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Re: Heading markup in tables

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2004 08:42:41 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200406040742.i547gg401972@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> HTML accessibility guidelines or specs say nothing about  use of heading =
> taggs (h1, h2, etc) for marking up group / section headings within data =

That's because that would be an abuse of heading *elements*.   Heading
elements are basically intended for things that should appear in the 
document table of contents.

Although it is not in the formal grammar (it is I believe in the ISO
grammar and the replacement for Hn in HTML 2 also does have it), the
expected use of Hn is that it's scope only extends to the end of the
immediately containing element.  That it is possible in HTML 4 is mainly
to do with the fact that HTML 1 didn't do a thorough job of being
structural, and is similar to the treatment of <p> as a paragraph
separator, whereas it is now a paragraph container.

What you are proposing seems to be akin to the common abuses of markup
to produce particular visual effects.

There is no way of hierarchically structuring tables, but for a one 
level structure, as I think described here, the structure should be:

<thead><tr><th>....</th><th>.....</th>...</tr>
<tbody><tr><th id=.... ???colspan???>Section heading</th></tr>
<tr><th>row heading</th><td.....>data item</td>....</tr>
</tbody>
<tbody><tr><th id=.... ???colspan???>Section heading</th></tr>
.....

Because this is a complex table, you will need to hint the data cells
with the correct headings.

The only general way of doing control break reports in HTML is to start
a new table at each control break.
Received on Friday, 4 June 2004 15:50:28 UTC

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