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RE: Layout versus data tables proposal for null summary attribute

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 08:16:12 -0500
Message-ID: <C46A1118E0262B47BD5C202DA2490D1A033180D6@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "david poehlman" <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>, "Bart Simons" <bart.simons@ascii.be>, "W3c-Wai-Ig@W3. Org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Johnny Appleseed wrote:

I'm not sure that you mean that if an empty summary is applied that the
table will be skipped by screen readers ...

Right, at least for JAWS: when summary="" JAWS does not speak the phrase
"Table with x columns and y rows" when it encounters the table element.
But JAWS *does* read the contents of the table, i.e., if the table was
used to lay out a navigation bar JAWS reads all the navigation links in
the order in which they appear in the table, going from left to right
across each row and then down to the next row.  If any cell contains
another table and that table also has summary="", JAWS will read the
entire table before going on to the next cell in the original table.
But it will not say "table with a columns and b rows nesting level 1"
which is what it would say if there was no summary attribute.

Note that in recent releases of JAWS there has been a user option to
turn off the announcement of tables (and blockquote, and lists, and
frames, and many other tings, including punctuation).

John Slatin
Received on Monday, 30 August 2004 13:16:14 UTC

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