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

Re: summary="" in HTML5 ISSUE-32

From: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 13:31:50 +0100
Message-ID: <49A68BB6.8060801@opera.com>
To: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
CC: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>
Steven Faulkner wrote:
> Hi Ian
> 
> Ian wrote:
> "There have been a number of such studies. Here's one:
> 
>   http://canvex.lazyilluminati.com/misc/summary.html
> 
> Philip's data has in the past been found to track very closely with the
> results of my own studies of billions of pages, so I would say the above
> is representative of what one might expect across any more or less random
> sample of the Web.
> 
> If one examines this data, one finds that not one of the values found
> is actually useful. (A few seem like they'd be useful, until you look at
> the pages, and then you realise that they are redundant with other data
> immediately before or after the summary.)
> 
> There is no way browser vendors would agree to exposing this data to all
> users."
> 
> Philips "study" in his own words:
> 
> "Philip notes that his thing was not attempting to be a particularly
> useful or detailed or well-thought-out survey, it was just scraping
> some easily-available information"
> 
> So what other studies? I don't think it enough for you to say "my own
> studies of billions of pages"
> 
> "If one examines this data, one finds that not one of the values found
> is actually useful."

FWIW if you are trying to show that the data does not support the 
conclusions drawn from it, it would be good to cite specific reasons 
that it does not rather than just implying that the data is necessarily 
misleading.

As far as I can tell, the survey that you did using an entirely 
different methodology supports the notion that data that authors put 
into @summary *in practice* could also go in <caption>. I have seen 
little real-world evidence that @summary is often used for information 
that would be inappropriate to show to visual users.
Received on Thursday, 26 February 2009 12:32:09 GMT

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