W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > January to March 2001

Re: What does "for example" mean [ was summary attribute required? history.

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 23:12:09 -0500
Message-Id: <Version.32.20010305160412.042fbc20@pop.iamdigex.net>
Message-Id: <Version.32.20010305160412.042fbc20@pop.iamdigex.net>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 02:57 PM 2001-03-05 -0500, Leonard R. Kasday wrote: 
> Al brings up the question of whether "for example" means what I thought it
> meant.  
> At 01:57 PM 3/5/01 -0500, Al Gilman wrote:
>> I have to object to your reading of the "plain meaning" of the English.  
>> It does not say "for [any] HTML use the SUMMARY attribute on [all] TABLEs."
>> What it says is, 'For example, in HTML, use the "summary" attribute of the
>> TABLE element.'
>> This leaves plenty of room for "in HTML, use the CAPTION subelement
within a
>> TABLE" to be yet another conforming example.
> Lets see what happens when we use that reading of "for example" in WCAG
> checkpoint 1.1 which says:
> For example, in HTML: 
> · Use "alt" for the IMG, INPUT, and APPLET elements, or provide a text
> equivalent in the content of the OBJECT and APPLET elements
> Do we no longer have to use ALT for images?


For IMG, you have no reasonable alternative to ALT.  No other reasonable
way to
satisfy the normative language that preceded this example.  That is why we

On the other hand, within the example that you quote, there is also APPLET,
where you have two ways to satisfy the requirement.

The strictness is not determined by the "for example" language but rather by
the availability or absense of other examples that work.

> or in
> 3.1 When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than
> to convey information. [Priority 2] For example, use MathML to mark up
> mathematical equations
> Since it says "for example" does this mean we don't have to use MathML for
> equations?

AG::  Not if another suitable markup language exists.  In particular, there is
a markup dialect for chemical equations that is not MathML and satisfies this

> or in
> 3.6 Mark up lists and list items properly. [Priority 2] For example, in
> nest OL, UL, and DL lists properly. 
> Do we not have to mark up lists and list items properly?
> In other words, if we don't interpret "for example" to mean "this is
> required", we open a can of snakes in the rest of WCAG 1.0.  If we want
it to
> mean "this is just one way to do it"  lets be explicit about that by issuing
> a small erratum.


I posted to wai-xtech suggesting that we discuss this category of usage there,
as it affects all our documents, and not just the content guidelines.  I agree
this is an area where the 'usability' of the document has suffered because
people read it differently, and the differences between interpretations
sometimes are significant.

Clearly for WCAG 1.0 this group is the one to decide how to clarify that
existing document.  But I think that "what to do clearer for the future" is a
cross-cutting issue.

On the SUMMARY point, the historical record is clear: that at the time HTML 4
was going to press, the WAI was asked if the SUMMARY attribute shouldn't be
made #REQUIRED and the aswer at the time, from the WAI, was 'no.'

I believe that the WCAG 1.0 language is compatible with this position.  The
Working Group may wish, in retrospect, to take a different position.

Note that for XHTML 2.0 we should be looking at changes anyway.  Quite
making SUMMARY a sub-element and not an attribute, similar to the 'desc'
sub-element in the 'g' element in SVG.  So we can renegotiate and try to
out a transition plan.


> Len
> -- 
> Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.        
> Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple
> University
> (215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)         
> <http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday%A0%A0%A0%A0%A0%A0%A0%A0>http://astro.temp
> le.edu/~kasday        <mailto:kasday@acm.org>mailto:kasday@acm.org 
> Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group
> <http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/>http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/
> The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant:
> <http://www.temple.edu/inst_disabilities/piat/wave/>http://www.temple.edu/
> inst_disabilities/piat/wave/ 
Received on Monday, 5 March 2001 22:52:55 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:36 UTC