W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2005

Re: [techs] Table Summary Tests (111, 112, 113, 114, 203)

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 22:03:53 +0000 (UTC)
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.60.0508172158260.8351@aristotle.multipattern.com>

>> summary="" is fine if <caption> exists or an ordinary heading or body copy 
>> explains the table.

> My feeling is that even if the table is described within the document a 
> caption, summary or title should be required. The reason is similar to why we 
> require alt text for images even if they are described within the document.

If what you just wrote adequately expressed the full range of <img> uses 
in the real world, I'd back you up. But the Working Group is unfamiliar 
with real-world usage, hence unfamiliar with the fact that alt="" is just 
fine if immediately-preceding or -following text describes the image, for 
example.

<http://joeclark.org/book/sashay/serialization/Chapter06.html#h2-4840>

Your screen-reader user doesn't need to hear the same text twice.

Tables have attributes and elements that are *optional*, unlike the 
mandatory alt text. The Working Group must not act like all Web developers 
are unsophisticated. A heading or plain text explaining the purpose of the 
immediately-following table *does* suffice.

> The table caption, summary or title is the standard method of explaining the 
> table according to the HTML spec.

They are *some* standard methods and all of those are *optional*. We've 
had all sorts of discussions on this list about the use of the title 
attribute, and people made the suggestion, as backward as the suggestion 
we are currently discussing, that since title is optional we shouldn't 
require it, should discourage it, and should act like it's never there.

> Having the table description explicitly associated with the table means it 
> can be used even if the table is disassociated with the body content.

Just drop that whole subject or I'll get angry again. We're not producing 
HTML that people can remix as they like and still have it make sense.

Can I just extract the tfoot from a table, then, Chris? Oh, right. Nobody 
uses that.

> Even if the table is fully described within the document content I don't 
> think it would hurt to duplicate a short portion of the description within 
> the summary, caption or title.

*I* do, for reasons described.

-- 

     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
     Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
       --This.
       --What's wrong with top-posting?
Received on Wednesday, 17 August 2005 22:04:09 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 7 December 2009 10:47:39 GMT