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Re: User agent support of SUMMARY attribute in tables

From: Steven McCaffrey <smccaffr@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 11:38:25 -0500
Message-Id: <se2fd44e.007@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
To: <poehlman1@comcast.net>, <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Hi Dave:

I'll have to just say at this point I think we are talking passed each other.
What I said about 5.5 and what you say are not negations of each other.
At least I don't see how they are in opposition.
I don't know though what you mean by 
"are we not told also..." 
Does this mean you are negating what I said or saying, "Yes I agree but I would also add..."

I'll have to ask your indulgence because I have very technical notions from my computer science days and the logic course so I always carefully distinguish between:
1. If P, then Q.
2. P And Q, (both P and Q are true).
3. P. (P alone is true, ignoring all connections wit other statements)
4. P Or Q (either one is true or both)
5. Q is true (Q alone, ignoring connections to any other statements.
6. Not P (P is false ignoring connections to any other statements)
7. Not Q (Q is false, ignoring connections to any other statements)
and others.

I realize not everyone is that technical but I personally think it would help to reduce confusion and "talking passed each other" situations especially on "controversial" or, shall I say, strongly held view situations.
I do also realize this kind of technical analysis can not help in some situations and may even "cut too fine" to be useful to a discussion.

Again, speaking personally, I often find this kind of analysis clarifying and therefore quite useful but I think just because I like this is not to imply everyone should, I just find it useful.
So, in short, I am just trying to clarify how I think and why I might get confused and what I usually try to do to reduce my confusion.


Steve



>>> David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net> 01/22/03 04:40PM >>>

I was pointing out the discouragement of the use of tables for lay out to
assist in forming a backdrop for the push over into someting like tha alt
tag senario.  Often, if you are comtemplating an alt tag for an image, you
decide based on evaluation that perhaps the image is not needed after all.
In the case of summary, this is a lay out table?  well, maybe I don't need a
table aafter all.  To sum up, the backdrop here is it is best not to use
tables for layout,  so when you use tables correctly, summary is
appropriate.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven McCaffrey" <smccaffr@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
To: <poehlman1@comcast.net>; <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>; <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: User agent support of SUMMARY attribute in tables



HI Dave,
They are not banned, but I agree discouraged, but at any rate I was not
addressing the question of whether or not tables for layout should be used,
that's another question.
I was providing my interpretation of 5.5 and its implications for what I
think tools like Bobby should do,
which, as I thought this thread was about, was all boiling down to the use
vs. nonuse of the summary attribute.
Is there something  in my interpretation of 5.5 that you disagree with?
If so, can you say why?

Steve


>>> David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net> 01/22/03 03:33PM >>>

are we not told also in the guidelines though not to use tables for lay out
or is this not at least discouraged?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven McCaffrey" <smccaffr@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
To: <poehlman1@comcast.net>; <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>; <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 3:23 PM
Subject: Re: User agent support of SUMMARY attribute in tables


Hi all:

My interpretation of,

"5.5 Provide summaries for tables. [Priority 3] For example, in HTML, use
the "summary" attribute of the TABLE element."
has three parts.


First, it has lowest priority, priority 3 so only important if you are
trying for AAA (triple A).
Second, since there is no qualifier before "tables" I assume the text that
follows applies to all tables, data and layout.
Thirdly, it just says summary attribute is an example if using HTML,
presumably allowing non-html ways to provide a summary (is there a CSS way
to do this?)
What 5.5  requires  is a summary.
I interpret "For example, in HTML"
as implying "if not using HTML, a different example applies".
If using HTML, then use the summary attribute as the mechanism for providing
the summary.
So, in my opinion, Bobby or any accessibility tool using 5.5 as written
above should flag any table using HTML to give a summary that does not have
a summary attribute.
I'll have to check the techniques document to see if any other HTML method
other than the summary attribute is given and what non-HTML examples there
might be.

Just my 2 cents,

Steve
Received on Thursday, 23 January 2003 11:40:22 GMT

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