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

Re: Use and abuse of @summary

From: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 13:45:33 +0100
Message-ID: <49A29A6D.4050404@opera.com>
To: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
CC: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org
Steven Faulkner wrote:
> Hi lachlan, yes I used the summary in this way on prupose, because i figured
> that people would look at it and comment on its incorrect use.

I don't understand the purpose of doing that?

Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
> Worth noting that WCAG 2 techniques are advisory, rather than
> mandatory. Personally, I disagree with this technique's particular
> suggested use of summary for simple tables...and, as it's only
> advisory, that's fine...as long as i and my users are happy that the
> actual mandatory SC 1.3.1 is satisfied.

It's not really fine because WCAG techniques are supposed to be helpful. 
If this technique is suggesting something that is widely held to be bad 
practice then it should be updated to describe what good practice 
actually is.

It is also a problem for the HTML-WG because a large number of the 
discussions on @summary have been predicated on it being used as 
described in this technique. If the actual content that users want, and 
accessibility-aware authors are providing, is substantially different 
from that indicated in WCAG that would be extremely useful to know so 
that we can base the discussion on reality rather than spec-fiction.

For example it is unclear that @summary will be needed to satisfy 1.3.1 
at all since information about the structure of the data is available 
through the table cell-headers relationships hence satisfying the 
"relationships [...] can be programmatically determined" part of the clause.
Received on Monday, 23 February 2009 12:46:24 UTC

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