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Re: Table Mark-up

From: Shan Sasser <sasser.shan@blind.state.ia.us>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 14:38:54 -0600
Message-Id: <199901152037.PAA20422@www10.w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Thank you so much for responding to my inquiry.

In part, Mr. Dardailler stated:

>Since the things we're asking for TABLE are part of HMLT4.0, which is
>a standard the industry has endorsed (but has not yet fully
>implemented), I think it's fine that we ask people to use it if it's
>good for accessibility.

In part, Mr. Rasmussen stated:

> I don't expect that any browser/screen reader combination supports the 
> new table markup features of HTML 4. Home Page Reader, PW Webspeak, 
> BrooksTalk, Braillesurf or the W3 browser and Emacspeak may support 
> some of this.  It's a case where the accessibility standards have 
> moved ahead of their implementation.

I found your responses helpful, and I always instruct web authors who
consult with us to follow these standards. 

Now I'm wondering which of the screen reader vendors are incorporating the
recognition of the new HTML 4.0 elements into their functionality? In other
words, will future versions of JAWS For Windows, Window-Eyes, etc. be able
to render a table as desired in the guidelines?

In previous messages to the list, several authors have mentioned working
with web editors to ensure that the editors help the web author create
accessible pages. Is a similar effort underway to ensure that the assistive
technology vendors take full advantage of those pages that have included
the accessible mark-up?

A few months ago, I sent a message to Henter-Joyce asking about JAWS'
inability to recognize the id and header attributes in a table. Perhaps my
question to them was not clear, because their reply did not address it.

Any information on this topic will be most appreciated.

Shan Sasser
Iowa Department for the Blind
(515)281-1338
www.blind.state.ia.us/assist

At 09:46 AM 1/14/99 +0100, you wrote:
>
>> However, none of the screen readers that we have encountered reads the
sample
>> table as such.
>
>Probably not, it's a theoritical example of what a browser, a proxy or
>a screen reader could to, provided the additional TABLE markup was
>there.
>
>> Are there additional reasons for using caption, summary, header and id in
>> table
>> mark-up other than to ensure tables are appropriately translated into
linear
>> sequences, which only JFW/IE 4.01 does with limited success? 
>
>There's a chicken&egg issue here. If user agents do not support a
>functionality, is it worth asking author to support it ? (if it can't
>be read, should I write it ?).
>
>Since the things we're asking for TABLE are part of HMLT4.0, which is
>a standard the industry has endorsed (but has not yet fully
>implemented), I think it's fine that we ask people to use it if it's
>good for accessibility.
> 
Received on Friday, 15 January 1999 15:37:22 GMT

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