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

Re: summary="" in HTML5 ISSUE-32

From: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 21:13:41 -0500
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>
Message-Id: <DD6AC601-F379-45E3-8AF3-5D83724D8274@robburns.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
HI Maciej,

On Feb 26, 2009, at 8:48 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

>
> On Feb 26, 2009, at 5:29 PM, Robert J Burns wrote:
>
>>
>>> If you have more objective data, then by all means, present it.
>>
>> The scientific method does not say that if we can find suitable  
>> data than we can draw conclusions from it, but if we cannot then we  
>> should simply allow one person in a position of leadership to make  
>> wild speculation about what data might possibly exist if we had the  
>> resources to acquire it.
>
> The scientific method says that to dispute a theory (e.g. "summary  
> values are usually poor"), one provides contrary evidence. For  
> example, showing actual selection bias in Philip's study, or doing a  
> study that shows different results, would be examples of the  
> scientific method in action. Contrary evidence is what we use to  
> reject a hypothesis.

Its what the scientific community uses to reject hypothesis. You use  
PR style spin.

> On the other hand, spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about the  
> quality of Philip's study is not the scientific method. It is not  
> science to say the study is bad without pointing out specific  
> problems or showing contradictory results.

I'm not spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about the quality of  
Philip's study. You're making wild claims about what the study says in  
suggesting that I am. Philip himself disclosed the bias of the sample.  
I don't even care about that so much. Let's use it as anecdotal  
evidence which can still be useful. But let us use anecdotal evidence  
for what it is useful for and not claim it can show us what it cannot.  
For example it cannot show us what percentage of pages use summary=''  
for layout tables or misuse is it for non-layout tables.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Friday, 27 February 2009 02:14:24 UTC

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