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Re: Table Captions and Summaries

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 13:59:44 +0100
To: "Matthew Smith" <matt@kbc.net.au>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <opsknadulaw5l938@saturne>

On Sat, 15 Jan 2005 12:24:51 +1030, Matthew Smith <matt@kbc.net.au> wrote:

> This raises an interesting point for me.  If the data is generated  
> automatically, does this mean should write a programme to interpret it  
> and thus provide the summary?

Seems like a smart move.

> My page at <http://www.mss.cx/current_weather.html> attempts to provide  
> an accessible weather report.  The tables are highly marked up to aid  
> navigation (which cell belongs to which headings) and are captioned, but  
> do not contain summaries.  I suppose that this would be possible,  
> although it would probably quadruple the code used to produce the page.
> In such a page, would provision of a summary be sufficiently important  
> for the pages accessibility to warrant the extra programming required?   
> I would be more than likely to do this for my own work as an academic  
> exercise, but does such a thing make a significant difference to the  
> accessibility of the page?

I think a summary would actually be very valuable in this case - perhaps a  
note about one or two of the key temparature levels, and an idea of how  
far the others vary. Shouldn't involve a lot of code for that...

As well as helping the screen reader users, it helps to have a summary of  
complex information, and this table is enough to be confronting for lots  
of people. And the summary will be useful for others of us who don't admit  
we find the table complex to decipher, too :-)



Charles McCathieNevile                 Fundacion Sidar
charles@sidar.org                      http://www.sidar.org
Received on Saturday, 15 January 2005 13:04:58 UTC

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