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Re: Draft text for summary attribute definition

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sun, 01 Mar 2009 06:20:28 +0100
Message-ID: <49AA1B1C.7020408@malform.no>
To: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
CC: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Gez Lemon 2009-03-01 05.27:
> Hi Leif,
> 
> I  understand your rationale, but I see two important issues:
> 
> 1: The summary attribute isn't a property of the caption element, but a 
> property of the table itself (its purpose is to describe how to read the 
> table, not how to read the caption).

Could it become a real problem that authors would  think that 
caption@summary is describing how to read the <caption>? I would 
not - as a user - immediately perceive the caption@title tooltip 
as a caption only tooltip, for example.

It is exactly because authors needs to understand the difference 
between titling and summarizing that they need to be close.

I get the feeling that you think it is the opposite way, and that 
my proposal will have the opposite effect.

> 2: There isn't a strong relationship between the caption element and the 
> summary attribute; the caption element isn't required, but that doesn't  
> mean a summary shouldn't be provided.

Both <caption> and @summary are optional. So why not keep the 
optional meta info in the same element?

In my proposal, caption will be needed to provide a summary, (as 
long as you want to write undeprecated code). <caption> itself can 
be empty though. As long as <caption> is emtpy, it will not 
caption any attention in visual user agents.

This creates a strong *technical* link between the two. And that 
is also what I think is needed. The "relationship" otherwise, is 
that both fulfill some meta tasks.

The only drawback I see here is that it will require more to add 
the @summary since one needs to add the emtpy caption element first.

And may be, for some with a strong pereceptions of how this really 
  ought to be, caption@summary will feel backwards. However, we 
know that the problem up until today often has been  that authors 
have not got to feel how backward they are doing it.

>>    <caption summary="Summary text."></caption>
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Sunday, 1 March 2009 05:21:12 UTC

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