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Re: Check TABLE elements for valid "summary" attribute (Technique 5.5.1 )

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 21:07:10 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>, w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org

At 05:49 PM 2/18/00 -0500, Wendy A Chisholm wrote:
>Evaluation:TABLE elements should have a valid "summary" attribute for 
>table where it is difficult to determine the relationship among cells.

I think this qualification is a definite help.  However, the guidelines and 
the techniques document still omit this qualifiaction.

cf. http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/#gl-table-markup



I think it would be best to explicitly say that summaries, as well as other 
advanced markup like THEAD, etc be required only when they cannot be 
deduced from the straightforward table interpretation algorithm... except 
for a case mentioned below


I was thinking for a while that they could be included in the "until 
browsers" section... but browser/screenreaders will-- or alt least should-- 
be able to interpret the algorithm before then anyway.

The one place where summaries would be useful, aside from headers 
arrangments that can't be deduced from the algorithm, would be  when the 
data in the table, as opposed to the headings, show a pattern that is 
visually evident but difficult to perceive by listening to the table.


Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Department of Electrical Engineering
Temple University
423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122


(215) 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Sunday, 20 February 2000 21:12:16 UTC

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