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RE: long tables

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 10:24:37 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
cc: "Scarlett Julian (ED)" <Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0204151018490.22080-100000@tux.w3.org>
Actually, as a non-screenreader user I often wish that my visual browser was
equally smart, and allowed me to scroll the table while keeping the headers
in view (as spreadsheet programs can do). I'll write to my browser developers
about this, although I guess this would complicate life for screenreader
users (as opposed to folks who use talking browsers) so it is worth thinking
about for afew minutes before I do so.

Just as an aside, I know that speech systems are getting better all the time
at dealing with tables. For a complex table with several levels of headings
(marked up using scope / axis attributes, or multiple tbody elements, etc)
are there speech systems that can provide access to the various headers yet,
or should I keep using tablin to rebuild the tables?

Also, the headers attribute seems OK for cases where the headers structure is
really complex, but the idea of the scope, axis, etc attributes is that quite
often it is simpler to identify blocks for which various headers apply than
to name each applicable header every time. Does this make sense to other
folks, or seem silly?



On Mon, 15 Apr 2002, Jim Thatcher wrote:

  Hi Julian,

  Screen reader access to a table is independent of size. If the table is
  properly marked up, the headings will be spoken as one navigates around the
  table, so the larger table adds to the sighted user's difficulty more than
  it adds to problems for a blind user.

  What is properly marked up?
  Headings in row 1 and column 1.
  TH and/or scope attributes on those heading cells.
  If the heading(s) for data cells are not found in the same row and column as
  the cell then you need to use id's on the headings and headers attributes on
  the data cells.

  Accessibility Consulting
  Constructing Accessible Web Sites, is now available at Amazon:
  I recommend it. It's a good book! Buy hundreds.

  -----Original Message-----
  From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
  Behalf Of Scarlett Julian (ED)
  Sent: Monday, April 15, 2002 7:52 AM
  To: 'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'
  Subject: long tables

  Hi all

  I have a very big table to put up on a web page and I *know* that it's going
  to cause someone somewhere severe problems. The table is 13 cols x 194 rows
  and cannot really be split up into smaller logical tables which would be the
  easiest solution. Does anyone out there have any ideas on mark-up to make
  this table easier to follow for screen readers? Sorry if this sounds like a
  simple problem but it's one that I've only just come across and would dearly
  like some pointers.


  Julian Scarlett
  Web Design & Document Management System Officer
  Education Directorate
  Sheffield City Council
  0114 2735721
  mob 07904914976

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Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38 78 22
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Received on Monday, 15 April 2002 10:24:43 UTC

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