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Re: [#293] Summary for tables

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 11:18:54 +1000
Message-ID: <16102.33662.679530.569425@jdc.local>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Cc: "WAI GL (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Al Gilman writes:
 > 
 > 
 > This comment from Phill Jenkins:
 > 
 > The summary attribute was not discussed in the June 9th proposal.  It is
 > the one attribute unique to layout and data tables that could be used to
 > help confirm that, in fact the should's and must's have been followed and
 > in fact this table is or is not a layout table.  The convention I have been
 > proposing is to use the keyword "layout" in the summary attribute text.

Problems with this proposal:

1. It is language-specific (ie., English only).

2. The contents of SUMMARY are meant to be presented to the user, not
   interpreted by the user agent and we shouldn't violate this
   expectation.

3. There is a feature of HTML/XHTML designed exactly for the intended
   purpose, namely the CLASS attribute.

Proposal: CLASS="layout"

Some have argued in the past that we shouldn't attempt to establish
conventions for the use of the CLASS attribute, as its semantics are
intentionally left open by the HTML and XHTML specifications. A
parallel case can be mounted, however, with respect to SUMMARY - the
original proposal would partition the set of SUMMARY values into two
subsets according to whether or not they contained the word "layout",
and would then attach specific semantics and behaviours to summaries
in which the word appeared. If we are going to set expectations
for developers regarding the semantics of attributes of the TABLE element I would prefer to constrain
CLASS than to constrain SUMMARY.
Received on Tuesday, 10 June 2003 21:19:20 GMT

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