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

Re: Use and abuse of @summary

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 16:43:39 +0000
To: "Simon Pieters" <simonp@opera.com>, "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Cc: "Janina Sajka" <janina@rednote.net>, "W3C WAI Protocols & Formats" <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org
Message-Id: <20090218163253.M57352@hicom.net>

2 points: 

1) it would be useful to provide an author-centric solution -- use of 
a "role" attribute, as discussed in:


so that role values can be used as machine parseable indicators which 
can, in turn, can be the basis for user customization of web apps and 
assistive technologies, by functioning as switches or hooks that do 
NOT interfere with the use of @summary for human-parseable information...

this is VERY much akin to the @alt imbroglio -- the value defined for 
@alt needs to be human parseable; machine processing instructions should
be derived from a dedicated attribute, to wit, role.

2) where are all the pointers to the spurious use of summary to which 
opponents of summary keep referring?  i have yet to encounter the use 
of a summary attribute that was "harmful" -- please do not make sweeping
generalizations, but provide specifics as to how use of summary is harmful
and how it has been "abused" in the past -- i simply haven't encountered
the evidence, but i have navigated innumerable documents with multiple 
tables, and can attest that without unique summary values for each table,
it increases the time it takes to parse the page mentally, for one is 
forced to discern the relationships expressed by the table for oneself in 
the absence of summary (properly used) -- something which sighted users
take for granted -- when a sighted user looks at a table, their brain 
discerns the pattern and relationship between the data sets contained in 
the table; when one is blind or one's vision is severely limited, there
is no means of achieving such a gestalt view, save through the use of
the summary element for TABLE

CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of existing evils,
as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them 
with others.         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
             Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
  Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html

---------- Original Message -----------
From: "Simon Pieters" <simonp@opera.com>
To: "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, "Ian Hickson"
<ian@hixie.ch>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Cc: "Janina Sajka" <janina@rednote.net>, "W3C WAI Protocols & Formats"
<w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org
Sent: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 15:16:46 +0100
Subject: Re: Use and abuse of @summary

> On Wed, 18 Feb 2009 11:20:32 +0100, Steven Faulkner 
> <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On digging into philips data a little bit and measuring its effect upon
> > users who's screen reading software provides access to the information  
> > it is
> > found that in the overwhelming majority of cases the incorrect uses of
> > @summary are not announced to screan reader users. Why? Because screen
> > reading software (JAWS and Window eyes) that supports @summary also uses
> > heuristics to suppress the announcement of layout tables to users
> -- 
> Simon Pieters
> Opera Software
------- End of Original Message -------
Received on Wednesday, 18 February 2009 16:44:48 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Thursday, 29 October 2015 10:15:42 UTC