W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2009

Re: How did the summary attribute become part of HTML 4.0?

From: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 09:38:06 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80908070138rdb53b50s63899f38c783e613@mail.gmail.com>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
For people who have member access there is more info here and discussion:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-hc/1997OctDec/0025.html
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-html-wg/1997OctDec/0077.html
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-html-wg/1997OctDec/0088.html

these are just a few examples of what appears to be an in depth discussion
of data table accessibility in general and summary in particular

it would appear that much of the discussion went on not on the html list but
on the related wai list.
 Some emails also allude to further telephone discussions around this topic.
I think if you read this material it clearly puts to bed the assertion that
the origin of the summary is due to weak reasoning.


regards
stevef

2009/8/7 Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>

> Like Mark Pilgrim, I tried to find a record of how the summary attribute
> became part of HTML 4.0 but found nothing. (
> http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/whatwg/20090804#l-190)
>
> The attribute first showed up in public in:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40-970917/struct/tables.html#h-12.1.1
>
> It says: 'Note. A new attribute for the table summary is needed because the
> caption for visual users is generally insufficient. The title attribute is
> inappropriate because browsers render this as a "tool tip" which is limited
> to a single line of text. In some user agents, long lines are clipped.' If
> title attribute clipping is the whole reason why the summary attribute
> exists, it seems like an awfully weak reason. It's like all the requests for
> new CSS features because browser X implements an existing CSS feature badly.
>
> Does anyone who was there at the time remember what happened?
>
> Summary wasn't in the previous draft from July 1997:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40-970708/struct/tables.html#h-7.5.1.1
>
> People with Member access may be interested in inspecting
> http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Group/9708/WD-html40-970808/struct/tables.html and
> http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Group/9708/issues.html also.
>
> --
> Henri Sivonen
> hsivonen@iki.fi
> http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
>
>
>
>


-- 
with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG Europe
Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium

www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
Web Accessibility Toolbar -
http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html
Received on Friday, 7 August 2009 08:38:48 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:16:43 GMT