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

From: jeffrey Pledger <jpledger@pop.mindspring.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 07:33:54 -0400
Message-Id: <5.0.2.1.0.20010921072806.018662f0@pop.mindspring.com>
To: "Jamie Mackay" <Jamie.Mackay@mch.govt.nz>, <Andrew.Arch@visionaustralia.org.au>
Cc: "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
O.K., let me understand this problem, which seems to be more semantic than 
anything else.  The field data contained within the specific cell is not 
null , but contains a zero,'0'.  if this is the case, then put a zero in 
the cell, if that is the value you want to be represented in the field 
data, or put a "-" or 'N/A", just be consistent.  If a screen reader can't 
determine the value in afield data cell when it is populated with some 
type/form of text data, that is a problem in the screen reader and needs to 
be fixed on the assistive technology end.  What should not be done is to 
have different representations of the field data contained in the cell for 
any and all users.  Speaking from a database perspective, that is a major 
"no-no".  Smile.

Jeffrey Pledger
President, AbleTV.net At 10:56 AM 9/19/01 +1200, Jamie Mackay wrote:
>Andrew and others
>
>While it is true that the value is zero for these cells, the reason is
>probably closer to 'n/a', though this is not quite right either - a
>simple dash (-) indicating an empty cell is how I'd put it if published
>in a hard copy medium, and perhaps this is the best solution here?
>
>I'm also interested to know if the way I have tied headers to cells in
>the code is correct (or more importantly, if it works for screen reading
>user agents).
>
>
>Thanks
>Jamie
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Andrew.Arch@visionaustralia.org.au
>[mailto:Andrew.Arch@visionaustralia.org.au]
>Sent: Wednesday, 19 September 2001 10:41 a.m.
>To: jpledger@pop.mindspring.com
>Cc: Jamie Mackay; wai-ig list
>Subject: Re: empty table cells (was RE: how to use thead and tbody)
>
>
>
>Jeffrey,
>
>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.
>
>Andrew
>
>
>
>
>
>
>                     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)
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>Andrew,
>
>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
>the
> >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
> >http://www.visionaustralia.org.au/
> >
> >Member, Education & Outreach Working Group,
> >W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
> >http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >                     "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):
> >
> >http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/gallery/brit-nz/immig-all-table.htm
> >
> >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 Friday, 21 September 2001 07:47:20 GMT

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