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Re: Draft text for summary attribute definition

From: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2009 00:51:50 +0000
Message-ID: <e2a28a920902281651w390a664dv66052214ea6f29ba@mail.gmail.com>
To: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
2009/2/28 Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>:
> The substantive differences between version A and version B is that version
> B follows WCAG in recommending summary="" for layout tables and also directs
> authors to include a caption within 'summary' if the author elects to omit a
> caption entirely (though prohibiting the use of 'summary' for caption when
> the author includes 'caption' content). The idea here is that non-visual
> users have a strong need for a caption even though captions can often be
> omitted due to context for visual users.

WCAG 2.0 does not recommend using summary="" for layout tables. There
is a note in one of the WCAG 2.0 techniques that states that a null
summary is acceptable on layout tables [1], but it is not a WCAG 2.0
recommendation.

HTML 5 should not encourage the use of layout tables by describing how
to create layout tables in the specification.

The purpose of the caption element and the summary attribute are
completely different (caption titles the table, summary describes how
the table should be read by people who cannot see how the table has
been rendered), and they shouldn't be confused. Version A doesn't
encourage layout tables, and it doesn't confuse the purpose of the
summary attribute. Most of the debate around the summary attribute has
been about misunderstanding its purpose, so trying to merge its
purpose with another element's purpose is probably not the best way of
getting the summary attribute into the HTML5 specification.

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20081211/H73


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Received on Sunday, 1 March 2009 00:52:33 GMT

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