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RE: User agent support of SUMMARY attribute in tables

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 14:06:24 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFB1D791D6.F7A81E46-ON86256CB6.006D901B@pok.ibm.com>


>Which would be preferable; no summary attribute, or a null summary
attribute
>(summary="").

The null attribute and the missing attribute are hard to tell apart except
when in source reading mode.  I would recommend a reserved keyword such as
"layout" in the summary.  The screen readers can be programmed to ignore
"layout" just as easily as "quote quote" and the fact that the source still
has the "layout" keyword is useful to the author and source code reader.

I think it is important that we remember the requirements of all the stake
holders; including
      screen reader users
      sighted users
      authors
      checkers & repair tools
      browsers
      etc.

We could also lobby for a new semantic tag, such as <layoutable>, but
getting that added to XHTML would never happen with the existence of CSS,
and would still break in older browsers and screen readers.  Giving up on
using tables and just using CSS for positioning is also a problem for older
browser users.  So I still come back to my suggested convention of the
keyword approach <table summary="layout" yada yada yada..

Regards,
Phill Jenkins,  IBM Research Division - Accessibility Center
http://www.ibm.com/able
Received on Wednesday, 22 January 2003 15:06:58 GMT

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