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Re: Layout versus data tables proposal for null summary attribute

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 09:30:05 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "'Michael Cooper'" <michaelc@watchfire.com>, "'Wendy Chisholm'" <wendy@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c48c07$ac9174d0$440bc650@tversdatg7y7vv>

I will strongly argue against the idea of using summary="" for layout
tables. It is a clumsy approach to make nice and correct markup just
like using alt="" for images just being decoration.

Best practice should always be to use an attribute when needed, and to
leave it out when not needed. 

Markup should not be filled up with redundant junk when it can be
avoided. Millions of web page authors use attribute="" when they have
not yet made up their mind what value to use. To test for attribute=""
is most often not safe. It most often just means a forgotten value for
some attribute.

The proposal defines layout tables:

"Layout tables are those tables in HTML that do NOT have row and/or
column headings (TH's), do NOT have Captions, and do NOT have other
mark-up associated with tabular data for which the table markup was
originally specified."

Test if headings exist. If not it is a layout table.

No need to pollute markup with summary="" and alt="".
Let us keep things as simple and logical as possible.

Best regards,

Jesper Tverskov
Received on Friday, 27 August 2004 07:30:02 UTC

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