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RE: linearized tables and FORMs

From: <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 12:34:09 -0600
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <852568A2.0066B888.00@d54mta08.raleigh.ibm.com>

Although you have mentioned the 2 or 3 main categories of tables:
1. Tables for layout
2. Tables for tabular information
2.1 Tables that contain tabular but are not marked up correctly

The WCAG techniques address two main categories, tabular and layout.
and clearly states that:
"Cells should make sense when read in order (row-wise or column-wise) and
should include structural elements (that create paragraphs, headers, lists,
etc.) so the page makes sense after linearization."

But I think we need to add a technique that covers a hybrid situation where
layout provides meaning such as in a form that has labels in table cells
and fields in others cells.  Does the form laid out in a table need to make
sense when read in cell order? Or does the FORM checkpoints take precedent
so that the LABEL for attribute is used explicitly? or do both have to
apply?   There are currently varying levels of support for headers, LABEL
for, and lineraziation; where LABEL for is poorly supported in visual
browsers and assistive technologies both.  I believe we could word the
guidelines better and add a pointer in the tables technique that direct the
user to the FORMS section, such as:

FORMS controls that are laid out with tables may or may not make sense when
read in order (row-wise or column-wise) depending on their complexity, but
should follow the guidelines and techniques section "4.11 Forms"  at:

Phill Jenkins
IBM Accessibility Center - Special Needs Systems
Received on Tuesday, 14 March 2000 13:50:26 UTC

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