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Re: Issues of @summary and use of data for "decisions"

From: Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 20:46:32 +0200
To: "Laura Carlson" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, "Shelley Powers" <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Cc: "Sam Ruby" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "HTMLWG WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.uvzqfucfidj3kv@simon-pieterss-macbook.local>
On Tue, 23 Jun 2009 20:14:40 +0200, Laura Carlson  
<laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com> wrote:

> Sam wrote:
>
>> "why do we need @summary as opposed to
>> something else or even nothing at all"
>
> Could break existing content that uses the summary attribute unless
> summary attribute and summary (or equivalent) element were synonymous.
> For backwards compatibility UAs could accept either @summary or
> <summary> (or equivalent) element, while the spec could encourage the
> use of the element in place of the attribute.

That's what HTML5 already does, except the element is called "caption"  
instead of "summary".

    If a table element has a summary attribute, the user agent may report
    the contents of that attribute to the user.

    Note: Authors are encouraged to use the caption element instead of the
    summary attribute.

http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/tabular-data.html#the-table-element

I have heard arguments along the lines of "but captions and summaries are  
different" or "but captions should be short, summaries long", but I have  
not heard any argument as to why the user agent needs to be able to  
distinguish between the caption and the summary. (I might have missed it,  
please provide a pointer if so.)

-- 
Simon Pieters
Opera Software
Received on Tuesday, 23 June 2009 18:47:30 UTC

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