even bother with any details of usage in 
HTML5. Just deal with its functionality as a text container. Any 
competent accessibiity author will need further research of other more 
targeted W3C info and will also need to figure out what to expect from 
the various assistive tech agents out there anyway. So why bother with 
details until some/any HTML browsers do accessibility 'natively'. 
Later on, when the specialty group(s) has some updated research and 
new recommendations, it will be a lot easier to update HTML5.

Thank You All and Best Regards,
Joe
Received on Tuesday, 4 August 2009 19:03:18 UTC

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