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Re: Draft of @summary text for HTML 5 poll

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 04:17:29 +0000 (UTC)
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0907240408490.23663@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Thu, 23 Jul 2009, Laura Carlson wrote:
> As a first step in finding a solution to this issue, shall the HTML WG 
> restore the summary attribute to HTML5?

HTML5 already allows the summary="" attribute, so it's unclear exactly 
what such a poll would actually entail. Given that summary="" is already 
in the spec as a conforming (if obsolete) part of the language, maybe a 
better poll would be:

"Should the summary="" attribute be removed from the conforming language 
defined in the HTML5 spec?"

However, I think this too is missing the point, which is that the 
summary="" attribute isn't, or at least should not be, the issue. The 
issue is how we should make table accessible, and summary="" is but one 
proposed solution amongst many. Fixating on this solution to the exclusion 
of all else is a terribly naive approach to language design. We must 
approach this with a holistic view that takes into account all the data we 
have collected, and all the proposals that have been put forward, and 
tries to come up with the best solution for making tables accessible.

If we have micro-managed votes on each individual feature we will instead, 
despite our best intentions, end up with an incoherent specification that 
does not put the user's best interests first and foremost.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 24 July 2009 04:18:09 UTC

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