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Re: summary attribute compromise proposal

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Aug 2009 09:07:33 -0700
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <07A69819-1DAA-4699-AEC5-0B91AFC0AD15@apple.com>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>

On Aug 6, 2009, at 3:09 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> On Aug 5, 2009, at 4:16 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:
>>> On Wed, 5 Aug 2009, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Thus, I hope you will reconsider.
>>>
>>> I've updated the spec to do what you proposed.
>> Thanks. I read over your changes, and as far as I'm concerned, the  
>> new spec text is in line with my compromise proposal.
>> For anyone who would like to check, here's how summary is now  
>> defined in the <table> section: <http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#attr-table-summary 
>> > And the only remaining mention in the "conforming but obsolete  
>> features" section is a brief note indicating that the summary  
>> attribute gives a warning: <http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#conforming-but-obsolete-features 
>> >. I think this is the best arrangement we can get in terms of a  
>> compromise that both sides can live with. I understand people have  
>> concerns with various aspects. But I personally do not think I can  
>> push the proposal much in either direction without completely  
>> losing the support of one side or the other. So I strongly urge  
>> everyone to take time and consider whether this is something they  
>> can live with. If anyone wants to ask for more concessions, then I  
>> don't think I could lend my support such an effort.
>
> I appreciate the work that has been put into getting here, which is  
> clearly better than what we had before.
>
> Is it good enough? I don't think so.
>
> For instance, the spec still states:
>
> "The summary  attribute on table elements was suggested in earlier  
> versions of the language as a technique for providing explanatory  
> text for complex tables for users of screen readers. One of the  
> techniques described  above should be used instead."

I think you have to read it in context. Notice how those two sentences  
are followed by a long paragraph explaining the right considerations  
for when summary is appropriate.

Keep in mind that in addition to the sentence that authors SHOULD use  
one of the other techniques, the listing of the summary attribute  
means that authors MAY use it. I think this makes sense given the  
guidance.

>
> ...which I think is the wrong thing to do if one believes that  
> @summary *does* have a special purpose for screen readers, which  
> none of the alternatives have.

If you read the following guidance, I think readers get the right  
advice on the whole.

>
> Furthermore, the spec still lists @summary under "obsolete but  
> conforming".

To my reading, the warning for @summary is mentioned under "obsolete  
but conforming", as a Note, with all the other warnings, but @summary  
is not labeled "obsolete". It is listed as a conforming attribute  
(with some guidelines for proper use). So I would say summary is  
"mentioned" rather than "listed" in that section.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Thursday, 6 August 2009 16:08:15 GMT

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