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Re: Summary="" spells disaster

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 22:52:53 +0300
To: "Jesper Tverskov" <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, "Phill Jenkins" <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Message-ID: <opsdkcafv6w5l938@localhost>

Although I share the sentiments of Jesper, and agree with him that  
creating quick solutions often costs more than it saves, I am not so sure  
in this case that it is a problem. I can see people who create tools and  
haven't yet worked out how to do layout in CSS actually getting this right  
in authoring tools. (If you can get layouts in tables right, this is a  
breeze, although I wonder why CSS seems hard...)

Anyway, the topic is now under discussion in Sidar's WCAG-2 group (I will  
ask the general interest list for ideas on it, too) and I hope to reply in  
a week with the results of that discussion.



On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 21:50:52 +0200, Jesper Tverskov  
<jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk> wrote:

> The more one thinks about the table and summary issues, the more it
> becomes clear that we don't need strict definitions of data and layout
> tables and that we should only use the summary attribute for complex
> data tables when extra clarification is needed.
> The summary attribute should only be used for data tables when other
> markup like headers are not enough to make the table understandable and
> usable for screen readers etc. The summary attribute should only be used
> when it is going to be a real help for the blind. If in doubt don't use
> it.
> What happens the day we make summary="" a new convention meaning layout
> table? From being virtually unknown among web page authors, the summary
> attribute becomes mandatory for any table. Soon the table tag will be
> born with summary="" in many web authoring tools.

Charles McCathieNevile         charles@sidar.org
FundaciĆ³n Sidar             http://www.sidar.org
Received on Monday, 30 August 2004 20:53:33 UTC

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