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

Re: summary="" in HTML5 ISSUE-32

From: Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 12:58:34 -0800
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
CC: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>, Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, Steve Axthelm <steveax@pobox.com>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, "wai-xtech@w3.org" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, "wai-liaison@w3.org" <wai-liaison@w3.org>, "janina@rednote.net" <janina@rednote.net>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C5CAF0FA.163BE%mattmay@adobe.com>
On 2/25/09 12:07 PM, "Jonas Sicking" <jonas@sicking.cc> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 12:03 PM, David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
> wrote:
>> what is the difference between your paragraph and what we already have?  how
>> would it improve on @summary?
> 
> The advantage is that the <p> is displayed to all users. Not just
> users of AT clients.

>From the HTML 4.01 spec [1]:

"summary = text [CS]
    This attribute provides a summary of the table's purpose and structure
for user agents rendering to non-visual media such as speech and Braille."

This needs to be stated as clearly as possible: @summary is not <caption>.
There may be some overlap in the minds of HTML WG members, but my read is
that no one on the PF side shares that opinion. (Please speak up if any of
you disagree.) @summary serves a specific purpose: to offer a description of
the visual and structural makeup of a table _specifically_ for the benefit
of non-visual users. Those who can see the table can see the structure that
it represents. Making it visible by default would only add redundancy.

If you want to make @summary readable to all users, then by all means, do
so. If you want to disambiguate @summary and <caption> to clarify that it is
for AT users only, I fully support that. But the purpose of @summary is not
subsumed by <caption>.

-
m

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/tables.html#adef-summary
Received on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 21:00:34 UTC

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