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RE: PF Response: @Summary

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 17:27:05 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Jonas Sicking'" <jonas@sicking.cc>
Cc: "'Laura Carlson'" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, "'Janina Sajka'" <janina@rednote.net>, "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'Chris Wilson'" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "'Michael Cooper'" <cooper@w3.org>, "'Dan Connolly'" <connolly@w3.org>, "'Mike Smith'" <mike@w3.org>, "'W3C WAI Protocols & Formats'" <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>, "'Gez Lemon'" <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, <wai-liaison@w3.org>, "'www-archive'" <www-archive@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002c01c9e574$7a535b20$6efa1160$@edu>
Jonas Sicking wrote:
> 
> But I will note that I also pointed out the need to gather data. It's
> easy to have an opinion, but we won't know whose opinion is right
> until we get some data.
> 
> @summary has been specified for over 10 years, so there should be
> plenty of data out there to show if it has been a good idea or not.
> Wouldn't you agree?
>

I do agree that research data is good.  In his response last night, Ian
Hickson suggested that he had evidence, data and research regarding
@summary, which lead to the working group *removing* this existing HTML 4
attribute from HTML5.  I have asked that he share this information amongst
us so that we might all make informed conclusions.  I am waiting to hear
his response.

In the absence of conclusive data however, by what justification should
@summary be removed, given that it has been made available to authors who
desired to use it previously?  

As the PF-WG noted:

*  Summary serves a need, and serves it well.
*  It is familiar to users.
*  It is supported in browsers.
*  It is properly utilized on many web sites which strive to be
accessible.
*  If it didn't exist, we'd need to invent it. Indeed, such alternative
approaches as have been proposed constitute a "reinvention" of summary.
*  We [accessibility specialists - JF] reject the argument that summary
should be removed from the HTML specification because it is not
implemented on most web sites. The wider web is not an example of good
practice.
*  We need summary for backward compatibility.
*  Restoring summary in HTML 5 would not, in our understanding, negatively
impact HTML 5 in any way.

Given all of the above, I am unclear as to what, exactly, the problem is.
(I personally note as well that there is nothing in the specification that
would suggest that adding or not adding @summary data to a web document
would affect its conformance status, so why is there such resistance to
re-instatement?) 

JF
Received on Friday, 5 June 2009 00:27:52 GMT

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