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RE: Layout versus data tables proposal for null summary attribute

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 11:56:23 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFAC2DB0C9.2CD239EA-ON86256EFD.005A834E-86256EFD.005D0EB6@us.ibm.com>
John Foliot wrote:
> ... need for more measurable mechanical checks, and 
> this to me is a perfect example of how we can possibly do this.
> ...
> 3) table foo has no summary attribute.  In all 3 instances, 
> a final decision MUST be made by the developer, QA person

Exactly, one of the benefits I poorly tried to identify.  And remember 
that the next time you run the automated checker, you may want to be able 
to ignore option 2 - all those tables that have a null summary.  In other 
words, you want to be able to leave a hint in your code so that the 
checker knows you've already examined that table and determined it is a 
layout table that doesn't need any more corrections.  The problem with 
Jesper's suggestion - to remove the summary attribute altogether - is that 
there is not difference between tables that have been checked and 
determined to be valid layout tables not needing a summary attribute and 
those data tables needing a summary attribute. 

There are even more sophisticated algorithms in the checkers today that 
are guessing wrong and inundating the author with tons of false errors. 
The 3 option approach; namely "data", "layout", and "undetermined" works 
well with the summary="this is a data table", summary="null", and the 
missing summary attribute indicating "undetermined". 

> ... any programmatic element or attribute which speeds the "human
> intervention" aspect of accessibility checking cannot be all bad in my
> books...
>
> Another 2 cents worth

Excellent point.  Now, if we could only get paid 2 cents for every table 
that was incorrectly flagged by automated checkers.

p.s. I've been told by a few that the monospaced text that is quoted in my 
e-mail (rich text not HTML) appears in some e-mail clients as "very small 
font".  My e-mail client Lotus Notes sends it as "default monospaced 10", 
Please check to see if your e-mail client's default font is set to some 
undesirably small font.  [by the way, this text is being sent as default 
san serif font 10, the quoted text above was sent as default monospaced 12 
font]

Regards,
Phill Jenkins
IBM Worldwide Accessibility Center
http://www.ibm.com/able
Received on Friday, 27 August 2004 16:57:01 UTC

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