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

Re: summary="" in HTML5 ISSUE-32

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 04:44:34 +0100
Message-ID: <49A61022.4000607@malform.no>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
CC: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>, 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>, 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-liaison@w3.org, janina@rednote.net, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>
Jonas Sicking 2009-02-25 19.42:
> Two suggestions I've seen so far are:
> * Use a <p> above the table describing the contents of the table.

Just wrap the table in a <figure>. (Not to solve @summary, but to 
link particular paragraphs to a table.)

> * Change the definition of <caption> to not just be the title of the
> table to also be allowed to contain a summary.
> Both these have the advantage if adding accessibility to all users
> rather than just ones that use AT clients.

Neutrally spoken, the two solutions share:

   - text visibility
   - semantic unclarity (is this a caption or a summary?)
   - unspecificity (where does the summary/caption end/begin?)

   Visibility can help authors do it right by reminding them about 
features. But if users/authors are unable to *see* that "this is a 
summary, because it is presented/marked up in a way that differs 
from the context" then authors do not get any help. Instead we 
risk a lot of "creativity", without unambigioius user benefits, 
when authors try to separate summary from caption etc.

   <header> can contain several H1-H6  and P elements. What if 
authors were required to collpse <header> into a single string and 
  use a single H1-H6 element instead? So why should we permit 
<caption> to contain two info-levels without also offering a way 
to distinguish the two?

> Another suggestion I've thought about is using the table@title
> attribute. Title attributes are already often used to add descriptive
> information out-of-flow. And title attributes are generally available
> in visual UAs in the form of tooltips.

Our design principle "Separation of Concerns" is also known as 
"Kill Your Babies".  If the choice is betwen @title and @summary, 
then @summary wins easily.
leif halvard silli
Received on Thursday, 26 February 2009 03:46:11 UTC

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