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RE: linearized tables

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 18:53:21 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: <thatch@us.ibm.com>, gv@trace.wisc.edu
Cc: "'Greg Lowney'" <greglo@microsoft.com>, "'Wendy A Chisholm'" <wendy@w3.org>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 09:01 AM 3/14/00 -0600, thatch@us.ibm.com wrote:
>.  I think (hope) no one is arguing that
>tabular data needs to linearize well.

Well, I for one wasn't suggesting that tables "linearize" in the sense of 
this discussion.  However, there's a related point (albeit one that comes 
under a different guideline, probably 10, "Use Interim solutions".

  It is useful these days to make tables readable line by line without 
reference to the column headers.  For example, in our AT lending library 
http://www.temple.edu/inst_disabilities/atlend/catalog_items.html we have a 
table with a heading that says "Needs Support?"  Instead of saying yes or 
no in each table cell, we say "needs support" or leave it blank,  so that 
someone can read a table row without reference to the column headings.

There's another page I helped with on the state park site giving dates down 
the first column and locations across the 
top.  http://www.temple.edu/inst_disabilities/piat/talks/pa-web/parktable.html
Visually, the table has dots showing which locations have events on which 
dates.  The dots are graphical bullets.  But instead of making the alt text 
"bullet", each dot has the ALT text as location.  So when you read a row, 
you read the date and then the locations.

Ideally we wouldn't need these tricks.  But until all users have browsers 
that can automatically read the heading as you go across a row, it's useful.

That being said, that is NOT part of the s guideline about linearizing I 
think.  But it might be considered as a extra check point for Guideline 10, 
"Use Interim Solutions".  As for priority... personally I treat it like it 
was a 1, but I suppose 2 would be appropriate.


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 Wednesday, 15 March 2000 18:48:46 UTC

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