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Re: summary attribute compromise proposal

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 2009 13:19:48 -0700
Cc: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, 'HTML WG' <public-html@w3.org>, po@trace.wisc.edu, lorettaguarino@google.com
Message-id: <F1E64EFE-B264-48E1-AF4E-14BA187D1ECD@apple.com>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Hi Leif,

On Aug 4, 2009, at 1:00 PM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:

> John, since "progress" for the moment is linked to Ian's specific
> proposal, and since it doesn't seem like Ian proposed something
> that would make the summary part of the caption programmatically
> identifiable as a summary, I wonder whether, according to you - as
> soon as the summary is visible to all - sighted and unsighted,
> it isn't necessary to identify it as a summary anymore?

It's my understanding that existing AT can make the caption, or text  
associated by aria-describedby, available when visiting a table. It  
might be that in some cases, not specifically identifying this info as  
a "summary" could degrade the experience in a minor way. On the other  
hand, it might improve the experience to label such info as a  
"caption" or "description" instead of a "summary". We also have to  
consider the possibility that using techniques that are visible to all  
will improve the quality of table descriptions, and make them  
available to more people who need them. And we have to balance those  
opportunities against the value of specifically identifying some info  
as a "summary".

That being said, by my compromise proposal it's perfectly acceptable  
for authors to use the summary attribute if they find that, on  
balance, the reasons to choose another alternative do not apply.

In brief, the goal is to enable good accessibility outcomes without  
being dogmatic about any given approach.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Tuesday, 4 August 2009 20:20:29 GMT

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