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RE: Layout versus data tables proposal for null summary attribute

From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt <ejp10@psu.edu>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 14:34:47 -0400
Message-Id: <p06100501bd552981feaf@[]>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

John Foliot wrote:
>  >
>>  I agree that other empty tags  (e.g. summary="") are probably
>>  redundant.
>Redundant? Perhaps, but "bad" or wrong? No.  A table with a null summary
>will not break anything and is valid code.  What it *may* do is tweak
>the developer to the fact that their table *may* need a summary.  Not
>always, certainly, but occasionally and how can that be wrong?  (For
>that matter, it may also need an ID... Another attribute which can be
>redundant but also useful)

I agree that a null attribute is valid code, but I was approaching 
this more from the aspect of trying to reduce file size.  As you may 
guess, my approach is not to specify meta data unless there is some 
content in it or it has a "real world" effect in the browsing 
experience (most tags/attributes do, but some null attributes really 
don't apepar to make a difference as far as I can tell.)

Using valid code coupled with style sheets has made my code more 
accessible and definitely more streamlined. But does XHTML require 
all potential attributes be specified even if they are null?

Unless removing a null attribute breaks accesibility somehow (as in 
no image ALT tag), I don't see how including an empty attribute will 
be beneficial. To me it's like adding a USA to my postal address even 
when the mail is staying in the country. It's a valid address 
attribute, but is it necessary when dealing with US domestic mail?

Putting in another .02.



Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
Penn State University
ejp10@psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building II
227 W. Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819
Received on Friday, 27 August 2004 18:45:10 UTC

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