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

Re: Caption@title instead of table@summary?

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 09:53:35 -0800
Cc: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <2622B96C-7734-4D4B-99C0-6F6B6DD0EC4C@apple.com>
To: joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie

On Feb 18, 2009, at 3:39 AM, Joshue O Connor wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> Interesting idea. I think the core tradeoff between <caption  
>> title="">
>> and <table summary=""> is whether the additional information is
>> accessible (in some way) to sighted users.
> No its not. The difference is between some thing that facilitates
> comprehension for a user that /needs/ this information and something
> that is optional for a user who can already comprenend it. For  
> example,
> a sighted user can quickly glance at a table and understand the
> relationships between various headers and row and column  
> relationships.
> A non sighted user, has to interogate the table. @summary is useful as
> it does some of this work for the user because the user is informed in
> advance of what the table contains. It could be compared to a look  
> ahead.

I don't understand what your point of disagreement is. While you make  
a good point about the usefulness of table summaries, I don't think it  
contradicts my point. To clarify, my point is that the biggest  
functional difference between two proposed ways of providing table  
summaries is whether they are also exposed to sighted users. This  
could be good or bad, as I explained in the next sentence you quoted.

>> One reason we have both
>> title="" and alt="" on <img> is specifically to discourage UAs from
>> displaying alt to sighted users, since then it tends to contain
>> auxiliary information instead of replacement text. On the other  
>> hand, a
>> table summary should actually be auxiliary information about the  
>> table -
>> it doesn't need to fully replace the table because the table is still
>> there to be navigated if the user desires.
> Yes.

Received on Wednesday, 18 February 2009 17:54:18 UTC

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