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Proposed Fix for Table Bugs

From: eric hansen <ehansen@ets.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 18:30:34 -0400 (EDT)
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-id: <vines.Bh0E+yZv3rA@cips06.ets.org>
Follow is my recommendation for dealing with the table-related issues that 
we have been discussing. (It also deals with a few issues that we have not 
discussed.) I believe that adopting these changes will greatly increase the 
number of Web developers who strive for compliance to the guidelines 
document.

Here are the steps, to help you follow my actions.

Step 1 - Added note(s) (i.e., Note 1, etc.) to checkpoint 1.1.

The notes following the examples for checkpoint 1.1 should read:

"Note 1. _Text equivalents for tables_ are addressed in guideline 5 {EH: 
This is the main focus.}
"Note 2. _Text equivalents for acronyms and abbreviations_ are addressed in 
checkpoint 4.2. {EH: I have not seen if suggested was accepted.}
"Note 3.  _Text equivalents for non-W3C-formatted documents and text 
equivalents as alternative accessible pages_ are addressed in guideline 11. 
{EH: I have not seen if suggested was accepted.}"

Step 2. Moved checkpoint 10.3 into Guideline 5. 

Step 3. Revised Guideline 5

Guideline 5. Provide text equivalents for tables.
{EH: This is the short explanation of the guideline title.}Provide a text 
equivalent for every table that cannot be properly rendered in synthesized 
speech, braille, and visually-displayed text.
[Add introductory material, including the concept that a linearized version 
of the table may serve as text equivalent for inaccessible tables. Add 
warnings about the problems of using tables for layout. It does not have to 
be long]
==
5.x1. Provide a linearized version of the following tables:
A. All tables in which reading order is not preserved when automatically 
linearized.  
B. All other tables EXCEPT:
    B.1. Single-column tables {EH: Preservation of reading order is "built 
in"}
    B.2. Multi-column tables without word-wrap.
    B.3. Other multi-column tables under the following conditions:
	B.3.a. Table must be used for tabular data (rather than only for 
layout).
	B.3.b. Table must include markup as specified in checkpoints 5.1 and 
5.2. 
	B.3.c. User agents which use the markup (in checkpoints 5.1 and 5.2) 
to facilitate serial renderings (audio and braille) of data must be widely 
available.
[Priority 1]
Note 1. The linearized version may be on the same page or another.
Note 2. Many tables used for layout will require this treatment. Using 
style languages is a more appropriate way to create presentation effects 
{EH: Perhaps someone can state this better.} 
[Techniques will discuss linearization.]
==
5.1 For data tables, identify row and column headers. [Priority 2] {EH: I 
changed this from Priority 1 to Priority 2. It can't be Priority 1 because 
violations don't prevent access.]  
For example, in HTML, use TD to identify data cells and TH to identify 
headers.
Techniques for checkpoint 5.1
{EH: Old: 5.1 For data tables, identify row and column headers. [Priority 
1] 
For example, in HTML, use TD to identify data cells and TH to identify 
headers.
Techniques for checkpoint 5.1}
==
5.2 For data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column 
headers, use markup to associate data cells and header cells. [Priority 2] 
{EH: I changed this from Priority 1 to Priority 2. It can't be Priority 1 
because violations don't prevent access.] 
For example, in HTML, use THEAD, TFOOT, and TBODY to group rows, COL and 
COLGROUP to group columns, and the "axis", "scope", and "headers" 
attributes, to describe more complex relationships among data.
Techniques for checkpoint 5.2
{EH:Old.  5.2 For data tables that have two or more logical levels of row 
or column headers, use markup to associate data cells and header cells. 
[Priority 1] 
For example, in HTML, use THEAD, TFOOT, and TBODY to group rows, COL and 
COLGROUP to group columns, and the "axis", "scope", and "headers" 
attributes, to describe more complex relationships among data.
Techniques for checkpoint 5.2}
{EH:%^. 4/16/99. Delete this: "5.3. Do not use tables for layout." Previous 
memo provides rationale.}
==
5.4 In tables used for layout, use correct markup to convey the structure 
of the document (including headings, paragraphs, lists, etc.) [Priority 2 
{EH: I wonder if this should priority 3.}]
Techniques for checkpoint 5.4
==
{EH: Delete this one. This should be put in the Techniques document and be 
entirely optional. It should not be required in order to obtain a triple-A 
rating, unless you want to qualify that this is for "highly complex 
tables."
5.5 Provide summaries for tables. [Priority 3] 
For example, in HTML, use the "summary" attribute of the TABLE element.
Techniques for checkpoint 5.5}
==
{EH: Delete this one. This should be put in the Techniques document and be 
entirely optional. It should not be required in order to obtain a triple-A 
rating.
5.6 Provide abbreviations for header labels. [Priority 3] 
For example, in HTML, use the "abbr" attribute on the TH element.
Techniques for checkpoint 5.6}

=============================
Eric G. Hansen, Ph.D.
Development Scientist
Educational Testing Service
ETS 12-R
Rosedale Road
Princeton, NJ 08541
(W) 609-734-5615
(Fax) 609-734-1090
E-mail: ehansen@ets.org 
Received on Friday, 16 April 1999 19:06:55 GMT

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