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

Re: Bug 8404 -- taking it to the lists

From: Jeroen van der Gun <noreplytopreventspam@blijbol.nl>
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2009 19:10:52 +0100
Message-ID: <9945efe50912021010j6200433t19097b9ee0a6d234@mail.gmail.com>
To: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, public-html <public-html@w3.org>
2009/12/2 Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>:

> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16978740
> Talks about the quality of figures AND tables in publications,
> specifically data tables. Not just figure, or just table. Figures and
> _data_ tables

In the conclusion is explicitly said that figures can convey
information, and that they should contain even more information than
they currently do. Not to be confused with "meaningless stuff", which
apparently is your definition.

> Tables: A common use of tables is to present quantitative data or the
> results of statistical analyses (such as ANOVA)
> Figures: A common use of Figures is to present graphs, photographs, or
> other illustrations (other than tables).
> The style guide for the Colorado School of Mines, (PDF)
> http://inside.mines.edu/~mmyoung/phgn471/FigsTables.pdf
> Which states, specifically, that tables are not figures

Whether a figure is a table is irrelevant. They share the same
structure. Again note that "graphs, photographs or other
illustrations" are not meaningless. So both figures and tables have
similar meaning and similar structure. It would then be very logical
to model them equivalently in the HTML DOM.

> The Geological Society of America style guide:
> http://www.geosociety.org/pubs/geoguid6.htm
> Tables should replace text, not duplicate it. The numbering scheme
> should reflect each table's physical location in the document—tables
> in main text start with "TABLE 1."; tables in appendix start with
> "TABLE A1." See our sample table for further instructions

So as long as you don't treat figures as meaningless stuff, tables and
figures both represent information.

> All illustrations, whether line drawings or photographs, are
> considered figures. GSA prefers electronic files, but sometimes we may
> have to scan clean hard copy if the files are unusable.

Again, illustrations, line drawings and photographs are not
meaningless. (If it's crap, why would they scan it?)

> nature.com formatting guidelines:
> http://www.nature.com/nature/authors/gta/
> Nature requires figures in electronic format. Please ensure that all
> digital images comply with the Nature guide for digital images.

It nowhere states that tables and figures are fundamentally different
things in structure or meaning.

Figures are not meaningless, figures are meaningful. Tables are
meaningful as well. Both can have a caption, allowing them to be moved
away from their position in the document. Except for the name, they
really are the same.
Received on Wednesday, 2 December 2009 18:11:27 UTC

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