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Re: empty table cells (was RE: how to use thead and tbody)

From: <Andrew.Arch@visionaustralia.org.au>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 08:41:26 +1000
To: jpledger@pop.mindspring.com
Cc: Jamie.Mackay@mch.govt.nz, "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF049FDCCE.819F1796-ONCA256ACB.007BC073@domino.bigpond.com>


I beg to differ in this circumstance.

In the NZ Immigration table, the value is not "null" but is actually "zero"
(is this correct Jamie?), or possibly "n/a", so placing a "0" (or "n.a.")
in the empty cells would be technically more correct than leaving them
empty as most people are want to do to improve the visaul appearance. The
added benefit is that a JAWS etc user gets more information too.


                    jeffrey Pledger                                                             
                    <jpledger@pop.minds        To:     Andrew.Arch@visionaustralia.org.au,      
                    pring.com>                 Jamie.Mackay@mch.govt.nz                         
                                               cc:     "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>        
                    19/09/01 08:12             Subject:     Re: empty table cells (was RE: how  
                                               to use thead and tbody)                          


While this may be a work around for using screen readers, it presents data
represented in the table incorrectly.  If the field element of a table is
to be empty (null), then that is what must be represented in the
table.  Let me take your work around further, if you can put this "00" into

a field to represent an empty (null) field in the table, why restrict it to

just the first row of the first field.  Carrying it out into other fields
and rows further muddies the waters.  Smile.

Jeffrey Pledger
President, AbleTV.net At 10:05 AM 9/13/01 +1000,
Andrew.Arch@visionaustralia.org.au wrote:

>Hi Jamie,
>My experience has been to include a "0" [zero] in the blank cells of a
>table such as your immigration table. These can be hidden from (most)
>sighted users with a span class for the cell [eg .hide {  visibility:
>hidden}], but will be read out by a screen reader thus giving a blind
>person better orientation within the columns of your table.
>WRT an empty table head element, why doesn't the top-left cell describe
>labels in column 1? If this is not needed visually, then again it could
>have a span class applied to hide it.
>Hope this helps, Andrew
>Dr Andrew Arch
>Manager, Internet Product Development
>Vision Australia Foundation
>Ph 613 9864 9222; Fax 613 9864 9210
>Mobile 0438 755 565
>Member, Education & Outreach Working Group,
>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
>                     "Jamie
> Mackay"
>                     <Jamie.Mackay@mc        To:     "Jon Hanna"
> <jon@spinsol.com>, "wai-ig
>                     h.govt.nz>              list"
> <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
>                     Sent
> by:                cc:
>                     w3c-wai-ig-reque        Subject:     RE: how to use
> thead and tbody
>                     st@w3.org
>                     13/09/01
> 08:43
>I'm glad this came up. I have a couple of other questions:
>How should I mark up an 'empty' table head element - a table were there
>is no header - as is sometimes the case with the top left-hand cell?
>Is it ok to include &nbsp; in empty cells?
>If anyone has the time to check this page and let me know if it looks ok
>(I fear I might have followed the W3C exapmle too literally) I would
>really appreciate it. (BTW I know I am not allowed the border color in
>the table, I'm still trying to make this work in CSS):
>I hope you will forgive me for asking what seem like trivial questions
>at a time of such crisis and sadness for many of you.
>Thanks in anticipation
>Jamie Mackay
Received on Tuesday, 18 September 2001 18:45:19 UTC

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