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Re: Tables - cell-to-cell

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 10:00:56 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199710211400.KAA12186@access4.digex.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
to follow up on what jaap van lelieveld said:
> 
> Browsing cell-to-cell only works if you are aware of the contents of
> the table and if the table is not too complex.
> When reading a table this way you must imagen very good what
> the table is like. People who are not experienced "navigaters'
> are normally not able to use this approach.
> In many cases they are not able to use the table as presentation method
> in braille or speech anyway since they miss the overview.
> This does not concern the headers only, but also the size of the
> table, rows and columns, and cells.
> 

I had the good fortune to talk with Scott Luebking who wrote a
browser with cell-to-cell navigation in tables.  He also observed
blind users using it.

Scott's particular browser treated headers as an optional part of
table cells; the user could select how much the relevant headers
were repeated when a cell was read.  This was generally
successful for the blind users that used it.  To do this right,
you do need to know which headers are relevant.

In the HTML4 spec as amended by the HC recommendations, the SCOPE
attribute for simple tables together with the AXES attribute for
complex tables let the HTML document tell the browser exactly
what headers belong with each cell.  That is there to support
browser functions that would state the context as opposed to
requiring you to keep it all in your head.

-- Al Gilman

Reference (not much more than what I said here):

input from experience

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-hc/1997OctDec/0051.html
Received on Tuesday, 21 October 1997 10:01:28 GMT

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