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Re: Layout versus data tables proposal for null summary attribute

From: Alastair Campbell <ac@nomensa.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 10:55:04 +0100
Message-ID: <412F04F8.50804@nomensa.com>
To: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
CC: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, "'Michael Cooper'" <michaelc@watchfire.com>, "'Wendy Chisholm'" <wendy@w3.org>

Jesper Tverskov wrote:
> 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.

I think the boat has sailed on null alternative text, it is the de facto 
standard for decorative or layout images. It would take years for user 
agents to adapt to an alternative method.

Given that, why not use the same analogy for the summary attribute?

With regards to defining a data table, wouldn't it be better to define 
it in a more abstract way without using the HTML terms?

E.g. a data table is a set of column and row data where some certain 
cells relate to or describe other cells...

Hmm, the wording of that is rubbish, but I hope you get the idea.

A layout table does not try to describe any meaningful relationship 
between cells. Maybe someone else can put this into better words?



Alastair Campbell   |   Director of Technology

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Received on Friday, 27 August 2004 09:55:06 UTC

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